The most effective, and sustainable, way to facilitate organizational change is to focus on improving business processes. Especially, key processes like R&D portfolio selection, product design and development, manufacturing, marketing and sales, and fulfilment strategy. If we get these processes right then the right culture and the right people will follow. Process is driven directly by business and customer needs. Culture and behaviour follow process.

Baker Street Publishing

The consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton has published a wonderful collection of articles on culture titled, Don’t Blame Your Culture: Instead, make the most of it for raising your company’s performance.  Jon Katzenbach is one of the leading authors.  He is a respected 50 year veteran of the organizational change wars.  See the video below.  I recommend the collection to decision coaches.   The collection is offered for mobile apps, e.g., iPhone, iPad, Android devices, etc.

I’ve learned from experience that there are four levers that a CEO can work with to change an enterprise: the people, the organization chart, process, and culture.    The organization chart is easy to change so we see lots of CEO’s try that.  It is also relatively easy for a CEO to change people.  Some CEO’s are even foolhardy enough to make a direct attack on culture.   Most of these change…

View original post 432 more words

Corporate Culture:: it is better to be wrong and to change


Although the main focus of this article is the American Auto Industry, the examples of failing Corporate culture across sectors are plentiful. Whether resistance to change is borne out of inertia, ignorance, arrogance or any one of many other reasons, IF the environment in which a Corporation exists, has changed and it fails to adapt, all the “tried and tested” means of manipulating financial data to present a “healthy” outward appearance can only mask the truth for so long!

Creative accounting, “innovative marketing” (of re-packaged products and services) or improved gross margins (as a result of technology, reduced costs) can deliver better results but are unsustainable and may do little more delay the inevitable.

Organisations that persist with the hierarchical management structures intended to manage people and, predominantly, linear processes in the Industrial era are inviting disaster.

Why did Blockbuster idly watch Netflix destroy its business? Why did Kodak let digital cameras drive a once-mighty industrial giant into penny-stock territory?

Ask Jeff Stibel, and he’ll tell you: because that’s what troubled companies do. Stibel, once an aspiring cognitive scientist in Brown’s graduate program, is now a serial entrepreneur who has led turnarounds at Web.com and Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. “Once the human mind has set out to do something, or has gotten in the habit of doing something,” he told me, changing it is “very hard.” When you add group dynamics, it’s even harder. You don’t need to be a brain scientist, of course, to know that people resist change … and yet, even knowing that, you’d be surprised at how many firms keep driving toward inevitable disaster at top speed.

What is holding back your business…it may be YOU?


I have had the following graphic for so long that I can’t be absolutely sure that I can attribute it to McKinsey but they are the one’s getting the credit.

The truth is that everyone that I have shown this to can recognise the inherent wisdom…but then go off and, promptly ignore the “inconvenient” bits then wonder why “Growth & Change” remain illusive whilst their stakeholders question the ability of management to achieve stated goals and smart competitors seize the advantage!!!

Firms determine what results they want/need, commit the resource to existing or new people, so when it comes to a clash of culture (old v new), the descent into chaos and confusion is assured.

That is one reason why “change management” tends to be a long, slow, painful and costly exercise for many.

Any idiot can “manage” then find multiple excuses for failure (it’s normally someone else’s fault and it will be they that pay the price) but, if you are going to build something worthwhile and sustainable, it is a bottom-up or inside-to-out (i2o) process.

A business is a complex “system” with many component parts each of which has a role to play in enabling achievement of the purpose for which it was created…

Courtesy of (amongst other things) the human element, a business system will continue to “work” even when it is badly broken. However, for it to realise or exceed its potential requires the component parts to work interdependently. Unless the culture and people (in that order) are able and willing to play their part, underachievement – or worse – is assured.

Follow the link if you want more Complexity facts.

Ontonix understand complex systems and are the ONLY company able to reveal the structure hidden in the data it generates.

Slide1Slide2

Public Sector: “complexity paralysis” – creator and casualties


No matter how you express it, in a dynamic (non-linear) system, that is, by definition complex, “what goes around comes around” – the “feedback loop” – complexity begets complexity until the system reaches breaking point – “critical complexity”.

But the closer the system operates to this point the more fragile and unstable it becomes.

Things can, do, get ugly, painful, dangerous and costly on a variety of levels and the impact is felt across domains.

Public Sector: “complexity paralysis” – creator and casualties Image by michael.heiss via Flickr A recent blog about procrastination led me to get this off my mind. It has been rattling around in there for some time… Ever had so much going on in your head that you don’t know what to do first? Too many tasks, too little time: which “master” to satisfy? Every issue or task has its own factors to consider: short term effect; long term impact. Assessing cause and effect or imagining problems, leading you to “f … Read More

via Get “fit for randomness” [with Ontonix UK]

Public Sector: “complexity paralysis” – creator and casualties


Management of Complexity

Image by michael.heiss via Flickr

A recent blog about procrastination led me to get this off my mind. It has been rattling around in there for some time…

Ever had so much going on in your head that you don’t know what to do first?

Too many tasks, too little time: which “master” to satisfy?

Every issue or task has its own factors to consider: short term effect; long term impact.

Assessing cause and effect or imagining problems, leading you to “flit” – in rising desperation – from one task to another.

Imagining failure or ridicule.

Getting frustrated by your own inability to make progress and wrestling with the temptation to walk or run away.

Turning to a familiar “crutch”, such as alcohol, irrespective of health concerns.

Contemplating delegation to a potential scapegoat. “Parking” it (procrastinating) or dumping it all together.

Seeking out some trivial distraction to fool yourself that you are too busy…even just to satisfy yourself that you are doing something when, in reality, you are DOING NOTHING!

Come on be honest. You have experienced the scenario at some point in your personal or business life. But imagine (if you have to) your state of mind, if this is what you have to contend with in your working life day, after day, after day, after…

Our minds are dynamic complex systems and can – DO – reach “overload”. Falling performance, absenteeism, stress, breakdown, etc. Different for each individual but bad news all round; work; home; family; community.

Some workplaces are more prone to this scenario than others and the excessive complexity of organisations, such as those within the Public Sector in UK, that have responsibility for dealing with the effects of these stresses in our communities, are as sick – individually and collectively – as those they are trying to help! Read more of this post