Tactics


“Our depth of adaptability is a condition of time and not one borne from education or sensitivity.” – J. Durant

I recently watching a TV program about a transgender married couple (The Kings) who had formed a lasting relationship from tradition to non-tradition.  What made it work and how did appear to have flourished?   Was it simply a matter of willingness or was there something more hidden?   As I carefully listened to the testimonies from family and friends, watched the seamless change in the relationship it started to become apparent that there were things about the maturity developed through a common bond that emerged.

First of all in this simple yet complex example there was an element of common purpose.  In life we repeatedly become distracted thinking that the ’cause’ is the purpose when it fact it’s simply an element of a common purpose.  We fight wars, loose friendships and fail as teams (and as members of those teams) based on the ’cause’ and failing to objectively understand and commit to a common purpose.

Secondly disruption can occur in a variety of ways.  If it was our desire everything would be known, anticipated and even given some advanced level of notification.  Yet there are those things that come out of ‘nearly’ the clear blue.  I stress ‘nearly’ because there are always telltale hints of what possible may come.  Denial and obstance contribute to realities, and these can also lead to subsequent blind resistance.

For these two reasons that disruption the factor of age can contribute positively but it can also be hindered.

Age as a Factor in Disruption

What is age?  In the simplistic of ways it’s our time clock of physical existence.  It starts as an empty cup and over the course of time it is filled with various exposures.  Education, experiences and environmentally driven opinions.  For the more mature audiences the cup is full enough to drive our abilities to accept disruptive change.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that we accept or even embrace the change, but it can be tolerated and even adapted to when we remained focused on common purpose.  Now there are some who can’t accept or even tolerate and this is the result of suppression of free will.  Many times this is the result of cultural and environmental stigmas that have been cast solid over time.  A lack of diversity exposure creates these factors but also the factor of age.  Unlike mature individuals who have a full cup, emerging youth has only a small amount of content and this lends itself to acceptance based on a smaller content model.  The matter of rightness is therefore inhibited by scope of criteria.

Some would argue that age brings inflexibility and this is partially true.  But it’s not as matter of resistance change as it is about a broader set of conditions under which change is measured.  By way of example let’s take the matter of smart phones vs. a simplistic cell phone.  While younger members look for functional versatility for such things as videos, photography, music and internet access the elder members are more comfortable with the basic foundations of need… calling and possibly email.  It’s not resistant to change, its more about practicality of use for each audience’s specific needs.

One last element that is age/maturity specific is the influence of disruption.  While some would deduce that elders would be more reluctant to change it is a matter of note that they are more apt to embrace change.  Why?  The first reason is that while one might enjoy consistency, it also brings with it a certain amount of acceptance (good AND bad).  Secondly, the test of time has forced by way of survival the ability to adapt to change that can be both unexpected as well as expected.  Therefore the model is much more durable than for those without the benefit of time.  This is not to say that youth is inept, on the contrary, it’s more a matter of not having sufficient exposure to change that may run counter to their ideologies of life and technologies.  You see this in software sectors that face rapid evolving disruption in processes and emerging solution options.  It is severely disruptive on implementors that complain about decisions being made by senior members.

The Mix

I once shared with a group that it would be my hope that we would all exist without personas.  In other words no titles, seniority or even roles.  I pronounce this position because there was far too much contention being generated that served noting but to disrupt success.  This same disruption occurs in change and we know that change is an inevitable reality of existence.   It isn’t about the occurrence of change but its about the disruption caused by the lack of a process to address change itself.  Even planned change meets resistance and most often less than complete adoption.  This relates to a reliance on transitioning to occur as a result of free will and without resistance.  Enablers such as training or details task base plans seem to further alienate staff and not facilitate achievement because they become laws and not guides.

A sound mix in the management of disruption is to;

  1. Have an intake process that guides evaluation and disposition rather than becoming a reactionary exercise,
  2. Operate with a fluid approach to change that permits synchronization that embraces exploration and moderation in deployment,
  3. Commitment to exit points without reprisal,
  4. Staff dynamics that permit committed involvement, not treatment as an extra-credit exercise, and
  5. Keep a watchful eye for impending trends (not necessarily as an action item but as elements for considering their impact).

In the mix should also be the dynamics of young and old, without prejudice to age but with prejudice to contribution.  A contribution that is keenly and intently focused on a common purpose.  Far to much attention is given to the what and how, and not enough is given to credible valued investing.  The disruption is simply the situation and not the means to an end.  There are much more important reasons why and even more significant reasons to do great things despite the flows and counter-flows that may exist.

