The Organizational Development Muse Blog

The blog archives of Dr. Mark L. Vincent

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Culture Eats Strategy

Posted by Matthew Thomas on Jul 9, 2018 8:30:00 AM

By Ron Mahurin, Senior Consultant

This post originally appeared here.

(Yet Strategy – and Process – Still Matter)

There is some debate as to whether the late Peter Drucker actually ever said: “culture will eat strategy for breakfast, every time.” The phrase does not appear in any of the 35+ books he wrote. In any case, the phrase has become an oft-cited expression in the organizational change literature.

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Topics: process consulting

Business and the NFL

Posted by Randal Dick, Ph.D. on May 24, 2018 11:05:00 AM
By Dr. Randal Dick, Guest Author. Reprinted by permission. Original article here.

With uncertainty and disruption being the new norm in business while planning horizons are getting shorter, business is starting to look like the typical situation on any given Sunday in the NFL. Winning football teams tend to be those most successful at managing the constant barrage of disruptors and the unforeseen. In this article, I’m suggesting that football understands how to succeed in spite of disruption in a way that makes just as dramatic a difference when applied in a business or nonprofit.

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Topics: business success

The Steward Leader and the Challenge of Nontraditional Funding

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Apr 10, 2017 7:30:00 AM

The following is a presentation made this past week at the Christian Leadership Alliance's Conference in Dallas, TX. It was part of a summit on Steward Leadership. Portions of what you will find below include input from summit participants.

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Topics: process consulting, fiscal responsibility, board development, denominations, Stewardship Development, stewardism, associational systems, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, Fiscal Health, steward leadership, Executive Development, Five Stewardship Confusions

The Steward Leader Needs Deep Community

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Jan 11, 2017 6:28:00 AM

Over the years, we've turned, repeatedly, to the subject of Steward Leadership, especially as articulated in Scott Rodin's book on the Steward Leader.  I've been privileged to support this work through some writing contributions to other titles:

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Topics: process consulting, it begins with design, Matthew Thomas, stewardism, organizational development muse, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, steward leadership, David Van Winkle

More on millennials in the workplace

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Dec 22, 2016 1:16:00 PM

We recently hosted a conversation on millennials in the manufacturing workplace and posted the notes from those proceedings here. It sparked some significant response and a wide amplification across a variety of market sectors. It also prompted the following response from Sterling Balstead, GM of the Minnesota facility for Engineered Pump Systems (full disclosure: I serve on the board of the company):

I hired three young engineers in the last two years and work with them daily.  Previously, I worked with two other engineers who were 26 and 33 years old.  I am [personally] right on the edge of this conversation at 36.

When I think about our younger employees I see we need to engage and work with them differently than older generations, or hold on and hope they change into their grandparents.  Our company is used to employees who like or at least tolerate “8 hours per day + lots of overtime and few questions”---“nose to the grind stone”.  It also seems important for these same people to “start on time every day”.  Overtime seems to be proof of character[upon which] one can build identity.  Another obstacle we face is the length of time it takes to train our engineering team.  It takes 2+ years of employment to build the competency some of our current white collar job descriptions require, which I imagine is typical of small service based companies.  This is a big deal given millennials seem willing to change jobs, locations, and maybe career paths more easily than previous generations.  The younger generation seems to desire looser work schedules, working from home, and protecting personal time.  I understand and admire some of these concepts.

Your conversation notes seem to highlights millennials liking well communicated goals and performance reviews.  It also states they are jaded.  I wonder if this is what non-millennials perceive when millennials are trying to make sense of “why” we are so rigid.  To reframe the entire conversation positively, millennials may be asking: “who cares what road we take as long as we get to the final destination on time”.

This GM, Sterling Balstead, is paying attention, thinking about the changes needed rather than resisting the tide, and moving forward--not just in technical innovation, but with personnel recruitment and workplace consideration. 
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Topics: process consulting, Process Consultation, organizational development consulting, Organizational Leadership, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, leadership development methods, millennials in the workforce, Millennials and manufacturing

Millennials and Manufacturing: a Convene conversation.

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Oct 26, 2016 6:00:00 AM

The Convene Team I chair is blessed with the perspective of several manufacturers. After some recent case studies regarding hiring and some content on millennials in the workplace, it was noted that a great deal of the content they had come across didn't provide practical solutions for manufacturers seeking to hire and engage millennials. Most of the illustrations pointed to other industries like tech, health and service, perhaps more suited to flexible hours, a team culture and a quick succession of challenges. Finding there to be a virtual desIMG_1110.jpgert of ideas, we decided to gather senior leaders from several companies and pool experiences and ideas to see what might develop. What follows below is a summary of a conversation held on 18 October 2016, in Grafton, Wisconsin, at UFS.

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Topics: process consulting, Convene, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, millennials in the workforce, Millennials and manufacturing

Peer-based advising. Should you take a pass?

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Aug 31, 2016 1:00:00 PM
Why do executive leaders take a pass on peer-based advising?
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Topics: executive leadership, organizational development muse, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, organizational leaders, Peer-based advising, CEO peer-based advising,

Managing Polarities: the basics

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Jun 15, 2016 6:30:00 AM
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Topics: process consulting, the art of agreement, organizational development consulting, leadership arts, organizational development muse, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, organizational decision making, group process, executive learning, polarity management

CLA - celebrating 40 years

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Apr 21, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Christian Leadership Alliance celebrates 40 years of existence this week at its annual convention in Dallas. A key program I've personally invested in and benefitted from is its CCNL credential. The program grows every year, with an increasing number of organizations offering opportunity to complete the program. 

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Topics: Credentialed Christian Nonprofit Leader, Mark L. Vincent

A mission project form letter (I am happy to offer this service)

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Feb 1, 2016 5:37:05 PM

In anticipation of a new rash of these letters, we repost one of our favorites originally published in 2010.


Each spring Lorie and I receive about thirty requests to help people we know with their missions trip or service project by making a contribution. We give to one or two each year, usually because we believe in a young person’s potential and want to assist their formative experiences.

But each spring we also marvel at the inefficiency of these projects, the cultural mis-assumptions they perpetuate, how much they seem like mere tourism, and whether there is any real religious or humanitarian benefit. Not that we are opposed to people traveling and gaining experience. We would, however, support a better way should one emerge.

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Topics: Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, Whorled Viewz, Fundraising, fund raising, missions trips

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