Have You Identified Your Leverage Points For Success?
If you haven't read The Generative Organization Going From Reactive Behavior to Inspired Performance by William J. Schwarz, you might be missing out on opportunities to be more successful. This book is a must-read for CEOs and business owners.
You’ll learn the core competencies for attaining a competitive advantage that can determine the success or failure of your leadership action. You’ll learn how to study and practice principles and use tools to transition from reactive behavior to inspired performance.
Schwarz talks about the need to identify points in your operations where there are opportunities to succeed and how to act on them. He does this by telling the story of a business owner as he becomes aware of the harm that comes from reactive behaviors.
If you’re always putting out fires (reactive behavior), you won’t have time or energy to focus on higher-level leverage points that will enhance your probability for success.
Schwartz also talks about feedback loops change reactive behavior.
Once you’ve focused your attention on and apply the right amount of pressure to a specific point that causes a balanced state of growth, you’ll remove limits to growth, and you can propel your business to a higher level of success.
This is a book that you’ll probably want to read a few times. Share it with others in your organization so you can recognize reactive behaviors and use your leverage points to change the reactive paradigm and navigate your way to success.
The introduction of the book best describes this premise:
“CEO’s face great difficulties. These difficulties are complex, long term, deeply rooted and systemic. Some are known and well understood. Most are hidden, undiscovered and invisible to the untrained eye. Difficulties which are visible are seen as problems, surprises, unexpected events, crises (or even opportunities). They get our attention.
They are visible because they cause damage or produce unwanted effects. Based on what the CEO sees, decisions are made, and actions are taken. The side effects of these decisions and actions result in further problem solving and additional difficulties. This is a revolving door that produces a centripetal force and becomes self-reinforcing.
Herein lies an even greater difficulty for the leader. Most leaders, executives or managers think they have clarified what the situation is, defined and solved the problem. The belief is that an intelligent, informed decision has been made that will make things better, or at least prevent them from getting worse.
The real problem, however, is this: The actual cause of the difficulty is seldom known. Cause is not in the same time or space as the effect (or problem). Cause, by its very nature, is invisible; it cannot be seen. Cause is rooted in the violation of or adherence to specific governing principles and laws. This violation or adherence is rooted in the values and beliefs of an organization’s leadership.
Therefore, the ‘corrective actions’ taken rarely address cause. Sadly, they do not solve even the visible effects of real cause. Therefore, these (un) solved problems come back over and over, needing to be resolved time and again. Without knowledge of the underlying cause, most actions will even reinforce and strengthen core weaknesses. When this occurs, the original cause of the weaknesses is made more powerful.
More often than not, this kind of problem solving creates a situation in which yesterday’s solutions become today’s problems. Well-intentioned leaders who fix things and solve problems in this fashion end up being a detriment to their organization, because they operate out of a fundamentally flawed thinking.
Such incorrect thinking is based on false judgments about people, processes, programs, projects, money, profits, and losses. Even perceived positive results are often laden with serious detrimental side effects. These side effects are often worse than the original upset or problem, yet these solutions often become policy.
When problems keep recurring and people are caught in their vicious grip, the corporate vision statement is rarely seen as real. To be real, a vision statement needs to be based on specific leverage points that are causal in nature. It needs to guide the direction of every person in the organization and do so by taking into account the systemic nature of what it takes to grow the organization.
True leadership is not possible when decisions are based on false data, misperception or incorrect beliefs. It is only possible based on fundamental truths or principles, accurate data and a well-grounded philosophy of causality. From these guideposts you can see inward, expand outward, upward and then forward.
Leadership capable of controlling an organization’s destiny needs to be based on a philosophy of causality that is determined by:
knowing the way the world works
knowing how organizations work
understanding the nature of man and man’s human nature
working with the laws of nature
adhering to governing principles
When the principles that determine individual and organizational behavior are adhered to, people in teams become centers of learning and growth. They become capable of inspired performance.
These same principles provide the foundation that allows a leader to think like an organizational architect and designer. When leaders apply design principles, they become wise stewards of shareholder value. They and their teams can maximize the use of all of their resources to achieve results.
Working with design principles results in the ability to create the future. Creating the future requires freedom from the illusions of the problems, crises and pressures that trap you in a vicious circle. It gives you leverage.
Leverage is accomplished by focusing your attention on and applying the right amount of pressure to a specific point that causes a balanced state of growth. It eliminates the source of upset conditions and removes limits to growth.
The purpose of this book is for you to be able to study the principles and tools that allow you to use your highest leverage effectively. Using leverage enlightens and empowers in a sustainable manner. It develops core competencies that attain a competitive advantage by achieving sustained inspired performance. Core competencies determine the success or failure of most leadership action.
When the conscious development of core competencies and the application of governing principles are combined, they form a navigational guidance system. They become the basis for attaining sustained, inspired performance and an optimum rate of growth.
Join Mitchell Crandall as he discovers the sources of his reactive behavior, the laws of nature, the design principles and navigational guidance system that allows him to ultimately build a Generative Organization.”