Monday, November 26, 2007

Article of Interest: Do You Need To Redesign Your Organization for 2008?

Why is this different from the other articles you have read on organizational design?

First, it is clearly focused on communicating a process for creating any new or different organization. The emphasis is on how you get there, not what it looks like when the process is done.

Second, this process is flexible and can be used in large or small organizations.

Third, the authors (Diane Beakey, Phd, Kathleen Wells Webster, MBA and Jackie Rubin, PhD) have integrated the thinking of both those who emphasize process improvement (working from the bottom up) and those who operate from a more strategic perspective (working from the top down).

Start at the beginning. Take the "Pop Quiz" and find out if you need to redesign your organization.

Hint: Focus on "excellence."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sound Advice: Books and Web Sites To Build Your Business

Recently, the Wall Street Journal featured books and Web sites to help business owners prepare for an eventual transfer. Here are a few:

1. Family Business Succession: The Final Test of Greatness

Respects the time of a busy entrepreneur who's got to start thinking about succession.

2. Exit Strategy Planning: Grooming Your Business for Sale or Succession

Talks about the reality of selling versus succession.

3. Family Firm Institute

A broad resource for issues of business continuity, family-management strategies and ownership transfer.

4. National Center for Employee Ownership

A valuable resource when an Employee Stock Ownership Plan is a viable alternative.

To see more on this post, go to the WSJ's Independent Street.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Article of Interest: For CEOs, Off-Duty Isn't an Option

For priests, police officers and doctors, it isn't really possible to be completely off-duty. They may enjoy uninterrupted breaks when times are calm. But if a big enough crisis arises, it doesn't matter whether they are holding a tennis racket or taking a nap, they are expected to get back in action right away.

It's time to add big-company chief executives, small business owners and entrepreneurs to the list of jobs that involve always being "on." Regardless of whether bosses favor laid-back or intense management styles during normal times, they need to take command -- fast and in person -- when trouble hits, no matter how much it may disrupt their lives away from the office.
How true, how true. See for yourself here.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Article of Interest: Making Change

It isn't easy to manage change. That's true whether it be a change in a company's business, the way an organization is structured, people's responsibilities or compensation, or anything else that disturbs the status quo.

Among other things, an effective "change manager" has to know how to set up informal networks and delegate responsibilities, empowering people throughout the organization.

But perhaps the first step in managing change is to eliminate some common assumptions about the way change works. Here are eight of them:

1. Don't assume that individuals have a natural aptitude to adapt.
2. Don't assume that individuals will function rationally.
3. Don't assume that change is automatic.
4. Don't assume that organizations are naturally dynamic.
5. Don't assume that company culture is easy to change.
6. Don't assume that every aspect of the project will work out exactly as planned.
7. Don't assume the change manager can be effective without explicit authority.
8. Don't assume that anyone can improvise being a change manager.

To read the recommendations on steps companies should take to more effectively manage change, read the entire article here.