I’m taking a bit of heat via email for the list of initiatives when managing a turnaround included in my review of Hardball.
Specifically, people have taken issue with these two points:
- Donâ€™t allow people to identify obstacles to change without also proposing solutions to overcome them
- Donâ€™t tolerate failure to deliver more than once
Now, this isn’t my list, it’s the authors’. I may not agree with all of the points, but to be fair I stole the headings without providing the supporting arguments.
Regarding not tolerating failure to deliver: the author’s aren’t referring to doing something incorrect/wrong; rather, they’re talking about failure to execute. While I think it would be stupid for a manager to not accept failure, when managing a turnaround failure to execute (/ do things) is a pretty big sin.
Regarding not allowing people to identify obstacles without proposing solutions: I had an interesting discussion today on this. I think it’s fairly important to keep the culture positive and focused on forward momentum, and too many people drawing attention to potential barriers to change may cause the entire organization to fail to deliver.
Iain Klugman, Communitech’s President, spoke at the last GHVF meeting on March 21st on lessons learned from the Waterloo Region and what it will take to build a successful tech industry in the Golden Horseshoe.
The real gem, the uncensored piece of advice, came in the Q&A period. In response to a question of what the Golden Horseshoe region could do to create and catalyze a culture of innovation and commerce Klugman simply responded: drown some puppies.
He went on to explain that the Golden Horseshoe region has too many fragmented networks (“2 for every individual”), each with its own mandate and focus, consuming similar resources, duplicating services, etc.
Klugman stated that sometimes you have to be brave enough to drown a few puppies to make a stronger litter. If the Golden Horseshoe region drowned some puppies they’d be able to create a stronger organization supporting innovation within the region – by trimming fat and duplicate expenses, by clarifying confusing overlap between groups, and by being able to hire a strong director that can grow the organization.
I couldn’t have agreed more with Klugman and in informal conversations since the event it has become apparent that many people within the region share a similar view.
While we were in Vancouver we were fortunate enough to meet with a number of people heavily involved in BC’s social enterprise community.
I continue to be fascinated with the funding continuum that is emerging in the province to support social enterprise. Mark and I were fortunate enough to spend time with David LePage from Enterprising Non-Profits, Kathleen Speakman from BCT Social Venture Partners, and Michael Strutt a founder of Urban Binning Unit, a local social enterprise that has received funding from BCT|SVT.
The most positive part of the meetings was when it was reinforced that Ontario has many of the pieces already in place, it’s simply about connecting the dots and filling in a few that may be missing.
Thank you David, Kathleen, and Michael for taking some time to meet with us.