Pioneering Organizations: The Convergence of Individualism, Teamwork and Leadership
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|Bring Commitment Back to the Workplace, If You Still Care|
by Joe Wynne
Oh, to work in an entrepreneurial company! The invigorating startup mentality. Employees working their fingers to the bone and loving it. The excitement of the all-hands meeting where the CEO is there with all employees. Everyone with a clear purpose and a feeling that they are a part of a single, powerful vision.
Where does that feeling of satisfaction go? As time goes by, the enterprise matures, and it just disappears. One day we look around and work is drudgery. We are a small cog in a big wheel. We used to present our ideas for business improvements for consideration by everyone. Now its an achievement just to correct an obsolescent step in a minor procedure that the team uses periodically. We try to limit the amount of time we work in an effort to avoid the monotony. What happened? When did it happen? How can we bring the excitement back?
Larry Davis, author of Pioneering Organizations, believes he knows. After 15 years of organizational development work, he has helped many organizations recapture this pioneering spirit. Davis says that by establishing a pioneering vision and implementing actions that bring together the diverse interests of the individuals of the organization, any organization can return to an entrepreneurial mode, with all the energy and commitment that goes along with it.
Easier Than You Think?
A key concept in Pioneering Organizations is "convergence." To the author, it is best seen as the opposite of divergence, the splitting apart, the spreading into different directions. Convergence is the collaboration of individuals toward a particular goal. When individual workers are able to participate in reaching a pioneering vision, they will naturally collaborate in effective teamwork toward that goal.
The Organizational Convergence and Commitment Checklist
But Davis does not leave you with a checklist and no further guidance. He presents a six-step strategy for establishing a committed and energized workforce. For each step, the particular activities that are necessary for leading the effort in each step are described, but more importantly, he includes a leader's "credo," general rules and beliefs that a leader must follow to be successful. This credo is the part of the book that you put on the wall and refer to when planning and problem-solving. You dont need a big predefined convergence process diagram. In Davis' view, those details take care of themselves as the employees become more involved in determining how work gets done.
With examples from many comapnies, an easy-to-understand philosophy and practical suggestions for implementation, Pioneering Organizations could energize CIOs and high-level leaders to finally spend as much time managing their people as they do their code.