“Life is not a cookbook where you find a recipe and suddenly your are a chef.  Mastering balance, flavor and presentations are key to award winning results.” – J. Durant

We are on an eternal quest for answers.  Seeking out the story of people who have experience success often relates to what we perceive is wisdom.   We seek with intent to replicate and overlook the importance of mastery.

If you look back over articles and books on such topics as start-ups, innovation, disruptive technologies and the many things that whirl about us there is a natural abundance of ‘how to’ or ‘guidance’ sources.  Why?   Simply put these things sell, people want quick and decisive real life examples.  But in opting for speed and outcomes there is also a natural tendency to acquire intellectual command of the topics, and the pursuit of further immersion.

I recently read an article that described the pursuit of venture capital and the frustrations experience with not only the process but the deployment of resources once financing was acquired.  The real crux of the matter was an over attention on need and less of an attention to having formed a financial and operational structure to accept revenue inflows (regardless of source).  Why is it important?  From personal experience the importance lies in the value produced from having routine operational elements, including finance, to be carried out in an almost automatic fashion.  This permits us to be attentive to pressing and often disruptive events without having to be immersed in routine care and maintenance of critical business elements.   In the case of startups the failures are routinely caused by an over attention to critical elements that have not achieved steady state reliability, caused in large part to care as  you go.  As the title suggests we think too much, and we own too little in terms of intellectual ownership.  In the context of start-up organizations there is an abundance of attention given to product/service promotion but all in the wrong way.  We really don’t need to know what a car is made of or what the material specifications are, we do however need to understand the market and how it can be convinced to make a commitment (aka market conversion).

Leap of Faith

Life is not easy and while our vision is to win, our most daunting challenge is to survive.  Survival of the fitness epitomizes the struggles and the acclaims achieved during the course of life’s ventures.  Maybe this is reflected in marriages that last, our is lifetime commitment but the struggle is everyday life with another person.  In the case of business its surviving the daily on-slot not just from market or competition but societies as a whole.  Rigidity has its place but in terms of staying the course of survival we must be prepared and capable to transition at a moments notice.  Talk is cheap when trying to characterize ourselves as flexible or are we?  Are we simply saying we are because our world of flexibility is dependent upon a rigid framework for addressing change?

To leap forward means that we need to change our behavior (aka transition).  We need to view knowledge as the fuel for adopting personal knowledge, not as an instruction to follow.  Think beyond the norm, looking for big questions that possibly don’t have answers (because they haven’t been asked before or thought about in a particular way), and a search of wisdom from places that are on your hostile radar will open your mind in ways that you might not expect.  At the same time we must be resistant to pessimism, refrain from dooming anything to unacceptable before you have taken it in, pondered, prodded, experimented and adapted to characteristics (personal and professional).

I’m not a name you would see on a billboard list of successful entrepreneurs because I haven’t achieved multi-billion dollar levels.  But is the achievement of a level a sign of commanding understanding and abilities?  Maybe so, by your scorecard, and thus the reason why the words of wisdom reach a level of respectable acceptance.  But you also may remember cases in which the wisdom was inappropriate for your needs.  Why is that given that it resulted in success?  Was it that we didn’t dig deep enough to understand the conditions by which success was achieved, or was it a matter of conditions taking place at the time of the success story?  Maybe it was first to market, or maybe it was simply something as simple as selling an interest that was in fact the source of the success.   This is somewhat like a book on Success that creates a revenue stream of success or a methodology that sells you on discovering who you are (when we would hope that you already some idea of that already).

Recently I experienced an opportunity to question a person who contrived a model.  The model was interesting, although more confirming than discovery.  What was more concerning from my perspective was the lack of credentials (thus personal opinion and packaging) and the forward thinking as to where to go beyond the model to affect organizations.  In retrospect, and without malice, it was an example of marketing creativity over material substance.  Many of you have heard the term, “we can sell ice cream to Eskimos”, but is this a condition we are apt to subject our livelihood to or for that matter wish to be associated with?

Honor and integrity in business have been cheapened by clever wordsmithing to legitimize our mission to produce growth and revenue.  I think of this a bit like a petty thief who steals to feed his family and uses this to justify the illegal behavior.  The decision rests in your hands whether need over rides principals.  What hinders us, once again, is fear.   Whether it be the fear of failure or the fear of the unknown we shackle ourselves to opportunities in which we marginalize ourselves.

