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

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

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

Leaders drive organizational culture: reflections above the Mediterranean

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Nov 25, 2015 8:00:02 AM

The shoreline of the Mediterranean sea can be seen from the right side of the jet I’m riding in as I write this. It is beautiful, even from this height.

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Topics: process consulting, organizational development consulting, leadership arts, executive leadership, organizational development muse, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International

Respite and Renewed Focus

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Nov 5, 2015 6:00:00 AM

My postings to this blog have been minimal in 2015, and almost nothing since the summer began.

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Topics: process consulting, executive coaching, leadership development, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, deep transformation, CEO peer-based advising,, peer-based executive teams, Executive peer-based advising, executive learning

Notes on a Resource: The Objective Leader

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Jul 17, 2015 7:11:00 AM

The Objective Leader

How To Leverage The Power Of Seeing Things As They Are

Publishing Information: by Elizabeth R. Thornton, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2015

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Topics: process design, process consulting, organizational development consulting, executive leadership, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, notes on a resource, business success

Opening up the organizational can: Organizational design should continue to evolve

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Jul 1, 2015 6:00:00 AM

Truth be told, even after several decades of Silicon Valley leading the way, and an incredible amount of research demonstrating the power of teams and an empowered work force, the majority of organizations are stuck in the authoritarian model of old (especially manufacturing), or even more stuck in the hyper-democratic models that tried to offer a correction in the last half of the 20th century (especially charities and denominational bodies).

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Topics: process consulting, organizational development consulting, Organizational Governance, organizational development muse, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, organizational design, organizational systems, open vs. closed organizational systems

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