Amplifying Organizational Results: In Pursuit of the Breakthrough
Breakthroughs have been thoroughly researched and written about, but there is a wide range of thinking about the ability to design and execute them. Some take the position that innovation cannot be deliberately planned, saying, “You can’t schedule inventions.” Since the purpose of invention is to discover the unknown, the argument goes, it is impossible to predict whether it will be successful, much less how long it will take. Others argue that breakthroughs do not occur by design, but are rather accidental and random, a matter of luck. These conclusions will be challenged in this article. Our work with clients has proven that breakthroughs can be deliberately planned and executed. However, it is not something to undertake lightly.
Leading and Managing in Times of Change
During periods of extraordinary – or even ordinary – change, many of us have a tendency to hunker down and try to manage our way through it. Unfortunately, this often leads to failure, rather than winning, because we lose touch with the creativity and innovation that is required to navigate change successfully. We need to integrate the human systems and business systems, to retain the possibility of a new future while honoring and maintaining what worked in the past. This article, published in “Public Sector Digest”, examines integration as an undistinguished element in the arena of organizational change.
Cutting Through the Noise: Understanding Internal Communications
The engine of organizations is communication. Contrary to popular quotes such as “talk is cheap”, communication is, in fact, how almost all work is done. This article, originally published in the Winter 2009 issue of Public Sector Digest, offers tips and information on how to have your internal communications cut through the noise and information overload that so many of us experience these days.
The Big Deal About Decision-Making
What’s the big deal about decision-making? Why is there so much angst associated with the decision-making process? People in organizations spend weeks – months, even – strategizing and preparing for having a decision made by the right people, at the right level, in the right forum. Why is it such a source of concern and why does it cause so much frustration when decisions are not made?
Decision-making is the process of choosing a course of action from several alternatives. Decisions fall into two broad categories: the first requires a “scientific” approach and second an “artful” approach. In both categories decisions are intended to cause actions that will lead to results that are consistent with objectives. And clearly, reaching objectives equals being effective. This article, published in Public Sector Digest, examines several different modes or models of decision-making, and helps the reader determine when to use which method.
Mergers and Acquisitions – Lessons Learned
The prevailing view is that 70 to 80% of mergers and acquisitions do not produce the business results that they were intended to produce. Yet the basic approach to integrating mergers and acquisitions has not changed in ways that alter the statistics. Based on our M&A work with both large and small companies, this paper discusses common integration errors, how to avoid them, identifies “what is missing” and presents a short case study demonstrating the effect of our approach to integration.
The Vanishing Art of Coaching
Much has been written about the impact of aging baby boomers leaving the workplace, but one unexamined and unintended impact of their coming retirement is the loss of coaches and mentors in organizations. This article, originally published in Public Sector Digest, examines the decline of the art of coaching, how coaching and mentoring can amplify the efforts of management to create sustainable growth in organizations, and the benefits to both the coach/mentor and those who are coached and mentored.
The Vanishing Art of Coaching (Canadian journal, Public Sector Digest)
The Vanishing Art of Coaching (United States reprint)
Listening: A Key to Creating Change
New futures for organizations and the people who work in them are possible, even if we don’t currently see how to make them happen, if we learn to listen in new ways. This article reveals the automatic, habitual ways we listen and suggests new possibilities for working together that will help us create change.
Communication at the Scale of Organization
No one and no organization has “cracked the code” on communication at the scale of organization. Indeed, the quest of many to codify communication at this scale may be a result of a hidden assumption that such a phenomenon can be reduced to a “code” or “recipe.” Generative Leadership Group has developed useful distinctions that allow people to see, think and act from different scales and recognize patterns. This paper reviews those models and distinguishes new, powerful ways to increase the effectiveness of organization-wide communication.
Minimalism and Large-Scale Systems Change
If we are serious about creating a new model of organization, one that is non-linear, non-reductionistic and non-hierarchical - in other words, non-Newtonian - then we have to examine the implications of such a model for leadership and management. Consider that organizations, and indeed the people that make them up, are chaotic systems. This view has significant implications for large-scale systems change, which are explored in this paper.
Notes on Finite and Infinite Games, by James Carse
At first blush, this small book, with its philosophical bent and poetic language, would seem to have very little to do with business or organization. James Carse is a professor of theology and the history of religion, and does not claim any particular expertise – or even interest – in the business world. However, in the context of creating large-scale systemic change and integration, Carse’s work becomes very relevant.
Notes on The Silence of God, by James Carse
Again, Carse’s writing – and the title of this book – seem to have little to offer organizations. But in the context of leadership and whole-systems integration, this thoughtful and philosophical examination of listening and speaking has powerful implications.
Creativity that Lasts (reprinted from Spirituality and Health)
A national magazine profiles Generative Leadership Group’s unique leadership approach, and takes an in-depth look at the power of context and its impact on innovation and organizational development.
Bibliography on Organizational Transformation, 12th Edition
A highly subjective list of books that you may find useful in your examination of organizational development, whole-systems integration and leadership. We suggest you treat it as a starting point for your own inquiry, rather than something definitive. Please see our on-line bookstore for more information on selected titles.
Designing and Delivering Breakthroughs
There has been a fair amount of research on breakthroughs. Some people take the position that innovation cannot be deliberately planned. Others argue that breakthroughs do not occur by design, but are rather accidental and random, a matter of luck. We reject these conclusions, and have proven through our work with clients that breakthroughs can be deliberately planned and executed. This paper describes how to design a breakthrough and the key components that must be present to achieve unprecedented results.
Appreciation and Acknowledgement
Appreciation and acknowledgement are simple and cost-effective ways to help engender employee motivation, retention, satisfaction and success. This paper presents GLG's views on the topic, contrasts acknowledgement and financial rewards, and offers helpful tips and suggestions for appreciation. There are case studies of successful programs, and a bibliography for further research.