As stated earlier I’m not a named commodity except to a few long time followers who have come to realize the virtues that I possess at a personal and professional level.  These has resulted in loyalty but also a life journey stewardship.  I am also a strong believer in survival and as a result believe that aside from traits we must be capable to exist in disruption.  Disruption that has valued purpose and not leaning towards it being a ‘Distraction’.   The separation in meaning is quite clear to me, it’s the difference between a plausible occurrence and one that is of little to no value.  But be careful because what may be of little to no value today, may be essential tomorrow.  Sometimes we need to give a bit of pondering thought and other cases we simply need to file it away for periodic examination.  Often what may fade has the probability of re-occurrence later on, almost like the idea that is ahead of its time.  This is an example how failures can and often are more valuable than the sagas of acclaimed success.

In Conclusion

There is no conclusion, only a continuum.   The river doesn’t dry up because we can’t make it upstream, it expects us to understand the ebb and flow, the rapids and the flat waters of our journey.  We command the river when we understand our role and the conditions by which we chart a path to the headwaters.  The same holds true in our journey in life and in business.  We are driven not by answers but by wisdom, and that is further embellished with our rendition uniquely crafted to fit our needs to produce a valued outcome.  Mastery however involves an intuitive reflect in the application of knowledge.  Not a quick reference or a set of notes but a humble and childlike inquisitiveness that is never satisfied.  As parents we know the stage of ‘Why?’ that occurs.  Unfortunately it gives way to answers and principals that stems the question of ‘Why’.  This creates a sad state, but it is not without redemption.  While we can postulate on what causes this, it’s really not important because the cause isn’t what needs correction.  What needs correct is us, today, at this very moment, to act upon a need to redeem our desires to own the ‘Why?’.

“Fear is debilitating and causes irrational thinking.  We need to back up a couple of steps and look at things in a better light before we throw ourselves from the building.” – J.Durant

For quite sometime we have been bombarded with articles and news about the coming of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and all sorts of other ‘human replacement’ tools.  As I am sure some of you are aware there are just some things that these things can’t do or at least we would not permit them to do just because they might be a bit more reliable, efficient and consistent.   There again we have walked on the border with such controlled experimentation as cloning and various other forms of neuro response solutions so who knows just what kind of mad scientist may be lurking to set forth their madness in intellect driven machine.

So let’s take a moment and accept a few things…..

  1. Some form of intellect driven solutions will be put into play and these will replace legacy solutions that involve a human component.
  2. Most like intelligent solutions will embrace a consumer-to-business (C2B) paradigm.  This will ultimately reduce costs and expediate the formation of relationships.
  3. The care and oversight for such solutions will require humans.  However, rather than relying upon casual oversight they will be nurtured by intelligent analytics either in the form of predictive or preemptive forms.   And,
  4. Robots are apt to be involved in order to serve as a service conduct into the interaction with the AI environment.

Now for the really questions that never seem to get mentioned from those expounding on the AI exploits of leading companies like Google, SalesForce, DeepMind, Facebook, OpenAI, Baidu, Microsoft Research, Apple, IBM and Remark.   But in delving into these deeper it is clear that there are a few elements to recognize.  Some of these are noted as AI involved based purely on name and maybe a slight be of tinkering with the concepts and technologies.  There are some that are heavily focused on the AI mechanism that would be used to drive an AI like behavior.  Finally there are some that have wrapped the AI wrapper around an intelligent process, possible an advanced analytic element, and labeled it as AI.   You are also apt to see a similar situation with terms such as learning machine and robotics (especially those that are non-mechanical) as well.

