Structure follows strategy. (Strategy = plans and policies by which a company aims to gain advantages over its competitors.)
Time is all we have. Barnaby Conrad
There is no free lunch.
Perception is reality.
Be here now.
Become who you are! Nietsche
Perform every act as if it is all that matters.
Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime. Chinese Proverb
Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood. Daniel H. Burnham
Imagination rules the world. Napoleon
Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought. Henri Bergson
One person's constant is another person's variable.
One person's process is another person's content. Jay
Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is like expecting the bull not to charge you because you are a vegetarian. Harold Kushner
Never, Never, Never, Never give up. Winston Churchill
In my life I've experienced many terrible things, a few of which actually happened. Mark Twain
The word processor is mightier than the particle beam weapon. George Carlin
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. The Talmud, also Anais Nin
None of us really understands what's going on with all these numbers. David Stockman
Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got. Janis Joplin
If you think you can do a thing, or think you can't do a thing, you're right. Henry Ford
There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. - From the tomb of Machiavelli
The truth will set you free - but first it will piss you off.
An invasion of armies can be resisted but not an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo
We look at the present through the rear-view mirror.
We march backwards into the future.Marshal McLuhan
Don't just learn the tricks of the trade. Learn the trade. James Bennis
In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. Eric Hoffer
It is best to learn as we go, not go as we have learned. Leslie Jeanne Sahler
Edward De Bono on
Early in life, I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change. Frank Lloyd Wright
My father was a contemptible man. I owe my success to not following in his footsteps. He was lazy; I work very hard. He frittered away his talent, and I nurtured mine. He was poor as a church mouse, and I'm worth $550 million." John Sperling, founder and CEO of Apollo Group
The real voyage of discovery, wrote Marcel Proust, "lies not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes."
To get a different view, go up to the balcony. Look at the big picture. Look down from a higher level to gain a broader perspective. Try to discern what’s really going on. Back away from the trees to see the forest.
"I shall pass through this world but once; any good things, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, or dumb animal, let me do it now. Let me not deter it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." --John Galsworthy
From a review of In Pursuit of Happiness: "the invisible foot," says Milton Friedman. That's the law of unintended consequences.
Martin Seligman: Life is about happiness -- which people (when pressed) generally concur isn't a new BMW or an orgasm, but rather lasting and justified satisfaction with one's life as a whole. Happiness includes the self-respect that comes from accepting responsibility for one's life and earning one's way in the world. It flows from realizing your innate capacities by doing productive work and overcoming ever more challenging obstacles, impelled more by your own inner imperatives than by the mere need to make a living.
Fast Company, May 1999, Tom Peters
Distinguished project work is the future of work—for the simple reason that more than 90% of white-collar jobs are in jeopardy today. They are in the process of being transformed beyond identification—or completely eliminated. “WOW” projects add value and leave a legacy (and make you a star.)
“Will we be bragging about this project five years from now? If the odds are low, what can we do right now to turn up the heat?” Draft people as if you’re an NBA general manager – get the hottest people you can. And pick projects like a venture capitalist: bet on cool people who have demonstrated their capacity to deliver cool projects.
Point of the exercise is not to do a good job; it’s to use every project opportunity that you can get your hands on to create surprising new ways of looking at old problems.
Never accept a project as given. That’s someone else’s way of conceptualizing the project!
Reengineering by Mike Hammer (See HBR '89). Managing, or administering, businesses doesn't work today. What a retched work--administer. It conjures up the image of a bureaucrat.
The apotheosis of mid-20th-century administrator was Robert McNamara at Ford. McNamara didn't know anything about cars. He knew nothing about making cars, nothing about selling cars. He was a financial analyst. He had a deep, unspoken assumption that work didn't matter.
Reengineering means radically changing how we do our work. Work is the way in which we create value for customers, how we design, invent, and make products, how we sell them, how we serve customers. Reengineering means radically rethinking and redesigning those processes by which we create value and do work.
Titles: I would rip out VP/marketing and replace it with "process owner of finding and keeping customers."
In a reengineered company you have to leave behind this single-function mentality and wear more than one hat. You need to do whatever it takes to keep the customer coming back. Managers are not value-added. A customer never buys a product because of the caliber of management. Less is better. One of the goals is to minimize the necessary amount of management.
