Other Services I offer
Apart from training, coaching, and facilitation, I work in the areas of
- Organizational Effectiveness, also referred to as Organizational Development
- Leadership Development in the form of leadership coaching and leadership consulting
- Writing including articles on society, politics, global news, success, excellence, and of course, business and management.
- Keynote speaking on the themes of success, excellence, leadership, and challenges facing organizations, institutions, society, and the world.
- The Effective Executive – based on Peter Drucker’s timeless classic
- The Five Most Important Questions – that any organization – business, non-profit, or government – needs to ask for its own success.
Organizational Effectiveness/ Organizational Development
I use Peter Drucker’s thought, his works as the foundation of all my work. Peter Drucker studied how societies in the modern world function through organizations. Drucker studied effective leaders and organizations and shared how management was key to every success.
I follow Drucker’s emphasis on organization’s purpose and fundamental clarity. This includes knowing where one stands when it comes to focus on efforts versus the focus on results. It includes the make-or-break distinction between efficiency and effectiveness. It includes clarity on values. And it includes an understanding on strengths – both of the individual and of the organization.
I use systems thinking in my work. Articles on Ackoff’s F/law and Systems thinking will introduce you to systems-thinking.
Leadership Coaching/ Leadership Consulting
Effective leaders and effective organizations are so intertwined in our age that working on one inevitably leads to working on the other. A few organizations start off looking for help to develop their leaders. A few leaders start off looking for help to develop their organizations. Both kinds of work converge at some point. What we all seek is always organizational success, something that contributes to a better world.
Leadership is responsibility. Responsibility for getting the right things done. What are the right things? The answers always start with integrity and character. They inevitably move towards values and purpose, vision and mission. The way we answer these questions is crucial. We must move from airy-fairy answers and tie them to practical results on the ground. Peter Drucker’s pragmatism & his thoughts serve as great guidance in doing so.
As an avid reader and writer, I am keen to collaborate on writing assignments that seek to exploit my endless curiosity about the world.
If you have an event and are looking out for a curtain-raiser speech with just the right balance between minimal but fundamental research and practical application, do talk with me. I read and understand to create leverage points for action. I can customize a speech for tone and tenor, mood and setting.
The Effective Executive
The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker is one of the best books ever written on leadership effectiveness. The book is so good and complete in itself, I have created a leadership development offering dedicated around it.
In the book, Drucker identifies five practices or essential habits of all effective executives.
1) Know where their time goes.
They manage systematically the small amounts of discretionary time they have.
2) Focus on outward contribution.
They focus on results rather than effort.
3) They build on strengths, not weakness.
Strengths of everyone – themselves, subordinates, boss, peers and the strengths in a situation.
4) Concentrate on a few major areas where superior performance will produce outstanding results.
5) Make effective decisions.
Decisions that specify boundary conditions to recognize that it has worked as intended. Decisions that require dissenting points of view as a necessity.
I help individual leaders get better by facilitating a reading first. I coach and consult in the making of an action plan to learn these practices. And then, I am there to guide the leader in execution.
Oh, by the way, do I need to say; you must read the book anyway! It is a classic!
The Five Most Important Questions Workshop
You have an organization. It started with a good cause or a brilliant idea. But you are not sure whether everyone is clear on a) why we exist b) how to reach where we want. Then, ‘The Five Most Important Questions’ workshop is for you.
As a Facilitator, I conduct these Two-day, Full-day, Half-day workshops in a format created by the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute.
Here are the five questions – as articulated by Peter Drucker – relevant to any type of organization.
The questions are
1) What is Our Mission?
2) Who is Our Customer*?
3) What Does the Customer* Value?
4) What Are Our Results?
5) What Is Our Plan?
* For non-profits/government, read recipient instead of customer.
You rarely improve an organization as a whole by improving the performance of one or more of its parts
An organization is a system and the performance of a system depends more on how its parts interact than on how they act when taken separately. Suppose the automobile with the best motor is identified, then the one with the best transmission, and so on for each part that an automobile requires. Suppose further that these parts are removed from the cars of which they are a part. Finally, these parts are assembled into an automobile. We would not get the best possible car; in fact, we would not even get a car because the parts would not fit together, let alone work well together.
Similarly, if each part of a corporation is improved, it does not follow that the organization as a whole will be improved. By improving parts separately, the whole can be put out of business. Evaluation of the performance of parts of an organization should be based first on their effects on the whole, secondly on their individual performance.
In some cases, the organizational performance can be improved by reducing the performance of one of its parts: by increasing inventories fewer sales may be lost because of stock shortages. The profit obtained from the otherwise lost sales may be greater than the costs associated with increased inventory. Likewise, loss leaders are products sold at a loss in order to induce additional sales of profitable products.
– Russell Ackoff
What is a system? A Systems Pioneer explains.
What is a system? A Systems Pioneer explains
Early on in teaching about systems I often bring out a Slinky. In case you grew up without one, a Slinky is a toy – a long, loose, spring that can be made to bounce up and down, or pour back and forth from hand to hand, or walk itself downstairs.
I perch the Slinky on one upturned palm. With the fingers of the other hand, I grasp it from the top, partway down its coils. Then I pull the bottom hand away. The lower end of the Slinky drops, bounces back up again, yo-yos up and down, suspended from my fingers above.
“What made the Slinky bounce up and down like that?” I ask students.
“Your hand. You took away your hand,” they say.
So I pick up the box the Slinky came in and hold it the same way, poised on a flattened palm, held from above by the fingers of the other hand. With as much dramatic flourish as I can muster, I pull the lower hand away.Nothing happens. The box just hangs there, of course
“Now once again. What made the Slinky bounce up and down?”
The answer clearly lies within the Slinky itself. The hands that manipulate it suppress or release some behaviour that is already latent within the structure of the spring.
That is a central insight of systems theory.
Once we see the relationship between structure and behaviour, we can begin to understand how systems work, what makes them produce poor results, and how to shift them into better behaviour patterns. As our world continues to change rapidly and become more complex, systems thinking will help us manage, adapt, and see the wide range of choices we have before us. It is a way of thinking that gives us the freedom to identify root causes of problems and see new opportunities.
So, what is a system? A system is a set of things – people, cells, molecules, or whatever – interconnected in such a way that they produce their own pattern of behaviour over time. The system may be buffeted, constricted, triggered, or driven by outside forces. But the system’s response to these forces is characteristic of itself, and that response is seldom simple in the real world.