Classical Transitioning Concern

An all to common condition that exists in transitioning is having a plan that is doomed before steps are taken due directly as a result of existing issues.  Thus far we have not seen any of these points raised up by the AI and robotics enthusiasts or those who have expressed guarded reluctance to journey toward the utilization thereof.   Some of these existing conditions include,

  • Green field conceptualization of the AI model and the metamorphic conditions one can anticipate.
  • Interface negotiations from sending as well as receivers.  Stakeholders in receiving solutions may be a bit reluctant to accept AI driven infeeds.
  • Verification and Validation (V&V) readiness.  Most recently British Airways had a system wide shutdown that crippled their operations.  If we are experiencing these conditions in complex networked but traditional systems what is it going to be like with flight by automatic systems like AI?
  • What mechanisms will be used to fuel the AI solution?  Will those mechanisms be ready to provide reliable feed information but in doing so be expedient enough to fuel the AI application?
  • Have boundary reach parameters been set?
  • Consideration for security, validation, performance, real-time conflict management, in-flight updating, and some of the more technical elements of AI?
  • Has thinking been toward ‘right solution’ and not remain focused on existing solution?   Again more green field/blue sky thinking.
  • Formulating a growth based design that will engage elements of robotics and analytics.
  • Understanding that the AI solution may be more than just an event driven paradigm and will demand the inclusion of event base stimulation, deductive modeling that builds upon (or adjusts) a rule frame repository, and the concepts of prediction/authentication/ and progressive simulation (apart from the live environment).
  • Destination driven repository containers that are distributed but interconnected globally as opposed to single destination service.  This also brings up the question about non-stop up-time.
  • Extent of human or non-human intervention schema.

And there are allot more that are required in order to insulate from failure and elevate the opportunity of success.

Circle Condition

Unbeknownst to consumer/recipients of change there exists some form of exploratory cycle.  It may be as simple as a survey and an alpha test of market, or as formal as experimental research.   I reread an article (actually from a different source) on TensorFlow Playground a working example of neural technology.  Impressive and stimulating, well illustrated form of scientific/mathematical application to draw deductive suggestive outcomes with a high probability of accuracy (but not at 100%).  Then I got thinking about whether 100% was attainable from humans either, after all we are prone to mistakes whether through random attention or the result of circumstantial conditions that exist.  Clearly the purpose is to build a sense of trust and understanding, as a commercial effort for the market place.  It also illustrates that the technology was being applied to the known science of math and to legitimize its ability.  What we have seen however is that the line between research and usable solution is often a fuzzy line.  The jumping from concept to application overlooks some grooming required and especially in this case the need for a science that has an element of runaway evolvement based on conditional stimulation and seed data.

In some respects the concepts and principals of AI follow a similar path as is the case with compilers.  There are a finite set of conditional parameters that can be involved based on formalized criteria, set by the institution, to produce and outcome.  What creates the circle is that the outcome is then feed back in the process to which some events may be repeated and others taking a totally different path.  The fear isn’t in the use of the technology it’s all of the possible things that can go wrong.  To understand their potential and to determine what the appropriate level of care that must be exercised should be.   This is not a path in which we have seen similar debates about before.  Space programs, nuclear reactors and fly-by-wire systems have all had their moments of glory and those times when intervention (and often spot creativity) must be exercised.

So Where Are We Now?

We are in some interesting times.  It remains uncertain the degree and speed in which AI will advance.  My suspicion is that for some that are already poised with intellectual driven tools, whether it be predictive analytics (ready for preemptive forms), robotic clusters looking to advance from rule based paradigms or semi-thinking information technology solutions looking to employ a bit more merging of trends with behavior change they definitely will have a leg up.  For the rest it will become a decision as whether to wait or to start taking some of those formative steps now that exists for the organizations that are poised.   Looking at past failed attempts at AI it was the result of institutional support (left mostly to universities and the Department of Defense with Ada).  Today respected institutions, like Google, provide a groundswell of interest and support by association.  Whether its rightly so is not up for debate but rather to be acknowledged as a fact.  It is not without risks but as long as we humans have control we can do what is needed to insure that our AI will succeed in a controlled and appropriate fashion.

Credibility is one of the critical elements of life whether professionally or personally.  It is also one of those conditions that is often illusive.  But why?  How can I become credible and to whom should that credibility be directed to?

You cannot command credibility no more than you can command respect.  If anything the notion of commanding is limited to rigid organized structures, such as the military, as a direct response to risk.  Therefore our credibility must be earned and unfortunately our personalities create the ‘great race’ in pursuit thereof.

I was recently thinking about why management, especially senior executives seems adamant about technical efforts.  Some of  you may have event done a bit of a roadshow of what your approach was about, how it would function and what would be achieved.  In return the response was met with flat faced silence and in some rare cases a subtle nod of the head endorsement.  Rarely did we see out and out conflict unless of course we chose a more adversarial criticism of the company or specific people that are still working there.  So why the lack of enthusiasm and credibility building which didn’t take place?

