Organizational Effectiveness: CEO as Gardener

By | November 26th, 2018|

I’m not much of a gardener. The only green thumb I’ve ever been accused of having is when I’ve stuck it in pesto. I’ve noticed, however, that my efforts to have my lawn match my wife’s well cared for flowers are only rewarded when I combine the right amounts of enabling and prohibiting—the right conditions [...]

Organizational Effectiveness: Shared Fate

By | November 5th, 2018|

A commonly overlooked element of a highly functional team is shared fate. If you lose while I win, I can’t expect you to support my position. The objective may be clear (“Take that hill!”), but if I have a pile of money at the peak and you have a bag of rocks that you must [...]

Organizational Effectiveness: Grinding To A Halt

By | October 22nd, 2018|

Do you have school age children? If not now, perhaps in the past? Do you remember those nights when your daughter or son—or perhaps both—had a boatload of homework, not just in one subject but in several on the same night? How did that work for you? If your household is anything like ours was [...]

Organizational Effectiveness: Bailing Wire and Braces

By | September 15th, 2018|

Driving across Wyoming on a recent vacation we saw a house that was held together with more bailing wire and braces than joists and concrete. You could almost see how it got that way. The porch started to sag so they built some temporary stairs a few feet away. It was a slight inconvenience but [...]

What Is Organizational Effectiveness?

By | September 9th, 2018|

My definition of organizational effectiveness? Great results with optimal resources over the long haul.  There are three components in my definition. Change one of them, and you’re not successful in my book. You can get great results in the short term, and you can even get those results with the wrong number or quality of [...]

Organizational Effectiveness: Are You Good at the Wrong Thing?

By | September 3rd, 2018|

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” —Peter Drucker Organizational effectiveness requires that people are doing the right things well. Doing the right things poorly is probably an opportunity for coaching. Doing the wrong things well is, as Drucker points out, useless. A colleague and I [...]

Organizational Effectiveness: Rules Or Vision?

By | July 16th, 2018|

I’ve been thinking about tariffs as of late. Mostly thinking about them as a blunt instrument. Economics, politics and history would tell us that they are not a very effective way to deal with “inequities”, though certainly they are implemented to try to correct a wrong or even the playing field. If free trade is [...]

Organizational Effectiveness: Simplicity and Structure

By | March 5th, 2018|

“One of our most dysfunctional beliefs is our contempt for simplicity and structure.” —Marshall Goldsmith Why can Warren Buffett repeatedly make successful multibillion dollar investments with little due diligence and a corporate staff the size of a family meal at my house while many hedge funds have legions of staff and complex models yet get [...]

Leadership: It Takes an Army

By | February 26th, 2018|

It Takes an Army OK, maybe a platoon. If you really want to change your behavior, don’t do it solo. I’ve coached executives for a long time and was one myself. The number of talented, disciplined people who can significantly improve their behavior by themselves is extremely small. If you were alone on a desert [...]

The Dark Side of Success

By | December 18th, 2017|

Startups pine for profits, predictable cash flow, a sustainable competitive advantage, and the personal wealth and comfort that come from success. Not many will get there. The ones that do are mostly deserving of all those accoutrements previously mentioned. The leaders of that organization toiled and stressed and made do and sacrificed a great deal [...]