If you are designing a business for a world of stable growth, then you want the Adam Smith, Frederick Taylor, Henry Ford model. Trouble is, stable growth does not characterize our environment today.
"Folks, we're going on a journey. On this journey, we'll carry our wounded and shoot the dissenters."
A worker is someone who cares about a task, about getting things done, and is basically working for the wage at the time. We don't need workers in our company. We need professionals. A professional is someone who focuses on the result, on the customers rather than on tasks. Professionals need coaches and leaders.
London: What do you think about all the talk today about "re- engineering the organization." One word I've heard you use is not "re- engineering" but "de-engineering."
Wheatley: Yes, I put that word out to the world. We really have to "de-engineer" our thinking, which means that we have to examine how mechanistically we are oriented -- even in our treatment of one another. This is especially true in corporations. We believe that we can best manage people by making assumptions more fitting to machines than people. So we assume that, like good machines, we have no desire, no heart, no spirit, no compassion, no real intelligence -- because machines don't have any of that. The great dream of machines is that if you give them a set of instructions, they will follow it.
I see the history of management as an effort to perfect the instructions that you hope someone will follow this time -- even though they have never followed directions in their whole life.
How is the world going to be different because you and I are working together?
Author: Margaret Wheatley and Myron Kellner-Rogers in A Simpler WayThere is a simpler way to organize human endeavor.
This simpler way to organize human endeavor
requires a belief that the world is inherently orderly.
The world seeks organization.
It does not need us humans to organize it.
This simpler way summons forth what is best about us.
It asks us to understand human nature differently, more optimistically.
It identifies us as creative.
It acknowledges that we seek after meaning.
It asks us to be less serious, yet more purposeful, about our work and our lives.
It does not separate play from the nature of being.
The world of a simpler way is a world we already know.
We may not have seen it clearly,
but we have been living in it all our lives.
It is a world that is more welcoming,
more hospitable to our humanness.
Who we are and what is best about us can more easily flourish.
The world of a simpler way has a natural and spontaneous
tendency toward organization.
It seeks order.
Whatever chaos is present at the start,
when elements combine, systems of organization appear.
Life is attracted to order --
order gained through wandering explorations
into new relationships and new possibilities.
OLD ways die hard. Amid all the evidence that our world is radically changing, we cling to what has worked in the past. We still think of organizations in mechanistic terms, as collections of replaceable parts capable of being reengineered. We act as if even people were machines, redesigning their jobs as we would prepare an engineering diagram, expecting them to perform to specifications with machinelike obedience. Over the years, our ideas of leadership have supported this metaphoric myth. We sought prediction and control, and also charged leaders with providing everything that was absent from the machine: vision, inspiration, intelligence, and courage. They alone had to provide the energy and direction to move their rusting vehicles of organization into the future.
Michael Crichton: In recent decades, many American companies have undergone a wrenching, painful restructuring to produce high-quality products. We all know what this requires: Flattening the corporate hierarchy. Moving critical information from the bottom up instead of the top down. Empowering workers. Changing the system, not just the focus of the corporation. And relentlessly driving toward a quality product. because improved quality demands a change in the corporate culture. A radical change.
the first constant in the job of management is to make human strength effective and human weaknesses irrelevant. That's the purpose of any organization, the one thing an organization does that individuals can't do better.
Managers are accountable for results, period. They are not being paid to be philosophers; they are not even being paid for their knowledge. They are paid for results.
These are the factors stressed by GE in its new management process:
Dee Hock on Management
An organization, no matter how well designed, is only as good as the people who live and work in it. Ultimately what determines the organization's performance is the approach to management its leaders take. Some of Dee Hock's management principles, in his own words:
PhD in Leadership, Short Course: Make a careful list of all things done to you that you abhorred. Don't do them to others, ever. Make another list of things done for you that you loved. Do them for others, always.
Associates: Hire and promote first on the basis of integrity; second, motivation; third, capacity; fourth, understanding; fifth, knowledge; and last and least, experience. Without integrity, motivation is dangerous; without motivation, capacity is impotent; without capacity, understanding is limited; without understanding, knowledge is meaningless; without knowledge, experience is blind. Experience is easy to provide and quickly put to good use by people with all the other qualities.
