May 2011

The World of Expectations, Part 3

(This is the 3rd part of a 3-part series, if you haven’t yet, I recommend you read the first 2 parts to set the context for yourself)

So far in this conversation together, we’ve seen the startling degree to which how we see the world, our behavior, actions and results are all shaped, filtered- really given by our expectations. A simple, if oversimplified, cut at the idea would be: who we are is a function of our expectations.

Now that we’ve explored this in-depth from the perspective of our own expectations, let’s shift the view one more time and take a look at the critical importance of the expectations of others in our performance and quality of life. From there, we’ll create direct access to actionable ways to elevate our performance.

In business and in life, action calls for coordination. Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur, a manager of 20 or the CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation, your very ability to produce- your opportunity to perform- is dependent on the performance of other people, organizations and entities. Just to be clear, this is the case even when you “work alone”. We make promises, take certain actions, and avoid certain actions based on the expectation that the people and entities with which we participate will perform a certain way.

For example:

Read More »The World of Expectations, Part 3

Building an Organization That Works, Part 1

A historical model of organizational structure that has its roots in monarchies and the military is a simple hierarchy. In this system, all authority rests with the “boss” or leader of the organization. Authority to hire, fire, direct, create, and manage may be delegated to various extents and still, it is fully held at the top of the organizational structure. This has historically worked fairly well in environments where the way to accomplish what there is to accomplish is already known and clearly visible. It can allow for effective management of what the boss and/or bosses know how to do. There are indeed places where this may be the most effective structure for an organization. It is however taken for granted in many organizations that this is the correct way to do things, which in some environments and situations may leave a great deal to be desired.

There are numerous challenges to this hierarchical structure:

Read More »Building an Organization That Works, Part 1