Context

How often has your brainchild and initiative come totally out of the blue?  Even with having a spot on purpose people do not transition their mindset easily.  To overcome this situation one must ‘prime for preparation’, in other words ask some baited questions to get the whole process started.  Even for those in which your idea is in response to a problem there is often remaining a bit of doubt.  It would be far more appropriate to do a review of conditions in order to affirm or contribute to a broader understanding of the problem.  In doing so we exhibit a sense of capable and conscientious thinking instead of a ‘know it all’ or knee jerked reaction to situations.  This builds trust and also builds confidence.

You may however face a group in which they what to hear your opinions but will follow it up with a line of questioning to affirm responsible and focused attention.  Therefore the preceding remains a sound basis for starting the transforming process.

Audience Interest

The profile of your company will dictate the level of interest.  Whether its good or bad we must completely understand the level of information sharing that is required.  Some organizations expect you to interact in a hierarchical fashion.  Other organizations may employ a network structure where the free flow of ideas and concepts occur across the organization.  Even network organization structures will often expect a degree of decorum in terms of sharing up within its structural walls.  These conditions are not an affront to your credibility it is simply a means in which the organizational leadership has cast its operating paradigm in order to avoid chaos.  While not perfect, as illustrated by the two ton elephant syndrome (painfully slow but purposeful movements), it none the less is a condition in which you are expected to conform to.  As many of us have experienced, trying to change the paradigm reduces our credibility and is often has unsuccessful outcomes.

To a large extent management wants credibility of concept doability.   In the information technology world our history has not served us well.  With such facts as…

  • 17% of all companies experience project failures so sever that they jeopardize the company (McKinsey 2012),
  • 70% of companies experience at least one project failure in the last 12 months (KPMG 2010),
  • Failures in changing mindsets and attitudes (58%), corporate culture (49%) and lack of senior management support (32%) (IBM 2008), and
  • Despite failures success rates even for proven methods have failed to achieve high rates of success.  70% of respondents have been involved with projects that failed from the onset.  Agile projects 72% success rate vs. traditional approaches at 63% (Dr. Dobbs Journal 08/2007 & 10/2011)

Conditions have created both complacency (it is what it is) and also trepidation about change, even when for the better.   This reflects a concern about credibility even when the individual is worthy but conditions are not.  How can this be overcome?

Electrifying Credibility

We must regain control of our professional and personal worlds through building credibility.   At the center of this is trust, not hype.  Today we see allot of hype and this has created a carnival atmosphere about topics and technologies.  To build a trust relationship also commands a commitment to sustaining it.  A lack of attention will not only destroy trust but will create an almost impossible challenge to regain trust.  Our level of vigilant attention to trust maintenance will challenge us and can possible even result in becoming apart from the mainstream.  Are you up for that challenge or will you simply wait and see when it happens.  Truly the decision is yours to make.

There are seven (7) elements to gaining credibility.

  1. Define your values and mission.  Without context great ideas can get lost, misunderstood and possible be discounted as a standalone idea.
  2. Know your personality and your personal brand.  We see adoration being given to people based on name, company association, title or success.  These points of brand personality vary with societies.  In some cultures its held in high regard while in others it simply considered a condition.
  3. Set your boundaries.  Limit your domain of abilities as well as the circle of credibility that you have.  As the saying goes “maintain healthy boundaries”.
  4. Chose how and where to showcase.   In the course of building your credibility you will have numerous opportunities to showcase who you are and what you level of credible trust is.  Don’t expect to hit a home run with every chance you have to swing.  Pick your opportunities and recognize its important to chose the right means to showcase.  Maybe its a thoughtful note or a focused illustration that will give you and opportunity to perfect your credibility.  Also beware that complexity and commanded attention are dangerous as well as potentially damaging.
  5. Release your Authenticity.  Be yourself and if by chance there are things about you that aren’t particularly endearing to others, keep them tucked away.  Restraint is better than uncontrolled transparency.
  6. Consistency.  Inconsistency as the potential for confusion and mistrust.  Not that you are trying to be misleading its just that your irregular presence makes conditions unstable.  People seek consistency even when conditions are not perfect.  Change and the ability to transition are challenged by inconsistencies and the classic “it depends” creates no added comfort for those simply trying to overcome their concerns.
  7. Be Prepared for Opposition.  It is going to happen and it may come from a variety of reasons.  Some possibilities;
    • new out of context situations
    • paradigm contention
    • past history
    • wrong vehicle for conveying message
    • compliance failure in the chain of communication
    • current conditions
    • receiver state of mind and status and
    • lack of endorsement

Next-Next

Practice makes perfect and perfect results in credibility.  Credibility will become second nature but one must remain vigilant to maintain our credibility.  Even as a sage citizen with profound accomplishments and accolades one must remain eternally humble and trustworthy.   Unfortunately some err on the side of personality, connections and luck to achieve a level of perceived credibility.  This is just the way it is, don’t sweat it.  Focus on building your credibility and with that it will create trust.

