Expecting employees to do what you know how to do without sharing your knowledge and experience is functional team and organizational suicide albeit at a glacial pace. Managers or more appropriately personnel put into supervisory positions without leadership skills often lack the ability to transfer information enabling others to do what’s expected of them. This is exacerbated by organizations that do not have their knowledge captured and communicated in a way to facilitate bringing people up to speed. To add insult to self-inflicted injury, when an organization does not have the business systems in place to capture organizational knowledge and processes, hero worship ensues and historical practices are leaned upon to just keep product moving. Schedule, schedule, schedule is the mantra in these situations.
It’s amazing to me that companies can survive in these types of conditions. When they do, it’s the innovative products and entrepreneurial ideas that got them to where they are. To move past the hero worshiping phase of a start up, companies need to focus on the first principles of facilitating learning. Like a child who is full of themselves without any experience, they need to experience being put in their place so they can open their minds to learning from others. Some never do and suffer dissolution, closure, and death. For those that can learn, the foundation of growth is a willingness to listen not to respond to issues and keep moving product but to understand why the many issues came to be and more importantly defining a future state to close the gap between where one is and where one wants to be.
Without understanding the gap between where we are and where we want to be, we are stuck repeating the same issues over and over and over again. Luck becomes the thing that keeps us progressing in lieu of an open mind and willingness to change. Luck runs out especially when we are not open to seeing the opportunities in front, around, and more importantly within us. Organizational and personal situational awareness is the first principle upon which all others reside. Know thy place not only in the world, but in relation between the current state and the future we want to create. Without this awareness we are simply flotsam on an ocean of yearly, monthly, daily, and moment by moment change. Floating here and there with the current, we lack direction and motive power to do anything. But there is hope.
All we need to do is to tune our brains to. be aware of what’s bobbing and floating around us. Watching the flotsam enables us to se what rubble can come together. Piece by rejected piece we can start brining things together and fashioning ourselves a life boat. Before long we can find use for various pieces of flotsam to begin guiding our raft. Some pieces will even enable us to provide motive power to our life boat. Continuing down this path, we may even come across other rafts and gang together and form alliances provided we maintain awareness of the issues and the gap between where we are and where we want to be. If we can only mind the gap, we can find more opportunity and utilize what we do have to make more out of ourselves.
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