All organizations need a discipline that makes them face up to reality.
All organizations need to know that virtually no program or activity will perform effectively for a long time without modification and redesign. Eventually every activity becomes obsolete. Among organizations that ignore this fact, the worst offender if government. Indeed, the inability to stop doing anything is the central disease of government and a major reason why government today is sick. Hospitals and universities are only a little better than government in getting rid of yesterday.
Businessmen are just as sentimental about yesterday as bureaucrats. They are just as likely to respond to the failure of a product or program by doubling the efforts invested in it. But they are, fortunately, unable to indulge freely in their predilections. They stand under an objective discipline, the discipline of the market. They have an objective outside measurement, profitability. And so they are forced to slough off the unsuccessful and unproductive sooner or later. In other organizations – government, hospitals, the military, and so on – economics is only a restraint.
All organizations must be capable of change. We need concepts and measurements that give to other kinds of organizations what the market test and profitability yardstick give to business. Those tests and yardsticks will be quite different.
ACTION POINT: Make sure your nonprofit organization has rigorous tests and yardsticks to measure performance.
There is nothing as difficult and as expensive, but also nothing as futile, as trying to keep a corpse from stinking.
Effective executives know that they have to get many things done effectively. Therefore, they concentrate. And the first rule for the concentration of executive effort is to slough off the past that has ceased to be productive. The first-class resources, especially those scarce resources of human strength, are immediately pulled out and put to work on the opportunities of tomorrow. If leaders are unable to slough off yesterday, to abandon yesterday, they simply will not be able to create tomorrow.
Without systematic and purposeful abandonment, an organization will be overtaken by events. It will squander its best resources on things it should never have been doing or should no longer do. As a result, it will lack the resources, especially capable people, needed to exploit the opportunities that arise. Far too few businesses are willing to slough of yesterday, and as a result, far too few have resources available for tomorrow.
ACTION POINT: Stop squandering resources on obsolete businesses and free up your capable people to take advantage of new opportunities.
“Electricity is really just organized lightning”
“I am somewhat exhausted; I wonder how a battery feels when it pours electricity into a non-conductor?”
Arthur Conan Doyle
“Invention is the most important product of man’s creative brain. The ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world, the harnessing of human nature to human needs.”
“Brunettes are full of electricity.”
Villiers de L’Isle-Adam
“Enthusiasm is the electricity of life. How do you get it? You act enthusiastic until you make it a habit.”
“When you have half of Caironese in slums, when you don’t have clean water, when you don’t have a sewer system, when you don’t have electricity, and on top of that you live under one of the most repressive regimes right now… Well, put all that together, and it’s a ticking bomb. It’s not of a question of threat; it is question of looking around at the present environment and making a rational prognosis.”
“Electricity for example was considered a very Satanic thing when it was first discovered and utilized.”
“The night crackled … Everything had turned to static electricity in the heat. I combed my hair to watch the sparks fly from the ends.”
“There is a force more powerful than steam and electricity: the will.”
“Is it a fact – or have I dreamt it – that, by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time?”
“I had enough electricity in my booty to jump-start the whole of New York City.”
“Soon now, the faint tinkling of a broken filament will become another sound of another century.”
Jane Brox, Brilliant
“There are things done today in electrical science which would have been deemed unholy by the very man who discovered electricity, who would themselves not so long before been burned as wizards.”
“No electricity, fridge, TV or game console. I guess changing from human was enough fun and games for werewolves.”
“Anyone who tells you that electricity is harmless is incompetent in the field of biologically harmful radiation exposures.”
“Utility electricity is a known hazardous biological toxin and the toxicity of it is increasing as it progresses into harmonic electronic power generation (Wind & Solar) and wireless radio frequency (RF) radiation smart/AMR/AMI meters.”
“Nature is the guardian of Africa. While the sun lights the African sky in day time, the moon begs the world to help her lighting Africa in the night”
“Loss of cell phone reception inside of a building generally indicates that the following two issues may be present: 1. High electromagnetic interference (EMI) environment from dirty electricity that is being generated by electronic products. 2. Shielding and Faraday cage effects from metalwork in the building.”