It has become a norm to adopt the principal of asking for what you want.  However, we are seldom prepared to except the disappointment of it not coming true.  You hear and see this when the topic of generational behavior becomes a topic of discussion.

Personal empowerment isn’t a gifted ability to achieve end results.  Personal empowerment is the gift of responsible understanding of what you can do and what elements you have no control over.

Recently an acquaintance was lamenting about his personal love life.  On a regular basis he puts forth is painful anguish, his frustrations and the underlying hurt that he is experiencing.  While I try to make light of the topic and encourage him to grow up a bit, I do feel and appreciate his pain.  This situation is more than likely one that all of us has experienced at one time or another.  On this recent sharing of experiences I made the suggestion that he needed to start looking at personal relationships with a different viewpoint.  That viewpoint involved using the sensory abilities and to stop looking at these engagements as thought it was some pragmatic business plan.  His reaction, although not as a total surprise, was to suggest that I needed to get up to date with my thinking.  It made me chuckle and my retort was simple…. “I’m not the one with the problem, you are.  And as long as I’m still alive you need to know who is in control.”   I share this story for one purposeful reason, and that is about your ability to control.

We can fool ourselves into believing we have these powers and abilities.  Maybe we do, and yet maybe they are just in the early stages of development.  Whatever the case, we are able to do things with these but they may not necessarily drive a #transition in thinking, behavior or outcomes.  They simply become like bees swarming around your head or more aggressively become rubber bullets bouncing off of superman.  As a result content is created, loss of respect occurs, avoidance becomes a natural reaction and underlying to all of this an undercurrent of distraction occurs that takes our focus away from other more pressing and important matters.

Control is not a tool of force, to be wheeled as bludgeoning device, but is an art form that is used to mobile results.  Yes, I would consider this to be one of the pillars for successful transitioning, but certainly not the only one.  Climatic conditions, experience, resourcefulness, clarity and lean visioning are also essential and necessary contributory forces.  Control however becomes a tool to be used prudently, never allowing the control to be assumed as a given but considered as a resource to be exercised.  Initiatives that go terribly wrong have shown time and again that control (excessive or lack of) was a contributing element.

Types of Control

How good is your self-control?  Most would answer in a positive way.  But let’s say you haven’t eaten today and you walk into your home and there sitting on the counter is your favorite food.  You partner has given you explicit instructions not to touch the food until they arrive.  Can you exercise restraint, thus self-control or will you succumb to your hunger and cast aside respectful instructions?

Self-control gets tempered by conditions, and not all of these conditions are healthy ones.  Some may be driven by psychological conditions created by the work or family climate, situational conditions caused as a result of ingestion (like alcohol) or ones that occur from random unexpected situations.

Engineered controls are task focused regulators that can permit or reject outcomes.  Created to act as watch dogs they relieve us of regular ongoing vigilant oversight.  Even then we are obligated to exercise our self-control to not simply permit them to run unobserved.  In this day and age in exploring the possibility of grand scale artificial intelligence and learning machine technology the employment of engineered controls cannot be under estimated as required.  In this category of controls there are a subset of types ranging from feedback, to restrictive, alternative route and alert forms.  Its not as important to know what type or form but understand that these are a resource and when they should be employed.

Power of Transitional Control

Achieving outcome value is paramount.  It’s not simply not a question of Return on Investment (ROI), expediency or harmony but also embraces holistic fluidity.  Not trying to sound too vogue by creating new terminology but the concept of holistic fluidity embraces that belief that distractions become a rarity and that to produce value outcomes you must have all of your efforts in sync.   Even under the best of circumstances there will be assaults on the holistic fluidity of transitioning.  Politics, contentions, unrest, historic apprehensions, staffing shift, contentious initiatives and lack of self-control place at risk transitional success.  One might say, “I’m willing to see how things turn out has they have in the past”, but then we need to looking truthfully at the success stories of the past.  Are there any and if so is our success conclusion based on concrete fact or simply a weakening of outcome expectations?

