F. Scott Fitzgerald offered, "There are no second acts," and mostly, this holds true for our organizations. What's good or great one day often succumbs to market forces and disruptions. Organizational transformation on a large scale is a difficult act, yet some do succeed. In this first in a series of articles, I offer my perspective on at least 4 of the big obstacles that get in the way of success.
It's been a busy week writing about leadership and management. In case you missed it, here's the short form with links to this week's work at Management Excellence and the Management and Leadership site at About.com. Enjoy!
Every week I publish posts at the Management Excellence blog (Leadership Caffeine and others) and also at the Management & Leadership site at About.com. Here's a quick recap list with links:
Imagine a world of work where your colleagues worked tirelessly to complete the hard work that keeps everything moving. They voluntarily stay late and even deprive themselves of sleep to ensure the work is done. Along the way, they collaborate at a moment’s notice to fend off enemies and slay the dragons that arise from unexpected locations, and they’re always working on their own skills development. Sound like fiction to you? Rather than fictional, perhaps it’s virtual—as in gaming. Yes, video gaming.
We spend an incredible amount of time immersed in a world of our own fabrication—the world as it feels and looks and acts from inside our organization’s walls. It’s not the culture that will kill you, it’s the view. It’s time to change it. Take off the blinders and look up and out further. Extend your focal point.
The topic of transformation is a challenging one for all management teams. It’s not surprising that few muster the collective courage necessary to transform their organizations even in the face of sustained headwinds or looming crisis.
Every week I offer ideas to encourage you to stretch and grow with my ideas for Do/Experiment/Explore. For this week, I offer ideas on strengthening team performance, leveraging your operations meetings to promote managerial skills development and learning to mess with your competitors just enough to keep them off balance. Use them in great professional health!
There's an interesting interview at McKinsey, with Heidreck & Struggles CEO, Tracy Wolstencroft, that explores what they describe as the changing nature of leadership in this era of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. The interview prompted my own consideration of some of the changing leadership behaviors I'm observing in firms who are succeeding in navigating the fog of these times.
Most of the tools of management were conceived in an era characterized by a great deal of consistency and predictability…two attributes in short supply today. It’s time to rethink everything, including the tools we use to manage and plan for our very uncertain futures. There is no substitute for the right tool. Sometimes, you simply have to create that tool.
The Leadership Caffeine™ series is intended to make you think and act. -- What if everything that used to work for your business no longer did? The business challenge of this era for long established firms is much about escaping the powerful pull of the past. Approaches that worked so well for so long are [...]