All businesses and many, if not most or even all, other organizations ought to get, and stay, crystal clear about whose problem they solve, how. It is common for leaders to describe their organizations in terms of one or two but not all three dimensions because thinking about the three dimensions of market, problem and solution all at the same time challenges the mind and is hard for most people to do for any length of time.
The following graphic presents a way to visualize an organization in terms of the problem it solves (or why anyone needs what the organization provides), for whom (market), and Continue reading →
Serving as a group facilitator at a workshop is an important assignment that can help make the difference between the session being a big success or not. It is also an opportunity to be, and to grow as, a visible leader. Do not pass up the opportunity to rise to the occasion and to do a first-rate job that makes a great impression. Do all you can to help your organization achieve its objectives because your performance, and the positive results you help generate, will be noticed!
Your job as a facilitator is to:
Create, promote, and use a safe environment that ensures those in your workgroup participate fully and that their task is understood and completed successfully and on time.
Model target behavior.
Help lead a dialogue (which literally means: “quest for truth”) that fosters and promotes learning and targeted change. Continue reading →
Most acquisitions and alliances severely under-perform relative to expectations set at the time of their inception. No matter how great they look on paper, it is always a lot harder to make things come out anywhere near where they were meant to be than it seemed at the start. Fortunately, based on first-hand practical experience and learning from experience of others, there are some things that can be done to raise the odds of success.
The reason for one organization to acquire or ally with another almost always boils down to one of the following three:
To obtain new products and services to sell to existing customers.
To secure access to new customers for existing offerings.
To acquire needed new resources such as skills, leadership or knowledge.
There are also three basic reasons for one organization to decide NOT to acquire or ally with another:
Most require the buyer to pay a premium price except in distressed situations in which case a bargain price is offset by high risk. Continue reading →
Early-stage professionals should look forward to and take advantage of opportunities to interact with people in client, partner, or supplier organizations at more senior levels of scope and scale of responsibility than they are used to working with. While it might initially be difficult to muster the courage and conviction to play at a higher level, it is often an opportunity to learn and likely to be career-enhancing if things go well.
The call to connect with a more senior player, whether it is to make a sale, handle a delivery issue, launch a new initiative, or negotiate contract terms, might first evoke a sense of fear and the urge to demur. The question: “How can I possibly go toe-to-toe with someone at such a senior level?” may come to mind. The following tips encourage and prepare up-and-coming star performers to get good at leveling-up:
While at first it may seem counter-intuitive, it is usually easier to communicate with more senior level executives. Higher-ups tend to be smarter, nicer, more competent, and genuinely more impressive people. After all, they got to higher levels for a reason! Along these same lines, if you are tired of dealing with people who just don’t get what you are saying and who are otherwise difficult to deal with, it may be time to give yourself a break and start working with those who have higher levels of responsibility.
Be confident in yourself. Know that you have earned the right to connect with more senior executives and got the call to do so for a reason. There is no reason to think that you are fated to work with underlings your entire career.
Ultimately, no matter how lofty they happen to be in the organization, even the most senior executive is just a person with likes and dislikes, memories and dreams, pleasures and ailments just like your own! Genuinely connect on a personal level to get off to a good start with anyone at any level of any organization. Continue reading →
There are three to keep in mind with respect to how organizations evolve.
There Is No One Right Organization
The organization that will work is the one a group decides to make work, after much study and debate, despite its flaws. It is easy to make any organization fail. It is harder to make one work. Continue reading →