The great Peter Drucker once said, " you have to feed on opportunities and starve problem-solving."
That is one great advice not heeded by a lot of organizations who is suffering from the monstrosity of the tyranny of everyday issues. They are mired and controlled by any movement that calls for their immediate and urgent attention. They found delight in solving any type of problem but did not develop, exercise, and maximize the opportunities around them, including the opportunities created by the so-called problems such as complaints, misinformation, bad publicity, ill-trained staff, overzealous volunteers, etc. The list can go on and on.
Are you bent down and worried on how to solve the next problem of your organization or are you satisfying the organization's search for opportunities? Are you defending yesterday's decisions in the altar of tomorrow's prospects? Are you spending more time fighting out fires or are you going out there and getting some long-term results?
My family went to an antique festival the other week and met some interesting people. One of that was the balloon lady who was hired to provide balloon entertainment to children.
I had a conversation with her briefly because she was prolific in what she was doing. Apparently with one masters, it didn't work for me so she is taking another masters which this particular job is paying for.
Two masters and you can't get a decent job in your line of profession is tragic. It speaks about how education is not in-line with the needs of the economy and how young people are victimized by this thinking that when you get a higher education, you automatically are good for life!
I asked her with all the knowledge that she had (knowledge is power right?) she can build a business and say no to a 9-5 routine and get herself established. She said, "but I love living in a student dorm."
I understand the love for learning if this is your thing but clearly, this is the case of failure-to-launch, staying for the comfort of the educational system and fearing to venture out in the unknown and flexing your muscles or bruising your body to a certain extent to get to what you want. I have met some people who stayed in universities for the longest time they want because out-there is too disorganized and chaotic.
In life and business, to stay where you are is never an option. You need to step boldly into the what constitutes the next feasible and achievable progress for your personal and professional development. Failure to try to win is an abominable state of affairs.
Knowledge alone is not power. The creative and innovative use of knowledge is power. This is not textbook knowledge but application of knowledge for human progress is powerful.
This is no wonder, that she can't get past how the university hockey players she is tutoring were amazed that there were textbooks for the tutorial. Well, these varsities are living their dream, though.
The hot topic nowadays is being adaptive-adaptive thinking, adaptive leadership, adaptive processes, adaptive-whatsoever.
Heeding the call for being adaptive runs the risk of being on the passive, reactive, reactionary, and totally clueless side of the equation. Your buttons are always on 'fire' adapting to changes in circumstances, events, and external forces beyond your control or imagination.
With a leak on the roof, you can be adaptive by getting a bucket to catch the leak. But with proper roof inspection and monitoring, you know that you can even be ahead of the game and prevent it from occurring.
Strategic thinking trumps the safety net of adaptation. It clarifies the problems/challenges that needed to be addressed, increases the intelligence about solutions and opportunities, and looks out for effective mechanisms/vehicles to reach the intended objectives.
Don't confuse strategy with planning as plans do not survive at the end of the planning day. It is the strategic work that should help you and your organizations design your next best move given the environmental changes and forces detrimental to your success.
Adaptation cannot mine opportunities, it relies on present capacities and analysis and current problem-solving, only with the best strategy can bring out the innovation in organizations and individuals.
Start innovating and stop adapting.
We know that analysis paralysis sucks.
Thinking about it drives you to inaction.
There are million ways why you should not do it.
But there is only 1 reason why it hurts when you don't.
This one important reason should give you the impetus to do it.
Starting gives you the confidence to proceed without always asking yourself if this is right thing to do.
When you started, you have at least give it a chance to flourish rather to let a million excuses drive your thinking.
Start and learn and stop and continue on.
There is no need to rush.
It is your timing that is the most important timing of all.
The road to value is paved with good intentions but a lot fall short of the actual desired outcomes.
For the performance-driven, short-term minded-organizations where quarterly performance is greatly prized and rewarded, the tendency is to have a tunnel vision, sort of blinders that tend to decrease the ability of management to think strategically, out of the comfort zone.
The value proposition is central to all high-performing organizations where resources are scare, the competition is tight, and the regulations/standards are getting higher and higher, both from internal as well as external sources.
Creating and maintaining the outstanding value provided to customers, consumers, target groups, clients, or stakeholder is a lofty but also an imperative to have. This what separate healthy and successful organizations from the pretenders and apathetic ones.
Executives and managers should ask themselves, what ever I am doing, will this add, expand, and increase value for the organization or not?
If you can trace your work to the overall organizational goals and objectives, the organization has equipped such alignment to happen. This alignment does not come by accident or any of the good coincidences. It is intentionally designed to focus all the resources to its desired outcomes.
Value leads to more excellence, efficiency, and effectiveness. Without clear, compelling, and solid value for the organization, for society, and for its target audience, the organization has lost 'its touch with reality' might be just cruising along, waiting for obsolescence.
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.