Monday, January 25, 2010

Personal and Organizational Fragmentation

THEME: New Year, More Challenges

FOCUS: Personal and Organizational Fragmentation

Monday morning: January 25, 2010

Dear friends,

As we continue to work through this roller coaster ride of an economy, I am reminded of the following phrase: If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail. During this period of economic turmoil, many people and their organizations feel like they have been hammered repeatedly. And the results have been personal and organizational fragmentation.

When the core parts of our lives and our companies have been fractured or significantly stressed, there are multiple reactions and decisions that surface. Often, we focus on solving immediate problems. While this helps to a point, this does not allow us to prepare for future growth opportunities. It just reduces today’s pain and anguish.

With this in mind, we as leaders need to refocus on strategic talent management and time management issues. The pain of today’s economy will pass. It may happen in less than a year for some, or it may be in three years for others. Nevertheless, the critical first step is to develop a work place where people feel supported and encouraged to do their best. We desperately need to keep, and to further develop managers and leaders who grasp the importance of people feeling supported, and apply it within their circle of influence. These managers will impact whether or not other key people are still committed and employed by the company when the recovery takes place.

Second, along with a strong culture of support, we need to deploy people to major strategic initiatives. While operational excellence is important, unification after fragmentation begins at the strategic level not just at the operational level. Here at the strategic level, we need to recognize that past success is the enemy. As many authors have pointed out, that which got us to where we are now will not always get us to where we need to go. Thus, clear strategic direction and defined goals and timelines are vital. These improvements position us for the future and strengthen our ability to manage at the day to day level of execution, too.

Finally, we must realize that time management is not just clock management. Time management can be viewed as the linear management of tasks, but when I meet people who successfully manage difficult and complex changes, I also find someone who is clear about their personal and professional priorities. These are leaders whose personal core values are in alignment with their organization’s core values, too. When priorities and values are clear, then time is not about watching the clock, but about working well with the others and prioritizing the challenges before us all.

This week remember that we need more than hammers and nails to put this world back together. We need thoughtful leaders with open hearts, attentive listening and compassionate understanding. We need leaders who recognize that even though healing at times come with pain, the pain should not define the overall healing process.

Have a good week,


Geery Howe, M.A.
Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in
Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change

Morning Star Associates
319 - 643 - 2257

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