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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Posted on September 13, 2011, in Business, Family & Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Loved your analogies! Going bald and the ham and eggs were excellent examples of a business’ commitment. At the University, we are constantly revisiting our processes and identifying what our critical success elements. They change incredibly rapidly in our environment, even from semester to semester!

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