I once heard a sermon that now seems appropriate to this last in my series on reinvention.
We all know the story of Jesus healing the blind. This sermon wondered not about the healing but THE DAY AFTER. The man’s whole life was turned upside down. He had KNOWN HOW to be blind. His livelihood depended on being blind. His relationships were structured around his blindness. The way in which he related to his environment was directly connected to his blindness.
BUT NOW HE COULD SEE.
And the consequence of being able to see is that everything had to become new. His relationships, his livelihood, how he interacted with his environment…everything! After years of automatic behavior he had to go into intense learning mode.
AND SO IT IS WITH REINVENTION
This sermon illustrates my sole concern for the profession. WE KNOW HOW TO BE ON THE LOSING END OF CHANGE. We are used to it. We know how to function in it. We have lowered our expectations. Many have lost faith in what we offer the public and even in people. As I said a few weeks ago, most of us are in some stage of grief…even if we feel optimistic. Some of us are stuck in it and have perversely started to like it. The struggle for survival has come to define us. A little like the “Stockholm Syndrome” defines some long term hostages.
3 steps to Reinvention:
I received some very nice feedback on last week’s post. Thank you. Everyone needs affirmation. But it made me a little sad because no one seemed to realize this reinvention business is a little like being invited to something akin to the crucible week at Marine Corps Boot Camp.
Reinvention is not an event it is a process. That said, I see 3 critical needs that can be addressed today and will provide the equivalent of immediate impact…both financial and organizational.
Consider this a “HEADS UP”. In the early part of 2013 I will be inviting you to a SPECIAL PURPOSE FORUM to experience the Islands of Excellence I believe will deliver the key leverage tools you need. No, not a Crucible Week. Those of you who know me from earlier times will recognize it as a “Busman’s Holiday”.
I told you last week I had found some Islands of Excellence in our Sea of Mediocrity and it’s time you met. These will be real solutions to the THREE PRIMARY ISSUES WHICH MUST BE RESOLVED before anyone can hope to successfully reinvent their business:
- Fix the Arrangements Conference Problem
- Learn to be better stewards of your business
SIDE NOTE: UNFORTUNATELY, THE FORMAT OF A BLOG IS SUCH IT DOES NOT ALLOW ME TO TOUCH ON ALL THREE IN ONE WEEK. SO BEAR WITH ME AS I UNVEIL THEM OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT THREE WEEKS.
Fix our Dysfunctional Culture
A GOOD BOOK SAYS: “AS A MAN THINKETH, SO IS HE.”
As a lifelong student of leadership and, now, as a coach and mentor I have reached a profound conclusion:
All people are dysfunctional and, therefore, all organizations are dysfunctional.
Say it–get over it. This is an important first step for all organizations as everyone believes that there really are perfect people out there. So lighten up, recognize that you need to get better and then get better. Because…you can.
I have often observed that most small businesses are a hold-over from feudal society. Owners are Vassals and employees are serfs. That may have worked at one time but it doesn’t any longer. People in our profession want to be led not driven. This is one of the reasons I have been talking these last 6 months about the current trend toward turning owners and managers into shop foremen through the over-application of productivity metrics. Don’t get me wrong. These have their place. But knowledge workers don’t work that way. In fact, reducing knowledge workers to metrics on a chart is a sure fire way of undermining their motivation. You should maintain such metrics…but using them to support a “carrot and stick” or “command and control” management system is a recipe for problems.
Knowledge workers need, NO THEY MUST connect their personal value system to their work. And, not so surprisingly, this is easy to do in funeral service once we change the Feudal Society paradigm and connect the work with purpose.
What does this do?
Well, besides the obvious benefit of turning a group of individuals working independently toward an ill-defined and vague goal into a team focused on achieving a clearly defined goal with the right tools to do it. There is the added benefit of relieving the load from the shoulders of the key staff or owner. You see if you have the right culture, according to my hero Peter Drucker, your culture will eat someone else’s strategy for lunch. And that includes the strategies that have been so successful turning some of our colleagues into shop foremen lately.
Introducing the Pacific Institute. Just a few of their successes: Coaches Nick Saban and Pete Carroll (Mr Carroll did some miracle work with them with inner city gangs in Los Angeles) and the U.S. Olympic Swim Team. Here is a taste:
I have seen this program at work in schools, in unionized manufacturing plants, sports teams and inner city gangs. The results are nothing short of miraculous.
If you are an owner or manager and you are tired of “Pushing strings uphill” or “herding cats” this is the best answer for you I have found.
Next Week: Fixing the Arrangements Conference
Need cash flow? This is where…for the first time…you will find SUSTAINABLE revenue growth in terms of both quality of sales and volume!