Employing Yourself: Never hire or promote in your own image. It is foolish to replicate your strength. It is idiotic to replicate your weakness. It is essential to employ, trust, and reward those whose perspective, ability, and judgment are radically different from yours. It is also rare, for it requires uncommon humility, tolerance, and wisdom.
Compensation: Money motivates neither the best people, nor the best in people. It can move the body and influence the mind, but it cannot touch the heart or move the spirit; that is reserved for belief, principle, and morality. As Napoleon observed, "No amount of money will induce someone to lay down their life, but they will gladly do so for a bit of yellow ribbon."
Form and Substance: Substance is enduring, form is ephemeral. Failure to distinguish clearly between the two is ruinous. Success follows those adept at preserving the substance of the past by clothing it in the forms of the future. Preserve substance; modify form; know the difference. The closest thing to a law of nature in business is that form has an affinity for expense, while substance has an affinity for income.
Creativity: The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a room packed with archaic furniture. You must get the old furniture of what you know, think, and believe out before anything new can get in. Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it.
Leadership: Here is the very heart and soul of the matter. If you look to lead, invest at least 40% of your time managing yourself--your ethics, character, principles, purpose, motivation, and conduct. Invest at least 30% managing those with authority over you, and 15% managing your peers. Use the remainder to induce those you "work for" to understand and practice the theory. I use the terms "work for" advisedly, for if you don't understand that you should be working for your mislabeled "subordinates," you haven't understood anything. Lead yourself, lead your superiors, lead your peers, and free your people to do the same. All else is trivia.
Whenever Dee Hock talks to people about chaordic organizations, someone always wants to know, "Where's the plan? How do we implement it?" But that's the wrong question, he says, because an organization isn't a machine that can be built according to a blueprint.
"All organizations are merely conceptual embodiments of a very old, very basic idea--the idea of community. They can be no more or less than the sum of the beliefs of the people drawn to them; of their character, judgments, acts, and efforts," Hock says. "An organization's success has enormously more to do with clarity of a shared purpose, common principles and strength of belief in them than to assets, expertise, operating ability, or management competence, important as they may be."
The organization must be adaptable and responsive to changing conditions, while preserving overall cohesion and unity of purpose. This is the fundamental paradox facing businesses, governments, and societies alike, says Hock--not to mention living cells, brains, immune systems, ant colonies, and most of the rest of the natural world. Adaptability requires that the individual components of the system be in competition. And yet cohesion requires that those same individuals cooperate with each other, thereby giving up at least some of their freedom to compete.
30 Poppy Lane
Berkeley, California 94708
1.510.528.3105 (office & cell)
Subscribe to this Blog
Our Infrequent Newsletter
Entries by category...
Recycled from Blogger
Internet Time Group
© 2004 Internet Time Group
Blogger Experience, Housekeeping, Something New
Demographics is destiny
Are you setting the bar high enough?
Work as Video Game
Oracle and Macromedia, Sitting in a Tree
ASTD Silicon Valley
Kingsbridge Conference Center
First Post by Email
RSS Feed for New Site
Testing ... testing ... 1...2..3
IT Doesn't Matter - Learning Does.
All blogging is political
Damn, damn, double damn
The New Religion
Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!
Business Process Management (2)
Business Process Management Conference
Don't Lose a Common Sense: LISTEN
It's only natural
Go with the flow
Time Out for the Fair
Informal get-together in SF this Wednesday
Repetition, reverb, and echoes
Push vs pull
The Big Picture on ROI
New Community of Practice Forming
Training Directors Forum 2004
A Rare One-Liner
PlaNetwork LIVE 2
ASTD 2004 Leftovers
Worker Effectiveness Improvement, not KM
Jay's Talk at ASTD
Mintzberg & Cooperider
Lest ye forget
ASTD International Conference & Exposition 2004
What is Workflow Learning?
ASTD msg 1 of n
Look out, it's Outlook
Collaboration at ASTD Next Week
Tell me a story
The shortest presentation on metrics you will ever hear
Back to Blogger
The Alchemy of Growth
Very loosely coupled
E-Learning from Practice to Profit
Robin Good kicks off Competitive Edge
Emergent Learning Forum: Simulations
The Best Things in Life Are Free
Metrics and Web Services
OpEd: ROI vs. Metrics