In every business there are cycles, seasons, economic conditions, new management, old management, downsizings, acquisitions, and too many other variables to calculate and consider in toto. However, you owe it to yourself and to the company you work for (or are considering working for) to take an inventory of the direction and OE.
Every business has a Rhythm
Find that rhythm and you'll find what I like* to call Organizational Energy. OE for short. Finding the OE of a business will let you know where you should focus your energies. If you find the OE of the business does not align with your goals, skills and morals then you should seek other options.
My suggestion: Look at everything you can and make an assessment of where the Organizational Energy is today and where it is going.
How do you know?
Sometimes you don't. You may have to push on the edges to find the soft spots.
You will likely find it is very easy to expose those well worn paths that everyone knows, just knows, are the right ways to get things done.
- Hint and Secret: Too often they aren't the right paths. They are just ruts. People get stuck in their comfort zone. It’s VERY hard to get people to consider taking even one step out of their comfort zone … let alone jumping in all the way.
Which reminds me of this saying:
What’s the difference between a Rut and a Grave?
Answer: How Deep it is and How Long you Stay There.
Taking a Pulse
This might just be your best guess. But you need to take a temp check, a pulse, to get a feel for the OE.
Some organizations are barely registering a pulse. Some know it. Many others don't. Or they have just accepted the fact that their OE is on life support.
Have you ever seen a company on life support?
A few examples of companies that have been on life support or are still on life support … some are dead, but don’t seem to know it yet or somehow live on as a shell of their former selves.
- Chrysler – Lee Iacocca brought them back from the dead with K-Cars.
- Kodak – They are effectively gone. Re-formed, but dead as we once knew it.
- LEGO – in 2002 they were on the brink of failure
- Pets.com – Who remembers the Sock Puppet?
- Marvel – They re-built the franchise with great stories
- MySpace – They were the one of the Social Media apps that started it all. Where are they today?
- Old Spice – With clever commercials they have made Old Spice the talk of the town. I’m on a Boat!
- Twinkies – The iconic snack food is back!
Some come out of it. With the help of creative and charismatic leaders. Others don't. And some have yet to be seen. Time will tell.
OE Impacts Everything
The direction of the company and your gut feel should guide you and help you decide where you want to spend your energy.
You may want to change roles or even change companies if the current OE doesn't align with your skills or goals. Where skills and goals might be called your Personal OE**
Image Credit: DigeratiLife
*Full Disclosure: I first heard the team Organizational Energy from Hennie Laubscher, a colleague at K2. He is a great guy and one of the best sales managers around. He had a few other Bon Mots that I still use to this day.
**Topic of Future post – Finding your POE
Managing and Finding your Personal OE. You only have so many hours in the day. How do you fit it all in?
What do you think?
- Have you seen great examples of OE in Action?
- Have you left a role or company because of misaligned OE?
- Have you done an OE assessment of your company?
Drop me a line in the comments here or at any of my social contact points below. I do want to hear your thoughts.
Jeff Shuey is a veteran in the Enterprise Content Management industry. Over the past 20 years he has worked with customers and partners to design, develop and deploy solutions around the world. Jeff is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances at Winshuttle. He has worked for Microsoft, FileNet, K2, Captaris, Open Text, Kofax and Kodak. He speaks and blogs about ECM and the Intersection between Social, Mobile and Cloud Computing.