S2 E89 — Garage Bonking and Chasm Jumping

It’s a culture that encourages individual imagination and achievement, as well as, stellar out-of-the-box thinking. It caters to the special kind of mindset that is driven by a desire to create the future — the most original, best and brightest among gadflies, concept champions, mavericks, the unconventional and eccentric.

“5”  Steve Harvey, 62:While many pay lip service to a principle, you’re all about the proof, the hard evidence that the idea will work. You want to live the improvement, and so you’ll roll up your sleeves and get to work.” Capricorn

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s Episode 89 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 1st 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 E88Convincing Family, Friends, Fools and Angels; S2 E87Start Ups Aren’t For Everyone. Are They a Better or Worse Fit for You?; S2 E86How To Avoid a Disastrous Career Like Mine

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E89Because If You Don’t Someone Else Will. It’s Worth It!; S1 E88Who’s Marc Maron and What’s da Vinci got to do with him?; S1 E87 — Pipe Bombs Destroy Vacation Bliss; S1 E86Day 86 of My 1-Year Natural Experiment

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In a previous episode I summarized everything you need to know about four basic organizations to stack the odds in your favor when shopping around for your next job opportunity.  

Oh, what disaster to avoid (unlike me) in your next career move. 

Now we’re building on each of the 16 talent profiles and how they can take advantage of opportunities in stages of organizational growth from Start Up to Maturity and from Decline to Reinvention.

Five Major Stages of Growth for Organizations

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

The longer it takes to convert visionary influence into early pragmatist orders tests the start-up’s capacity for survival.  

It has to generate enough cash initially, and then stabilize its business by eliminating cash flow problems. 

And that my friend is the crux of the problem.

Oh, and the vast majority of “garage” Start Ups “bonk” against the garage door and never make it out of the first stage.  

But if they do, they may not make it out of the growth stage or prevent themselves from becoming a mere shell of their former mature selves or worse yet decline and go out of business.

Consequences of not Mastering Growth Crises

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

If your organization continues unchanged, the reversing success factors will trigger failure during the transitions from Start Up to Growth, to Maturity, into Decline and Reinvention.

Many of the Executive MBA students I advised hadn’t considered that the key success factors they operated under currently could derail their employer’s success in the near, medium or distant future.

It’s sorta like what brought you to the party has to be reversed to make it to the next stage.  So, first they had to realize which stage they were in and which was next.  And then, they had to identify the new and opposite set of key success factors — 180 degrees different.

Results of Mastering 180 Degree Opposite Set of Key Success Factors

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

In a start-up the founder sells a compelling vision of their future.  Just like our clients’ at Think!City did.  Or what happened to Proxima’s early employees who wore a lot of hats and loved it.  They also expected to be first in line when it came to heading up functions.  

That transition from organic free flowing ways of creating a company turned out to be the opposite of what helped them in the second stage.  And pissed off a lot of them when outsiders from bigger companies stepped all over them when they were hired.

Case of “Arrested Development”

It ain’t pretty.  But, it’s so predictable.  My Executive MBA students had to figure out how to close the “gaping chasm” and with their course work and the help of mentors I matched them with, how to navigate the “transformation” required for a bumpy landing into the next growth stage.  Not every employer makes it, at least not at first.

Now we’re going to walk through each stage’s crisis challenge — crossing the chasm between each growth stage — and identifying the 180 degree solution required.

Solving Each Stage’s Unique Challenge

Stage of Growth

Crisis Challenge

180 Degree Solution

Start Up

Leadership

Tighten Operations

Emerging Growth

Functional

Loosen Operations

Rapid Growth

Autonomy

Tighten Operations

Sustained Growth

Repetition

Loosen Operations

Maturity

Control

Tighten Operations

Decline

Red Tape

Loosen Operations

Reinvention

Culture Blindness

Tighten then Loosen Operations

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Bridging the Gap Between Start Up and Emerging Growth  

During the final leg of the product development process the looming deadlines and commitments tense the work that increases velocity and accelerated activity.

Teams work at hyper-speed. So it takes a certain kind of person to put up with last minute shifts in direction and make or break pressures.

What kind?

The most original, best and brightest among gadflies, concept champions, mavericks, the unconventional and eccentric. It’s a culture that encourages individual imagination and achievement, as well as, stellar out-of-the-box thinking. It caters to the special kind of mindset that is driven by a desire to create the future. 

