S2 E105 — When Cosmic Leads to Decline, Pair Extremes Intentionally

It’s one thing to force the “jump to a winning reinvention path” through a major restructuring of people, processes, technologies and organization rearrangement. It’s quite another to develop the competency in-house to do it over and over again as needed.

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “Virtue is best delivered with humility, talent with vulnerability, might with mercy. The cosmic packaging doesn’t always team the right qualities together so you’ll do some intentional pairing.” Scorpio

Hi and welcome to Friday’s Episode 105 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 29th day of August in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E104Worst Monday Ever. Very, Very Grim …; S2 E103 Confronting Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt, Resistance and Unrelenting Stress ; S2 E102Caught by Surprise in a Major Gut-Wrenching Decline

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E105Will Fortune Smile on Us Later in the Evening?; S1 E104How Yesterday’s Success Triggers Tomorrow’s Failure; S1 E103Innies and Outies and Other Potential Catastrophes; S1 E102Why Is It Always Hidden in the Fine Print?


This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress. In previous episodes we described Start Up, Emerging Growth, Rapid Growth, Sustained Growth, Maturity, Decline and now Reinvention stages.  

But, each with the emphasis on how a specific stage provides another better fit opportunity for one or more of 16 Talent Profiles, yours included.

The prescription for decline, usually purchased during advanced stages of the “Mature Matrix” disease, is to bring in a new management discipline and the talent that can re-capture breakthrough product innovations while outsourcing non-core competencies

It’s one thing to force the “jump to a winning reinvention path” through a major restructuring of people, processes, technologies and organization rearrangement. It’s quite another to develop the competency in-house to do it over and over again as needed.

It requires the right mix of internal change agents and knowledge managers to reinvent the enterprise and breathe new life into old procedures and processes relevant as the newer proprietary best practices.

But, reinvention begins before the organization leaves maturity and falls into decline in most technology-driven organizations, or after when a disruptive transformation is forced and lessons want to be learned in organizational memory.

A “Chief Reinvention Officer” assembles a team from talent profiles that previously had been skipped over from each of the four major organization types.

In maturing and declining organizations people in the system can’t see the changes that are happening in their environment.  

This is so insidious that frequently the data that they ignore have to do with factors that could literally drive them out of business.  

Growth Stage Key Success Factor Leading to a Crisis New Success Key 
Start Up Loosen  Leadership Tighten
Emerging Tighten Functional Loosen
Rapid Loosen  Autonomy Tighten
Sustained Tighten Repetition Loosen
Maturity Loosen Control Tighten
Decline Tighten Red Tape Loosen

But, 102 Thought Leaders and 113 Idea Packers only start the reinvention process.  It takes a maverick combination of talent to succeed — 104 R&D Experimenters, 106 Operational Accelerants, 109 Internal Change Agents and 115 Professional Practitioners.

To break out of Red Tape Crisis requires the acquisition of or the return of new dance partners — the last of “red” Paradoxy-Moron innovator tribes — the 104 R&D Experimenters who produce new niche breakthrough products.

They’re the masters of collaboration tools and they participate in all sorts of discovery and innovation through their worldwide web-like networks.

But, within the mature organization, they are the most disruptive. Recognizing the external signals of impending decline and acting on them requires foresight. So recognition and execution usually only occur after it is too late to mobilize in time to avoid a decline.

They have to keep the independent, entrepreneurial spirit alive by leading a skunk works for reinventing, reengineering or continuously innovating. 

The “green” 106 Operational Accelerants the last of the four Emerging-Entrepreneurs talent profiles take the emerging core competency further by developing operationally excellent processes — streamlined, efficient and incrementally improved — while deciding which of the non-essentials are outsourced. 

The “tan” 109 Internal Change Agents create the demand for change and execute strategies to minimize resistance critical to innovative and operational success. 

And, finally,  those in “blue”, the last of the Systematic-Professionals,  115 Professional Practitioners may enjoy mastering  a new niche as part entrepreneur and part professional services delivery person. They’re needed to apply proprietary best practices and knowledge gleaned from the growing “intraprenerial proof of concepts” while measuring results the rest of the organization can more easily digest and trust.

“Wait a minute,” you may say. 

According to the Organization Type model the “Red” Paradoxy-Morons and “Tan” Sustaining-Associates” represent polar opposites in just the same way that “Green” Emerging-Entrepreneurs and “Blue” Systematic-Professionals do.

The first shows Disruptive Innovation at the extreme opposite corner from the Sustained Improvement extreme.  The same is true for the diagonal running from   Emerging Knowledge to Embedded Knowledge. 

Of course you are right. 

When it comes to identifying worse fit kinds of organizations.  Because those end points usually lie along the path of highest resistance.

Usually those combinations represent polar opposites dedicated to the highest degrees of disruptive innovation, independence, speed, embedded knowledge, improvement, affiliation and mastery. 

But, if you look closely the four Reinvention Talent Profiles do not embody the highest degree, but rather only medium degrees:

    • 104 R&D Experimenters — Medium degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed.
    • 106 Operational Accelerants — Medium degrees of new knowledge, affiliation and speed.
    • 109 Internal Change Agents — Medium degrees of improvement, affiliation and mastery
    • 115 Professional Practitioners — Medium degrees of embedded knowledge, improvement and mastery.

Once a Chief Reinvention Officer builds the team allowing for differences to surface during the storming phase and they begin to learn from each other more collaboratively they become a new model for how a Reinvented organization can be run.


“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “Virtue is best delivered with humility, talent with vulnerability, might with mercy. The cosmic packaging doesn’t always team the right qualities together so you’ll do some intentional pairing.” Scorpio

A Reinvention team doesn’t mesh well especially in the forming stage.  You have to allow members from opposite organization types to argue, become frustrated with each other until differences bring out better understanding.  

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“4”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “The general public may not be your best audience. Niche down. Once you aim your talent where people are likely to be responsive, you’ll find many to play along.”  Aries 

Depend on the internal change agents to help identify those like-minded people attracted to new niche, but critical paths.

“4”  Steve Howey, 42:Mistakes will be made. The way of progress is to admit to them, deal with the problem, learn from the sequence and either build on that or move along to the next thing.” Cancer

You have to allow for the messy, mistake filled beginnings before normalization takes hold and sets the stage for high performance. 

“5”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: To keep from falling behind, look ahead. Figure out what you might need up there. Grab it and keep walking. Soon, you’ll be looking back and offering advice to the people who stand where you are now.” Leo

The task leads you into first time adventures where the outcome is uncertain filled with highly resistant coworkers.  At first they’ll line up against you until they notice the positive changes they can begin to trust.

Steve Aoki, 41: “Boats that beat against the current may expend great effort only to be borne back. Distance will only be achieved in accordance with the wind and tides.” Sagittarius

You have to expect highly resistant going in the beginning.  Look for those early adaptors who may provide budget and influence necessary to turn the tide your way.

Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): Worry helps no one, least of all you. Think about how you want things to go, and then prepare for that. Direct your positive thoughts and energy to the situation and all will be well.” Pisces

It’s always uphill.  But with the right kind of core foundational story, an inclusive vision and a mission others can swallow you’ll find more people who can lend a hand.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 4733 to 4807.




    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate


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