In review: Organization sabotage and the butterfly effect

July 2010 in review. A roundup of blogs from the previous month:

Organization sabotage and the butterfly effect

As a manager, running a team takes more than lining people up and pointing to the finish line.  People are all not only motivated by salary.  A leader or a manager may feel sabotaged when their team does not deliver.

How do you turn sabotage into development then turn development into opportunity?  People and change are not linear, the path from an intervention to the future state looks more like the flight of a butterfly, than a rocket.

Scope or: how to manage projects for organization success, part 2

Managing a project is managing organization competitive advantage.  When scope changes, cost changes:  the cost of missing a delivery date, the cost of budget overrun, the cost of delivering less than expected.

So, what can you do:

  • Collect Requirements:  The process of defining and documenting stakeholders’ needs to meet the project objectives
  • Define Scope:  The process of developing an in-depth description of the project and product
  • Create Work Breakdown Structure:  The process of sub-dividing project deliverables and project work in to smaller, more manageable components
  • Verify Scope:  The process of formalizing acceptance of the completed project deliverables
  • Control Scope:  The process of monitoring the status of the project and product scope and managing changes to the scope baseline.

The above list seems too prescriptive.  It is.  Scope management is far more than a prescription.

The maven or the laggard – Clive Thompson’s view

What is the benefit for your company to discount the early adopting maven and court laggards.  There is a strategy to be had for targeting the late adopters.  Wired Magazine’s Clive Thompson gives a compelling case to target the laggards over the early-adopter mavens.

How do you measure innovation: tax revenue

Taxes, to some a dirty word.  Tax incentives, to some a political game played with tax payer dollars.  Is each dollar in incentives provided is a dollar lost to infrastructure or education?

Many regions around the world look at innovation as an economic growth engine.  What should a government and tax payers expect when tax havens or tax incentive packages are handed out?  Here is a pretty simple calculation.

This social media fad will ruin organization development

To many social media has a bad rap.  Some look at it as a fad, some think it is simply a new marketing channel to exploit.   Some hope it will go away so they do not have to learn about it.

To many people human resource organization development is a touchy-feely distraction to the business of business.

So, what might organization development practitioners learn from a fad.  Plenty.

Venture Capital and the descent into irrelevance

Venture capital is a traditional source of dollars to feed and fuel innovation.  Investors looking for large returns invest in venture capital portfolios.  High risk, high return – that is the trade-off.

From 1981-2009 venture capital has average 2% quarterly returns. With a glut of investor money sitting around without a home, only dumb money would take 2% quarterly returns from a disproportionate level of venture capital funded risk.  In this climate venture capital leaves a lot to offer.

Media’s two tribes – charging for content

From Netflix to the New York Times, charging for digital content is battle to define the digital frontier.

Media’s two tribes – Rupert Murdoch’s Wall

Are you willing to pay for your online news?  Rupert Murdoch is betting you want to pay for his Times.  This post references an opinion piece from The Atlantic’s James Fallows to help you get an idea of Rupert’s gamble.

Organization development is business growth

An organization only grows when the talent within grows.  An organization only develops when the talent within develops their knowledge, ability, and skills.

Organization stagnation comes from lack of motivation, disengagement, poor performance, and high turnover.  These, to name a few, are symptoms of an organization at risk.

A good organization development practitioner will address the disease and design an intervention to mitigate the disease.  Like any patient undergoing treatment or rehabilitation, performance has to be measured to chart improvement.

Can you engineer regional innovation clusters?

Can tax incentives and infrastructure improvements engineer innovation?  Are these moves enough to attract the very innovative folks needed to settle down and begin … innovating?  What works?

This post reviews a 4 decade old regional investment strategy.  What worked?

Marketing interruption still trumps engagement, really?

An article from highly-respected, Advertising Age, writer, Mr. Jonathon Salem Baskin, presents his view that social media fails to provide consumers what brands provide consumers.

He and I disagree.  Mr. Salem Baskin tells me how much he disagrees when he stops by to leave comments on my follow-up post:  A key to why so many companies blow it in social media?

Organizations don’t change, people change

Organizations rely on people.  If people do not grow, then an organization will not grow.  Even if you hire new talent with the desired skills, the organization culture will deflate these new skills and abilities and regress outlier talent to the organization’s mean.

Change is constant and change comes from all angles and all environments:  internal and external, incumbents and innovators.  If organizations are to change the only hope is for people to change.

Change management is crucial to how the organization will embrace, adopt, and institutionalize the change:

  • create reasons that compel the need for change,
  • what the change will deliver,
  • what an employee is expected to do as a result of the change,
  • how someone can contribute to the changed organizations success, and
  • how each person’s job is affected in the change

The foundation of organization change is change management.  The foundation of change management is to manage people change.

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