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Why CEOs Do not Know Most of the Problems of their Organizations and what to Do about it?

  CEOs should know… They should be fully aware of the problems that their organizations are facing at any particular point in time. After all, this is what they are being paid for! And they should not only be aware of all those problems. They should also be able to figure out which of them are causes, which are symptoms and which are only manifestations. They should be able to sort and to prioritize them. And they should be able to figure out solutions for them. They should ultimately need to be able to mobilize the resources they have at their disposal and to guide their organization towards their resolution. Right? Wrong!   Despite the fact that CEOs are expected to know all the problems that their organizations are facing, they actually do not. Quite interestingly, they are only aware of a tiny fraction of them! And there are good reasons for this!   CEOs are standing at the highest hierarchical level. No doubt, they enjoy a really good view from there. But that comes at a c

Managing the Strategy Process for Transforming Organizations

  One of the most important processes that the management of an organization is responsible for performing is that of strategy. This process is of great importance, as it is the only structured way to transform organizations. Quite often, however, organizations fail to run it properly and as a result transform themselves effectively.   It is hard to imagine how a strategy that has been devised by experienced managers or consultants might not be of the highest quality. After all, millions of pages have been written o ν strategy and this particular subject is quite intensively taught in all business schools around the world. However, even the most qualitative strategies fail. And why this is happening deserves some attention.   The proper design and the relevant formulation of the strategic narrative are extremely important. Strategic planning should start from the future to the present and take into account both the opportunities and the threats in the environment as well as th

Organizational Transformation or Organizational Redefinition?

There is a change and it is accelerating! And organizations cannot do otherwise but adapt to or even better lead it. For, if they do not do it themselves, their competitors will. And then things will definitely become tougher. At least that's how almost all business management textbooks teach. But that no longer seems to be enough…   The speed with which change occurs as well as its magnitude, has made the need to develop the ability of organizations to manage and at the same time to integrate it into their own DNA, more necessary than ever. Quite simply, organizations need to constantly transform and adapt if they want to survive and thrive. But if the speed and magnitude of change has made the constant transformation of organizations more than necessary, the change that a crisis like that of a pandemic can bring about requires much more than that. And this is because, quite simply, change, in addition to being fast and big, has now become traumatic.   Organizations are as

Problems and Opportunities

Clearly there are people that see an opportunity in every problem, as there are also people that see a problem in every opportunity! And that happens at exactly the same time… The very same event is simultaneously seen as an opportunity and as a problem by different people! And that becomes even more obvious during times of crises. There are numerous examples of organizations that have failed dramatically as there are also examples of other organizations that have flourished in such times, even in the same market, even in the same industry! If this is the case then how that may happen and what to do about it are questions that deserve some thought.   There is change and change brings about problems. Those problems stem out of the fact that old ways sooner or later simply become irrelevant. They simply do not work anymore and new ones need to be devised. And that can be done only by acknowledging that problems need to be managed. For when there is change, standing still is not an op

Fear and Faith

Humans are the only beings that live in the past, in the present and in the future simultaneously. They live in the past with memories. Memories to a large extend define not only the way they think but also the way they feel and ultimately the way they behave and act. This can go quite far. People sometimes live in a bubble that is defined by the paradigms of the past, a bubble that cannot be easily escaped. And this only happens because the past firmly answers the “how” questions of life. Simply, something that has happened has happened. No doubt about that. Facts are facts. And facts are objective. However, the mistake that people usually make is that the meaning attached to them, is just not. It is purely subjective!   People also live in the future. They live in the future with dreams. Dreams also define the way people think, feel, behave and act. But there is a clear distinction between memories and dreams. Dreams answer only the “why” questions.   Dreams can be realized,

Crises and Value Calls

There have to be rules, for no game is worth playing without them. And that applies always and everywhere. After all, even the universe obeys certain rules. Rules are important for individuals, for families, for organizations and for societies as a whole and this is due to the fact that rules define how and at the same time how not to act, in order to fulfill their purpose. In other words, rules set limits to what can be considered acceptable and what cannot. Simply said, not all means can be justified by ends. There have to be ways that are appropriate and ways that are not. In this respect, even war must have rules and it does!   Rules do not answer any “why” or even any “what” questions. They only answer the “how” ones. Rules are therefore important for defining the form of human activity and not it's function. They are no substitute to purpose. They are not a substitute to action. They are much more humble. They have to be there in order to make human activity interesting a

Managing the Expected and Planning for the Worst

One thing is for sure. Crises will happen! The second thing that is for sure however is that they will not last forever. They will not stay. They will eventually go. And what they will leave behind will be losers but there will also be winners. There will definitely not be losers only. There will be winners too! And if this is the case, then what distinguishes a winner from a loser is a question that is worth some thought!   Crises mean problems. A lot of them! Problems and opportunities however are the two opposite sides of the same coin. The capability to solve problems therefore is quite critical in times of crises as in every other case and even more. However, during crises there is one parameter that makes problem-solving problematic to say the least. There is just no time! Everything seems to be pressing. Everything seems to be urgent and important at the same time. And to make things even worse, managers are human beings. And human beings tend to think in terms of worst case