Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Organizational Energy is a Tool

imageI use the term Organizational Energy to describe the overall effort, attention and time for a given task or idea. There are times when People and Companies just don’t have the Organizational Energy (OE) to do something. That’s OK. Realizing this early is better than jumping into a project only to find out the OE wasn’t there to begin with.

There are only so many hours in the day and only so much energy that an organization can expend. Knowing these limits and using them wisely is the key to successfully realizing the potential of the company and its people.

Before embarking on a new project you should ask yourself, your team, your company and your partners a few questions. If there are any doubts or reservations about having enough Organizational Energy to complete the project they should be addressed. It doesn’t mean the project is dead in the water. It just means that people have reservations. Listen to them and address them before you move on.

Before embarking on a project ASK the following questions:

  • Do I have the OE to make this happen?
  • Does my company?
  • Do my partners?

What if the answer is No or Not Now?

  • If the answer is No that’s OK.
  • If the answer is Not Now that’s also OK.
  • There is a time and a place for everything.

The key point is to make a decision. A YES is as good as a NO. At least in the sense of moving the conversation and the project in some direction.

imageIf the answer to the primary questions is yes. Don’t stop there. Dig into the project and the steps to gain consensus and to make sure everyone knows what they’ll need to deliver --- so they’ll know how much Organizational Energy will be required for success.

If the answer is no. Don’t stop there. Again, dig into the project or idea to understand their concerns. They may have missed something. You may have missed something. Ask questions. Seek answers. Make Decisions.

Organizational Energy as a Litmus Test

imageOne way to gauge the interest and potential success of a project is to ask all the stakeholders for a sanity check of their Organizational Energy to complete the project.

Note: I did NOT say to attempt the project. As Yoda said in Star Wars "Do or Do not. There is no try."

If people cannot commit the OE to complete a project that should be a red flag. Again, not the death knell of a project or idea. Rather it’s a chance to have an open dialogue about what they see as the limitations and barriers to success.

When thinking about Organizational Energy

Ask questions. Seek answers. Make Decisions.


Jim Ferguson said...

Well said Jeff. I have found that having a goal in mind is key...the path to achieving the goal can take many paths - you have to constantly assess where you are going and why if you ever hope to achieve your goal.

Jeff Shuey said...

Thanks Jim. Yes, the old axiom from Stephen Covey to "Begin with the End in Mind" is important. Otherwise like with Alice in Wonderland ... when she came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. ... “If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.”