Each of us is shaped by our journey.  Its not about the achievement of goals or the attainment of glory but rather its the way in which we have lived our personal and professional life.  In that story is the thread we call #transitioning.  Our transitions from child to adult, from student to employee, from individual to family….   Time and again we see that the abrupt moments are the ones that put us at risk and uncertainty.  Time and again we struggle to find stability and each time we advance we do so with a bit more comfort, less wasteful and more confidence.  This is transitioning and it all comes down to the degree in which we exercise control.  Whether it be what we can manage, called self-control, or we put into play other forms of control to guide our way to a positive outcome.

#transitioning #transitionalscience #control #plan #change

From birth the human inner-self seeks to impress.  Those first steps looking for welcoming approval from parents, the success in academic achievement and later in life the favorable approval from bosses and colleagues.  Are we impressing or simply looking for an absence of condemnation?

Impressing is a key element in transitioning, it’s the lubricant that provides for fluid movement towards achieving goals.  There is less proving and more permissiveness, and to a large extent being giving the privilege of accountability/responsibility is heavily influenced by the impression we have made.

Are We Playing to the Right Audience

As we mature our independence moves us away from those are strong supporters to those that are more in keeping with our peer status.  In those teen years expending effort on our peers (to impress and set forth a position in the peer group) we often foresake our parents being impressed.  Seems a bit ironic that we would give up what is a sound and dependable source of impressing for the simple feel good independence of peer approval.  If we look at this further we will often give up personal beliefs and norms in order to impress during those teen and early adult hood years.  Often, later in life, we find ourselves lamenting about this act of impression seeking rebellion and the abandonment of solid support.  From cradle to grave we stress to impress…. we seek endorsement often from those who can’t effect value for us and even if they can they aren’t a lifetime reliable source.  So who can we impress… the search starts with self.

Unfortunately the seeking to impress in our later professional, and to some extent our personal life, continues in this distorted path.  We seek solace in groups, support is sought in being a part.  We maintain a very convoluted belief that our strength will be seen in the group (by standing out) when in fact organizations look for those who are not a pact but the mobilizers of pacts.   Over the course of my work with companies I have found those who impress are those who understand that its an outcome and not a pursuit.  Meaning that a focus on self abilities and habits far out weighs ‘fitting in’.  It however also seems that the guides, the coaches and the educators are still operating from the position of ‘group’.  You will see papers, courses and even conferences that are heavily dedicated to group dynamics.   There are external events that are weighted with team building even when the work that is being undertaken is not a group exercise.  So as it tries to encapsulate the people in a spirit of community it ends up having to focus on ‘proper behavior’.

Back on Point

The dynamics of impressing, and in subsequent impact on transitioning has to be based on value delivery.  I once told a colleague that, “you should never go into a sales meeting with the belief that you need the sale”.  After getting some very confused looks I went on to explain that the drive for a goal creates a carnival atmosphere that borders on graveling.  Claims are made, truths are stretched and even our animated behavior becomes more comedic then valuable.   The customer knows the end game and so do you, so why not focus on relationship building and value based sharing than creating extra ‘must get sale’ window dressing that only creates more risk of failing.   Impressing, I contend, starts from within.  We need to look within ourselves and understand our limitations and not just our strengths.  We need to understand our value to the business and to ourselves, and in doing so create a valued asset and not just another operational liability for the business.   Yes, people are the backbone of a company.  However, that backbone must be viewed as to the value it presents.   It’s for these reasons that spending time on impressing should be the result of value and not based upon a position of popularity.

If you are popular and people around you move on you will face a new audience that may not necessarily be that impressed.  But also this new audience is most likely looking to impress as well, and this dynamic places a challenge on those who impressed based on popularity and not based on outcome.  Those in the technical and administrative communities realize that those that are among their ranks in value are not easily displaced by new entrants who wish to make their mark.  The old saying that ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ supports this notion.

Conclusion

So what have we learned?

