Complexity Made Simple – The New Science For Managers

Are you trying to manage with assumptions that are 100 years out of date? In recent weeks I have been exploring with increasing excitement the new science of Complexity and its applications to managing organizations. This is really the cutting edge of innovation, and what I’m about to share with you only a small but growing number of people in the world are even aware of. But I and others believe this new approach to organizations and leadership will become the dominant force of the 21st Century, making management practices of the past 40 years seem archaic.

ComplexityBookCover“Modern management” is based on a mechanical view of the universe, specifically Frederick Taylor’s 1911 treatise, “The Principles of Scientific Management.” His “scientific” time and motion studies sought the “one best method” to do each job. Ever since then, organizations have been driven by the search for greater efficiency, as if people were machines who could work faster and smarter. Anyone who has been “driven” by a demanding boss knows how awful this can be.

The science of complexity is the offspring of a field of study known as chaos theory. James Gleick’s “Chaos: Making A New Science” became a national bestseller after its publication in 1987. The New York Times reporter popularized the Butterfly Effect, whereby a butterfly flapping its wings in India causes a series of air movements that eventually result in a thunderstorm over Chicago. In the late Read More

How Managers Can Become Leaders

how to motivate people at workIn recent weeks I have seen several instances, one right after the other, where someone who is a very competent and conscientious manager was getting knocked around by his or her Board. These managers were all in a reactive mode, feeling victimized by their Boards. They did not seem to realize that, even though they may not be cut out for it, they could still act like leaders and take charge of their situations.

A few people are fortunate enough to have been born leaders, genetically programmed for it. The rest of us have the choice of remaining trapped by our manager genes or rising above them by an act of will and becoming leaders.Read More

How To Manage Your Life And Work Effectively

7HabitsBookCoverMore often than not, when I talk with people about broad issues of managing their life and work, I find they have heard of but never read one of the longest-listed top managing-leading books of modern times, Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I’m going to give you a concise summary today, encourage you to read the book (many people I know have read it several times– it’s that good), and if you’ve read it before, here’s a reminder.

Why is this book such a long-time best-seller?

  • It deals with universal activities which can become habits for managing one’s own life and work that any person can benefit from.
  • It is backed with a whole array of self-management tools, including planning notebooks and daybooks used by thousands.
  • It provides a common ground for a management team to share core beliefs and practices that will make them better manager-leaders — and their organization better as well.
  • It is rooted and grounded in human nature, the realities of life, and other timeless truths.

Here now are the 7 Habits summarized.Read More

How To Persuade People To Do What You Want

persuasion-10730941_sHow to persuade people to do what you want? How to convince someone to do something?

I’m excited to share with you some really valuable techniques about persuasion. They were discovered and scientifically tested by a team of psychologists working under Robert Cialdini, Ph.D. He is a professor at Arizona State University in Tempe and author of the highly acclaimed book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. If you want to influence and persuade people to do what you want, or if you want to be able to resist the persuasion attempts of others, read this book (here’s a link to get it now). If you’re in a hurry, here are the highlights and how they apply to relations with customers and others — plus a few influential tips of my own:

1. Reciprocation — Cialdini and his associates found for example that the Krishna sect, which used to press people for donations in Read More

How To Motivate People At Work

how to motivate people at workIn a recent survey of what our readers consider top challenges, one that surfaced repeatedly was, “How do I motivate my people when our income is down?” or “our budget has been cut” or just “How to motivate people” in general?

As I have said in earlier posts, I believe fundamentally that all human beings and organizations are order-energy systems. So I see the challenge of motivating people as finding ways to turn on each person’s own unique energy system and channeling (ordering) that energy in ways which we the manager-leaders want.Read More

How To Be Successful in Business Step By Step

steps to successIn this special post, I want to reveal to you “the final chapter”– the step-by-step method I’ve developed over more than 20 years (and a ton of books) to help any organization get quickly on the path to greater success and Strategic Alignment. It is not quick and easy, so here is a concise summary, with details further below:

1. Conduct an in-depth analysis of your present situation, positives and negatives, internal and external. Use the 5 success factors as a guide.

Read More

How To Maximize Your Success with Strategic Alignment 

The time has come to combine all Top 5 Success Factors into an integrated system to maximize your success, a system we call Strategic Alignment™. StrategicAlignmentStrategic Alignment is best illustrated with this diagram:

Here you see the 5 Key Success Factors arranged in what looks like the crosshairs of a rifle or a radar screen. The point is to demonstrate that all factors are aligned, with Operations (what we do all day) in the center. But actually it does not matter how you position the 5 factors, since all are interrelated and important. Here’s how this concept can help you:

1. Your organization functions as a system, a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts, whether you want it to or not. All the parts are connected and interdependent. Read More

Finances and Facilities – Success Factor 5

The Top 5 Success Factors of All Time
Part 5: Finances and Facilities

finance-facilties-400852_sOur topic today: The fifth success factor, Finances and Facilities. The two are closely intertwined, since owned facilities are both financial investments and financial assets, and rented facilities are a major expense. We don’t claim to be financial advisors, but we’ve worked through several recessions and seen a lot of companies have similar problems. So here are a few timely financial success tips from one who’s been on the firing line.

1. Cash flow is king. It doesn’t matter much how Read More