Catalyst Strategic Consultants

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With the President…

Last installment, Rivet and its young President Jean had figured out a “From Here to There” goal that could mobilize the company.

Why would I shape this work to only happen with the President – and not with the “team”?

Hierarchy has been with humans for centuries. Back in the time of the Pharaohs, he said “I need a tomb – and not just any tomb!”   There were those in charge of what it would look like, those who figured out how it would get built and others who directed and carried out the work.

Armies have always run on structure – chain of command. It enabled the King to nail the overall goal, the General to set the objectives that would win the war and the majors and others to develop the “on the ground” plans and carry them out.

Today. Is there any doubt that Apple did what Steve Jobs wanted it to do? Or that Tim Cook was responsible to carry out his intentions? Was that good? Or what?

So, when it’s time for Rivet to get focused, bringing a whole aggregation of company folks into a room and asking them what Rivet should be centering on is inviting a power failure. Now they might surprise me, but I doubt it. And I don’t need to carry out another chemistry experiment to get the same old dud result. I know we would likely fail to get something with real leverage.

Rooms full of people – caring people, informed people, I know – have a way of averaging intensity down. But there is some deep unfashionableness about hierarchy – it’s not politically correct. Everybody should be involved!

Well, we can involve everybody. But it should be done in the way that will maximize impact and result. And getting everyone together and asking them what “we” should be doing is disingenuous.

“Boss, I thought that was your decision!” would be an honest response.   Because you can bet if “the group” came up with a vector that didn’t represent the intentions of the owner or President, it wouldn’t carry the day. And having got them involved and asked them, how can you ignore what they came up with?

No, when it comes to fundamental direction, that is “your decision”, Boss.

Presidents have 3 missions:
– set the game
– staff the organization
– keep the edge on

At the top of the house is where these happen. Nowhere else.

So when I start work with someone like Jean to get the enterprise rolling toward realizing its potential, I start with him.

Do you think he would let “the group” bring in someone else that he didn’t have complete faith in?


Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

What’s Our Business?

Bringing out the best in you, your company and your people.

Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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