  1. Impressing is a key component in the transitioning equation.  It removes risk and creates a dependable basis for success.
  2. Impressing is a natural human condition.  However, impression through focus on value is more sustainable than impressing on a social level.
  3. Value is the key to all that we do.  To produce value it requires us to be impressed with ourselves.  But to be impressed with ourselves we must honestly understand our strengths and our weaknesses.
  4. The dynamics of group makes it difficult to create an ‘impression’ level that extends beyond the team.  Even in team sports a star player is only as good as the team he/she is a star within, and that is based upon self-impressed responsibility.
  5. Leaders are also subject to impressions created for both internal to the company but also to the external world.  Impressing that has gone bad is the result of a loss of focus in producing value and the entering into a search for impressing others.  (old habits die hard)
  6. Finally, impressions rely upon your crafted persona.  Truth, honesty, forthright, topical expertise and openness are some of the virtues we may use to impress and create adoration.

To answer the question about the true meaning of transitioning one must first of all understand the basic principal of Newton’s Third Law.  Newton’s Third Law, the namesake of 3rdLAW, is for every action there is an equal and opposing reaction.  It is pretty easy to understand the cause and effect scenario but in doing so one needs to consider that there are other not so visible things taking place that rob perpetuation from taking place.

Transitioning is the manifestation of Newton’s Third Law as it relates to the not so visible elements that robs both the plan (the cause) and the effect (outcome/goal) from taking place efficiently.  If we revisit our past we see that even the best laid plans with the strongest conviction will often face opposition.  While it mostly involves the human factor it can also manifest itself in fruitless attempts to realign and right the course that is coming out of no where.

The Effect of Change Types on Transitioning

Changes come in all sorts of forms.  These include,

  • Incremental Changes
  • Disruptive Changes
  • Technological Advancements
  • Mandate Change by…
    • Society
    • Consumer/Customer
    • Regulatory
    • Managerial Directive
  • Discovery/Innovation (a large part from analytics insight and research)
  • Transformational and
  • Conditional (occurring as a result of manifesting adjustments in corporate structure and focus).

Understand that these types often occur has hybrid combinations and therefore one should not look upon these in terms of nice tidy unique bundles of change.

The REAL Business Proposition

Its all about speed, accuracy and delivery.  Depriving a business of any one of these will result in more cost and the erosion of confidence, whether the employees or customers. The problem with change is that we ‘unexpect the expected’ to the extent that we deny the reality that its customary.  As a result our reaction mistakes become centered on believing that we can make arbitrary decisions and that all problems can be solved with a plan.  Our inane confidence drives our command and control behavior to shout for action and expect all facets to fall step wise into lines of compliance.  Is this taking place in your organization and is it resulting in success?

The discover of the importance of transitioning occurred when looking back upon literally hundreds of projects.  The success and the not so successful, including dismal failures was not the result of a lack in conviction, planning, championing, supporting commitment or goal definition, it all started with a lack of a having a means to address change.  I chose not to say framework because transitioning is not about following a prescribed laundry list of steps.  Rather transitioning is about formation of a climate to transition change in an efficient and effective fashion.

How?

What causes an organization to stumble about transitioning from the here and now to a new found goal.  To answer this question we need to understand that the ‘human’ is still much in control with success or failure.  Even though artificial intelligence and preemptive analytics are in on the horizon the human element will remain essential for many years to come.  Even learning machine technology will still require the skillful mind of a human to set forth a road-map of actions and reactions in order to seed the endeavor.

Change faces obstacles,

  • Complacency
  • Lack of power even though everyone has a span of power that often goes unused
  • Lack of vision
  • Failing to communicate the vision
  • Letting obstacles get in the way
  • Failing to create short-term wins
  • Declaring victory too soon or making victory appear to a win when in fact it is a loss
  • Ignoring organizational culture

At the root of all of these obstacles is ‘transitioning’.  Adopting a belief that you can life and drop change into an organization is reckless.  You are far more apt to gain success through cult organic change as was the case with the use of mobile technology.  So what was the difference between this and say the adoption of a new CEO?   The key difference is active involvement, ownership and personal desire.  I contend that mandates framed as such have already set the transitional change path on the road to self destruction.

Conclusion

In the upcoming weeks and months we will delve deeper into the various elements of transitioning.  Here are a few examples of topics to be covered.

  • Addressing Disruptive Change Transitioning
  • Conditioning C-Level/Leadership Change of Guard
  • Stimulating Innovation Through Transitional Adjustments
  • Creating a Cultural Transitional Mindset

Let us know if there are topics which you would like to see covered in upcoming posts.

#transitioning #transitionalsciences #change #transitionmanagement

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