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I Made A Mistake!

There I said it. It is not something you hear very often, but I did. Now I need to own up to it and fix it. What did I do? I forgot and/or failed to incorporate context into our discussion ( about “taking stock.” Worse yet, I almost made a second mistake by looking at parts of a process/system in isolation versus holistically. This should not have happened. I know better. One of my mantras is “CONTEXT MATTERS” (see the P.S. for how this happened and how I realized it).

So, what is the big deal? You can only “take stock” of something within a context. For example, I think I am in particularly good shape to walk 10 miles and would give myself an “A”. However, in the context of doing it uphill or of running it, my grades would be embarrassingly lower. Second, you must look at the situation in total (a system or ecosystem). Consider, what if it was snowing or 100 degrees (the environment) or if I was dehydrated or had to run in high heels (my system)? I think you get the point. Context does matter and you must consider the whole system, not just its parts.

So, what does this mean for us as we “take stock” of our #organization, #strategy management, and #operations operating systems? We must do so in context. I defined context in the past as primarily “fit for purpose” which works well in a stable, predictable environment. More recently, and especially now, I think we need to add “ready/fit for the future” alongside “fit-for-purpose”. I use the word “ready” because the future is unpredictable. Readiness and preparedness reflect the need for resiliency, flexibility, and adaptability throughout the organization and its 3 main systems.

For example, consider #Starbucks. Its purpose is broadly is to sell a beverage drinking experience (not just coffee anymore). The company (organizationally, strategically, and operationally) is designed at all levels to support that happening. Furthermore, Starbucks has shown the ability to disrupt others and adapt (think the Starbucks card and online ordering) exhibiting readiness/fitness for the future. While it certainly has been disrupted, its track record of being and staying fit makes its outlook far more positive than others who are not.

Now, think about your business organization. Consider it by its #organization, #strategy management, and #operations management systems and how they work together holistically. Was it fit-for-purpose before? Is it now? How ready/fit-for-the future is it? Why do you and your organization feel this way? In my posts and video over the coming week, I will provide some questions to help you take stock. HOWEVER, ITS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO PROVIDE AND USE THE CONTEXT BY WHICH YOU TAKE STOCK.

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P.S. So how did I make this mistake? By rushing and without thinking. I started working on my planned post to provide questions to take stock of the Organizational Operating System. I began by thinking of the elements to focus on. It was not making sense to me. Then I realized (hitting my head in shame) that the elements themselves did not matter, it was how they worked together in key processes. For example, decision making is a function of authority (leadership), information sharing, inclusiveness, resourcing, and more.

Second, as I was thinking about questions to consider, it dawned on me (hitting head again) on me these questions could not be answered in an informative and actionable way without having some context in which to judge them. Lesson learned. REMEMBER CONTEXT MATTERS. #leadership #organization #strategy #operations #future #collaboration #communication #learning

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