Sunday, June 20, 2010

Organizational Success: A Sailing Analogy

I'm about halfway through the book The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins. It's a very practical and challenging book that seeks to help new leaders transition into new roles and assignments. Watkins wrote, in my opinion, the most lucid and clear explanation of the essential elements for success in an organization that I have ever read:
"Aligning an organization is like preparing for a long sailing trip. First you select your destination (the mission and goals) and your route (the strategy). Then you figure out what boat you need (the structure), how to outfit it (the systems), and the crew mix (the skills). Throughout the journey, you keep an eye out for reefs that are not on the charts."  Michael Watkins, The First 90 Day, pg. 135. 
 I've recently been given a new assignment (more later!) that will require creating something from nothing. Watkins' clear outline of the critical elements of an organization has been very helpful.

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