How to Bring and Nurture Health in Your Organizational “OSPI” (without hardly trying): Part 1

 One of my favorite bloggers, Russell Aaron, recently wrote, If IT Doesn’t Matter, What Do I Do About My Job?

That post caused me to reflect on many of Larry’s Life Lessons that are so crucial to success in business operations, project execution, and personal living that I wanted to pass my thoughts on to my reading audience immediately.

But since my thoughts are known to proliferate, I have been forced to divide this article into a multi-part blog. This is the first of three or four posts (depending how much more I ramble.)

Throughout these articles I will use the term “OSPI.” By that term I mean any Organization, Sub- organization, Project, or Individual person. So in this series of articles, I will use the term OSPIs to refer to that whole collection of organizational entities.

Over time I’ve come to believe that EVERY OSPI, without fail, has very specific CRITICAL core components, any one of which that is missing or fails to function properly, will cause the OSPI to implode—fail—decay—die. Those crucial components (also commonly known as key results areas, key results indicators, critical success criteria, key performance drivers, key performance indicators, and the like) need to be identified, highlighted, and integrated fully into the core functionality of the OSPI. And not as a promotional slogans but rather as an inherent mantra; a way of life expressed in words backed up by value statements, decisions, plans, actions, policies, etc. to demonstrate the integrity of, support of, and commitment to each of them.

Key Results

One obvious component common to all OSPIs is the ‘profitability’ component (a.k.a. ‘black ink’ or ‘surplus’ in the public and non-profit sectors). Another vital obvious component is quality; doing the right things, doing them properly and doing them better than your competitors. I won’t elaborate on the significance of those here.

There are many other components many of which are unique in terms of relevance and importance to each OSPI and its associated products/services. I am convinced (and will preach to my grave) that EVERY OSPI needs to identify and place and attach specifications to each of those key critical success criteria/elements. Then they MUST plan for them, invest in them, feed and nurture them, measure them, improve them, love them. Not all components may seem as vital as others at first and the tendency may be to identify the “hearts” and “brain” components of the OSPI. But many of the secondary and tertiary ones may be just as vital as a pancreas, liver, and circulatory system are to the human body. (So don’t worry if you are balding naturally; you probably don’t need the hair unless you are a hair model or something like that.)

OSPIs must play an aggressive and smart offense by caring for and causing those precious components to thrive. But to be completely balanced, OSPIs must also be on guard on defense by not allowing any of those vital components to become contaminated, corrupted, poisoned, diminished, ignored or removed from core operations. Organizational cancers should be prevented at all cost; yet if they do creep in, they must be detected immediately and eliminated. If a resource or any influence that is contributing to the failing of a component sours, it needs to be replaced with another of equal or better quality. Most importantly, OSPI leaders must do everything possible to keep those vital resources visible and identified before all as Critically Key and then demonstrate that commitment visibly though behaviors (actions, decisions, policies, rewards, celebrations,  etc.

To make that happen requires exceedingly distinguished and superb management, leadership, and commitment to the core. [My favorite short story about commitment is the farmyard that is in the business of producing “ham and eggs”. To the chicken, it’s just business as normal but to the pig it’s commitment.] But you don’t have to take my word for it. See what some of my heroes and business experts (Peter Drucker, Tom Peters, Joel Barker, Vince Lombardi, UCLA Coach, Yogi Berra, and W. Edwards Deming) have to say about that.

In the follow-on posts to this blog series, I will identify and explore many of the common and often missing—even severely damaged—critical success-driving components. Then I’ll share my thoughts as to why I think there is a rampant propensity in most OSPIs to not have these components working properly when that formula is a prescription for failure.

Tune in next time remembering that ‘there’s no place for mushroom management in a healthy OSPI, even if you’re in the mushroom growing or canning business.’


What OSPIs are you invested in and what are the critical key components required for survival and success?


Image #1 Credit

Image #2 Credit

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The Wisest Man of All: A King or a Pirate

It’s graduation time, so it’s time for adults to hand out wisdom to youths that they care for and love. So here’s one that I’ve been handing out to many for several years. But it has broad appeal and not limited to youth. It’s even more applicable to all in the adult community.

King Solomon was granted a request from God to ask for anything he desired. Solomon asked for and received WISDOM. His writings can be found in the Books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes in the Bible.  Not to override God’s writings or to supplement His Words, I pass along this additional piece of superior man-made wisdom that comes from Jack Sparow, the infamous scoundrel-hero in Disney’s, “Pirates of the Carribean.”

“Wisdom? From a pirate, no less?”, you may ask?

