If finance is the head of every successful business, then teamwork is its heart. Whether sellers and buyers, leaders and followers, or capital and labor, it is when we come together that the magic of business happens. It is our partnership and collaboration that turns the staid worlds of currency and manufacture and work into something desirable, compelling and even transcendent. Continue reading
Any careful observer of big organizations could be forgiven for wondering, at least once in a while, if the sole purpose of our larger institutions is the turning of mole hills into mountains. I’m sure you’ve seen it. Some Corporate Chicken Little squawks into that business amplifier commonly known as e-mail, meetings are scheduled, resources are marshalled, campaigns are mounted, work/life balance is ritually sacrificed, and outcomes are generated which may or may not justify all the brouhaha.
One could wish this was just a big business problem, but you can see it anywhere people form into organizations and networks of a certain scale. Yeah, I’m looking at you, big media, interwebs, U.S. gubmint, most organized religion (an oxymoron given the fundamentally transcendent nature of spiritually, but I distract myself), and various other well intentioned endeavors. It would almost seem as if we gather together with the intention of making the obvious, ambiguous; the solvable, intractable; and the compelling, repugnant. Continue reading
For all the lovely chatter about people being an organization’s greatest assets, the trajectory of large organizations is determined by the quality of their alignment. Anything else requires a level of unsustainable heroics from those greatest assets. Small organizations only survive the inflection points on their way to being large organizations if they figure out how to maintain the alignment that comes more easily in small numbers.
And so process and discipline are born into our cooperative efforts. All too often, these two grow into ungainly beasts that are as likely to eat an organization as sustain it. That path is too easy to walk down and probably why the vast majority of small organizations don’t survive their first five years.