One reader did manage to recall the TV series that ran from 1956 to 1964. (You know it’s from those times when you read in the IMDB summary;
Usually, each contestant asked for a merchandise prize, such as a washer and dryer.
But that wasn’t the question.
Turns out that one member of our community had a lot to say on the subject (Thankyou Leah). You can see her comments here and to save you the click-through - were I to reduce our conversation down to the essence, it would be ‘reorganization’ and ‘grading’.
This was a hot topic that ran through the comments and many of the emails received. To summarize;
Maintain The Annual ‘Reorganization’. The word ‘annual’ is the key. A complete moratorium on new leaders coming into a company and ‘changing for change’s sake’.
“Great leaders know they need a period in a new company to evaluate and watch the existing org prior to blowing it up with changes.”
John’s corollary - on that basis, we don’t have that many great leaders!
Stuart - also in the comments section weighed in with personal experience. By his count, he has been part of three and managed two ‘full on’ corporate reorganizations. Out of those, he counts two successes and one failure. 1 (Footnote below, comment here). Yes, the two successes were under his management - but that wasn’t the missing ingredient in the third. What was missed in the failure is to involve the people, up the chain, down the chain, across the chain, around the chain - every single person. Who would have thought that a People First policy would have worked!
He recommended the book; Structural Cybernetics, by N. Dean Meyer
Scrap what some of us call ‘Forced Ranking’. If you have 10 duds - call it out. If you have 10 rock stars - call it out.
I know through experience exactly what Leah is talking about. At best it is insidious. At worst it can destroy a company.
To conclude, one email reflecting their present personal experience;
On the positive, there are so many changes at my present job that I couldn't tell you what to change, unless it was staff. I'm learning to appreciate working with people who are both creative and can be clear.
Update To Last Week’s Newsletter
Last week the topic was ‘Why Do You Work’. There were a few links that I shared that appeared in glorious synchronicity as I was writing the newsletter. What I didn’t share was a podcast that I knew I had - it just wasn’t published, until today.
If you are a photographer, you will likely know ‘TWIP’ - ‘This Week In Photo’. But trust me, even if you aren’t a photographer, it is a great podcast. The owner, host, editor, and producer of TWIP - Frederick Van Johnson - came on to my show to talk about his history, how he came to be running the show at all, and whither next. There is a section in the middle that is so pertinent to the conversation of …
“If didn’t have to work - what would I do”
… well worth a listen. Hope you enjoy it, you can listen here.
Thank you for your attention.
If I have not quoted the source, my assumption is that when people don’t respond in the comments they are wanting to keep their heads below the parapet. And I respect that. You can see the live public comments to this question here.
Please do keep the comments, emails, calls, and carrier pigeons coming. This is only the start of the conversation. We will come back to it.