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Leadership & Business Wisdom

THE RIGHT ORGANIZATION

The only things that evolve by themselves in an organization are disorder, friction, mal performance.

The pioneers of management a century ago were right: organizational structure is needed. The modern enterprise needs organization. But the pioneers were wrong in their assumption that there is – or should be – one right organization. Instead of searching for the right organization, management needs to learn to look for, to develop, to test, the organization that fits the task.

There are some “principles” of organization. One is that organization has to be transparent. People have to know and have to understand the organization structure they are supposed to work in. Someone in the organization must have the authority to make the final decision in a given area. It also is a sound principle that authority be commensurate with responsibility. It is a sound principal that any one person in an organization should have only one “master.” These principles are not too different from the ones that inform an architect’s work. They do not tell him what kind of building to build. They tell him what the restraints are. And this is pretty much what the various principles of organization structure do.

ACTION POINT: Reflect on whether your organization is transparent, if decision-making authority is clear, whether authority is commensurate with responsibility, and whether each person has only one master.

LIMITS OF QUANTIFICATION

Quantification for most of the phenomena in a social ecology is misleading or at best useless.

The most important reason why I am not a quantifier is that in social affairs, events that matter cannot be quantified. For example, Henry Ford’s ignorance in 1900 or 1903 of the prevailing economic wisdom that the way to maximize profit was to be a monopolist – that is, to keep production low and prices high – led him to assume that the way to make money was to keep prices low and production high. This, the invention of “mass production,” totally changed industrial economics. It would have been impossible; however, to quantify the impact even as late as 1918 or 1920, years after Ford’s success had made him the richest industrialist in the Unites States, and probably in the world. He had revolutionized industrial production, the automobile industry, and the economy in general, and had, above all, completely changed our perception of industry.

The unique event that changes the universe is an event “at the margin.” By the time it becomes statistically significant, it is no longer “further”; it is , indeed, no longer even ” present.” It is already “past.”

ACTION POINT: Identify a unique event with an impact that is unquantifiable now, bus is likely to transform your organization in the next decade. Be out in front and take advantage of the opportunities it will afford.

“If I love you, what business is it of yours?”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”

Sun Tzu

“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.”

Steve Jobs

“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.”

Dave Barry

“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity”

Sun Tzu

“Advertising is legalized lying.”

H.G. Wells

 

“Rejection is an opportunity for your selection.”

Bernard Branson

“Done is better than perfect.”

Sheryl Sandberg

“The best way to predict your future is to create it”

Peter F. Drucker

“My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.”

Oscar Wilde

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

Warren Buffett

“Persistence. Perfection. Patience. Power. Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane.”

Criss Jami, Killosophy

“When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

“There’s no luck in business. There’s only drive, determination, and more drive.”

Sophie Kinsella

“Don’t blow off another’s candle for it won’t make yours shine brighter.”

Jaachynma N.E. Agu

“who wishes to fight must first count the cost”

Sun Tzu

“I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.”

Warren Buffett

“Simple, genuine goodness is the best capital to found the business of this life upon. It lasts when fame and money fail, and is the only riches we can take out of this world with us.”

Louisa May Alcott

“Business is a game, played for fantastic stakes, and you’re in competition with experts. If you want to win, you have to learn to be a master of the game.”

Sidney Sheldon

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