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I had a conversation with a friend I hadn't seen for a long time. After all the niceties, we talked about the organization where we both became trustees at one point and continued to have strong affinities with it after all those years.
She mentioned something about mission incongruence. Incongruence manifests if there is a misalignment, disharmony, or conflict in mission/goals/objectives. The organization is swimming in two ponds, one in service delivery and the other on in profit-oriented venture where in either one or the other, it is failing miserably.
The question with mission incongruence is-if the organization is suffering from incongruence, then somebody has to stand up and say, this is not working!. I think a lot of organizations are in denial and could not bear to admit that whatever is ailing them is not a matter of execution, but of strategy. The strategy which was once the most sound or the most plausible of all direction, is now ready to be reviewed and reexamined in the light of changes to the organization internally and externally.
When the organization says 'ouch', then what is the remedy? The remedy is not far behind. Usually, it is the combination of creating pragmatic changes to things at the strategic management level and down to the operations and service delivery.
Denial in personal life and in business can be removed when the darkness is lighted, it could no longer afford to be in the dark anymore. This is true in our organizational lives, when one part is examined, there is no excuse not to see what is really going on, the rut, the mold, and the spiders!.
Light in this case are the facts and evidence that comes from observed reality. Take time to observe what is actually going on versus what is believed to be
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DO WHAT I SAY NOT WHAT I DO
Leaders like parents would say "Do what I say, not what I do."
The behavior of the leader will be the litmus test whether he/she will be believed and followed by his/her subordinates.Words don't mean a thing.
While some CEOs have a sort of veneer of respectability over their persona, what matters at the end of the day, is that they are present (not absentee) leader, one that people will follow, believe, and will trust to direct them to a new direction in the organization, and has the interests of the organization at heart.
One of the loyal Marcos henchmen during the martial law was asked by President Marcos to jump out of the building. The henchman said, 'from which floor, sir!" This sounded like a joke but this rings true today.
Loyalty and faith in the leader can come from the relationship that the leaders had forged. It cannot be just about promotions, favors, and any other externalities.
Are you creating and forging real and trust-based relationship with your followers? Have you demonstrated enough integrity, commitment, and above-board excellence that they can trust and believe in you to light the way forward?
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WHEN GROWTH IS A CURSE
Imagine a balloon. It expands and once it reached its maximum point, it will stop expanding and start exploding.
Rapid, unbridled, uncontrollable growth creates pressures and issues for the organization. Capacity is over-stretched than normal, new needs are required to make it successful. There is a tendency to forsake other boring functions in the organization to service the change which had left a huge demand for management and staff. A huge imbalance threatens order and stability. The management is left to fend for itself to put back a new normal of arrangements. In short, caught with its pants down.
When times are great, they roll and frolic, not making/creating strategies that will outlast the growth in a measured way. There is a tendency to ride on the high wave unaware of the risks and threat, but when the wave disappears leaving the organization unable to sustain the growth. They crash into the shore with battered limbs.
It can be a major capital gain, major project, a business partner that has to be serviced, a new donor with high demands, program scope creep, new acquisition, etc. Anything that has been committed and is eating a major chunk of organizational resources without clear and compelling alignment to the overall business strategy.
This is an unsustainable and non-desirable growth that you don't want to have.
Be careful when you wish for growth. Only with the alignment to strategy can you justify investing in more and more for far greater returns.
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FROM ZERO TO SOMETHING
What happens between zero to something? Many things.
If want to do something, you should be able to accomplish it in 90 days. Beyond that and you are still thinking about, nothing will happen.
1. The courage to forge ahead;
2. Having the right mindset and behaviors to start and sustain;
3. Imperfection is okay;
4. Removal of distractions and unnecessary obstacles;
5. Be convinced of the merits of your endeavors;
6. You are accountable first to yourself and your family. Stop listening to the voices of those that do not matter in the end.
In the final analysis, if you are able to start. Ask yourself, are you afraid to succeed? and/or afraid to fail?
There is no harm in trying but it is better to learn and make mistakes now, than not try at all.
Don't be the 80% who knows what to do and the importance of doing it, but don't do.
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WHAT KEY ISSUES DO YOU WANT TO ADDRESS?
For business owners, corporate management, Boards and Directors of non-profits,
this is a continuation on the series on the fundamental questions that relate to the over-all strategy of the organization.
What key issues do you want to address?
This involves an analysis of your key drivers of successes, your main challenges, and the kinds of environment the organization is up against.
This is also involves strategic thinking not planning as the latter is mere extrapolation of the present. It wont get you any where.
This is also about considering what key issues are vital to the success of the strategy as well as issues that the strategy is fundamentally rearranging, addressing/resolving.
Remember a strategy is a forward-motion vehicle to your destination. It doesn't have a reverse gear!
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COMMIT NOW, BEGIN SOON
A lot of people worry about getting their projects off the ground, getting the products out to the customers, getting their grants approved by donors, and getting the right partners to their business deals. These worries do no do them any good, or even helped them get to their objectives. The more you worry the less you want to proceed.
Why not, commit now and let it fall where it falls. You wont get shot when committing. By committing you are fully allowing yourself to take on the task with full heart, mind, and determination. Things will fall into place at their own alignment. The rest will be another chapter to deal with.
Remember, there is no such thing as perfection, only excellence.
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If organizations make decisions on the basis of what others will do, say, react (violently) against them for making those decisions, these leaders should be vacate their positions.
For one thing, their decisions should be based on facts and observable evidence. Their decisions should be guided by a rationale and logical criteria or a set of guidelines that the organizations should abide by as part of their mandate, terms of reference and business strategy.
To discuss the risks involved in decision-making, it is all about probability and impact. The probability that their constituency will be irate and will tear their door and /or the decision will cause havoc in the community should be taken in proportion. Who are these people, how serious will the impact of this decision be?
To hide under the guise that people will see this as partiality, special treatment, or favoritism is nonsense. Open your meetings, create guidelines, stick to your mandate, and weigh risks objectively, not as something to be afraid of rather than to determine if its actually an issue.
If you see ghosts everywhere, you might not want to get out of house or your room. It's the same thing as those leaders who cant and wont make a positive decision because they see things that do no exist.
Fear-based decision-making is the worst of all. The default is always a No.
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A HAMMER FOR A NAIL
Abraham Maslow said "if all you have is a hammer, everything that you see is a nail."
Very true. We have a cognitive bias for that one skill, method, approach, thinking, acting, doing. We think that it will solve all the problems in the world or perhaps in our household.
If organizations are one-trick ponies, not capable to adapting and innovating to the changing times, the hammer that they will be using will become obsolete (including the nail) one day and that is the end of their utility.
Learn to adapt to the new needs, ride on the wave of new needs. or create the need itself, then think about how your organization can service them.
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When you work in a bureaucratic organization, it is not about effectiveness, it is about putting more layers and layers of unnecessary tasks without an inch of value or input or significance to the process being performed.
I have seen how two to three clerks get to process one application. Two to three signatories needed in a report. Two to three supervisors to report to and other two to three combinations of divisions working on a special project.
It is not accountability. It is not engagement or participation. It is not even being rigorous or meticulous. It is not about quality at all.
It is bureaucracy in its finest. Waste of ludicrous amount of time, monies, energy, and management. Redundancy, overlaps, and inappropriate controls are enough to get a good employee frustrated and a good manager overworked. The next thing you know they are headed for the exit.
How many paper pushers are there in your organization? Can you count them?