Sparrow’s words are short, sweet and succinct. (Sorry–I have this passion for alliterations.) They apply to almost every life situation and person. Yet, I have consolidated his words into a memorable acronym (I also have this passion to “improve” things).  So, much to my children’s chagrin, this acronym and pharase have become a frequently-used household phrase to accompany our, “Have a good time,” “Drive safely,” and “I love you.”

Before I give you the punch line, please consider adopting this wisdom into your daily conversational playbook and also forward this blog’s link to your government representatives/staffs, family members, friends, colleagues,  neighbors and others who can take heed from Sparrows witty & wise words.

Sparrows words, “Don’t Do Anything Stupid” (prounced ‘styoopud’).

The acronymic improvement: DDAS !

Pass it on . Following this wisdom will go a very long way and make life better for all.

What wisdom would you recommend passing along during this graduation season?

 

Larry’s Life Lessons: What’s This Blog 4?

This blog is a place for the exchange of ideas, insights, interpretations, and intuitions about other blog partakers and I haved learned about life, family, business, and many other topics. Includes subjects that are dear to my heart like “saving time and money”; “improving quality and productivity”; “decreasing waste”; “efficiency vs. effectiveness”; “project management”; “process improvement”; and directions from the wisest of all—God.

The use of any profane, foul, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate language will not be tolerated and will lead to deleting of the comment.

What’s it all about: Alfie

OK, so I’m not Alfie. But at least I have your attention.  (Sorry, the free software won’t load my 7-second audio clip, so just hum it to yourself.
🙂

So, Larry, why did you decide to start a blog? That’s the question I expect from friends and family when they hear that I started this blog.

Well, I wanted a way to express myself. And a blog seems to be a pretty good format for that. It seems easy to do if you have:

  • the slightest urge to write or express your opinions
  • some decent blog software, and
  • a bit of a nudge.

I guess I had all three, so why not?

THE URGE: Having been a self-employed business and project management consultant for 16 years, I can’t seem to get the urge to speak, write, teach, and espouse out of my system. See my LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/larryaaron. A blog would be a great way to get that energy out of me and get the word out too — you know, free advertising and promotions. 

A blog would be an outlet for my philosophies of life, business, etc.; even something to pass on to my beloved family and friends.  If I never get a chance to write those books, at least I’ll have my say right here (write/hear).  Yes, this also gives me a chance to express my terrible puns without hearing the responsive moans. In addition to having published a  number of journaled technical articles (http://www.aacei.org)  , authored dozens of “On The Level”  insights on business and project management (will try to figure out how to post them or link to them from here), and developed outlines for books on many of the same topics covered by this blog, I enjoy the challenge in converting dry business verbiage into understandable–even enjoyable–reading and training material by using alliterations, systematic models, and light humor.

BLOG SOFTWARE: By usingWordPress (http://wordpress.com) as my blog development and publishing tool, I was able to make some basic decisions and have a blog format ready in about 4 hours, start-to-finish. My first blog was posted the next day. The software was pretty easy to use but it lacked immediate help such as QuikLinks to help topics from unfamilar jargon or topics. Other than that, there’s lots of flexibility and room to change format, style, content later without losing anything.

THE NUDGE: My nudge came from our son who started his own  blog that relates succeeding in althletics (triathlons, specifically) to succeeding in business with a smattering of PC and technology tips thrown in along the way. I’ve enjoyed reading it and have gotten quite a bit out of it. And, after several conversations and readings, I’ll admit that he has inspired me. Thanks, Russ! Check out his latest blog for yourself at: (http://russellaaron.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/3-steps-to-avoiding-information-overload/).  

Recently, I heard an audio interview on the PC with the legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, sharing his wisdom and insights on leadership, lasting success, other life lessons (my alliterations—not Coach Wooden’s). You can skip the first 3:30 of intro to go directly to the interview: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/popups/media_player.aspx?MediaId={03C43FD1-271E-4FD5-9F4E-76B6D05968C2}. It would be worth the half hour to listen to this mentor of mentors. I’ll post my own reflections about Coach Wooden’s statements in a future blog.

One last reason for this blog: I often like to bounce ideas off of others–so voilá, I’ll ask them here—to the millions of electronically connected conversationalists all over the world.

So that’s it.

I hope in the months ahead this blog will stimulate responses from many readers and will be a source of wisdom to even more. Why? The byline for this blog says it best: No human being has the corner on the market on wisdom.

Follow up questions for my readers:

  1. What wise insights would you like to share with the Internet public?
  2. Do you have a blog? Why or why not?