What about the leadership crisis? 

Bridging Leadership Gap Between Start Up to Emerging Growth

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

It’s a culture that encourages individual imagination and achievement, as well as, stellar out-of-the-box thinking. It caters to the special kind of mindset that is driven by a desire to create the future. 

What about the leadership crisis? 

Once the start-up survives and begins to grow, new knowledge about efficiencies and quality is required. 

More employees coming into the organization can’t be managed exclusively through informal communication, as before.

And, coming in after the fact, most new employees aren’t motivated by that same intense dedication to the product and its vision.

New capital needed to fund expansion. And new accounting procedures for financial control. So, the founders find themselves burdened with the unwanted management responsibilities. They long for the good old days and still act as they did in the past.

They don’t realize that’s the kiss of death.

Not until the crisis arises out of the conflicts.

So when the key talent begins to ask, “Who will lead the company out of this confusion and solve the management problems we are facing?” 

It becomes painfully clear that the answer is not the founder.

Two Talent Profiles Attracted to Emerging Growth

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

In many cases. A strong manager is needed who has the necessary knowledge and skill to introduce new business techniques to help them bridge the widening gulf between start-up and early growth stage.

Often it’s up to 107 Resilient Product Teams to develop “the formula” by reducing the amount of random experimentation while accelerating new business by learning from early customers.  They streamline the rapid product development process and convert emerging knowledge into repeatable processes.

Emerging-Entrepreneurs in a 108 Core Business Group expand the number of products and variations available often preceding the need to break the organization into functional specialties.  They manage through the variable demand, but focus on building the capacity for higher growth with efficient ramp-ups for initial products

Founders hate to step aside during this turning point, even though they don’t have the temperament to be managers.

If they don’t, they prolong the inevitable. But, as we see in the next stage the directive management style plants the seeds for a new crisis at the end of the early growth stage.

Evidence

“3”  Steve Zahn, 51:It’s not expensive to amp up your powers of attraction, nor does it require special talent or particular features. The more present you are to the moment, the more attractive you are.” Scorpio

How can I disagree?  Who would want to.  I’m flattered that this is a legitimate Holiday Tau for me, but I’m not feeling its relevance today — so far.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Today’s Holiday Birthday:  

Your imaginative powers are strong and your sense of purpose even stronger. Mentors help you pull together a plan. The new season will be marked with a sense of belonging and group pride. You’ll rebuild with your team. There’s a stroke of financial luck in November and shiny new tools will make more possible.

Wait, how wouldn’t this be a perfect birthday present for either 107 Resilient Product Teams or 108 Core Business Group talent profiles?

“3”  Steve Howey, 42:Selflessness leads to satisfaction. It’s the moves you make to see other people smile or to alleviate their worry or their suffering that will ultimately bring you the most joy.” Cancer

I have to agree in general, and even though it’s Saturday, I’m not experiencing this one yet.

“4”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King,72:Though work may go faster when done by others and fun may be more affordable when someone else is paying, this doesn’t change your plan. You’re determined to do it yourself.” Virgo

I have to experience what I teach and learn from my mistakes before I can turn the work over to somebody else.

“4”  Steve Aoki, 41:You’ve been at the task for a while now and are ready for the new challenges that can be thrown in your mix. What some would consider to be increasing stress from every direction, you consider fun.” Sagittarius

Just as long as I’m not a German Short-Haired Pointer and the new challenges aren’t squirrels scampering from limb to tree limb laughing at me.

“5”  Steve Harvey, 62:While many pay lip service to a principle, you’re all about the proof, the hard evidence that the idea will work. You want to live the improvement, and so you’ll roll up your sleeves and get to work.” Capricorn

Not only for my self as I have been field testing this work, but for matching mentors to students to help them apply what the professors taught in their Executive MBA course work over a decade.

“4”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): Check your sources. There’s plenty of bad information out there today, which would be a regrettable share. You can avoid mistakes. Pause, question, and then make your move.” Pisces

Wow.  Doesn’t sum up this whole Season Two so far — our collective Pandemic Year?

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 4427 to 4516.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • 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

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

Table of Contents for Knowledge ATMs

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trips

Knowledge ATMs

A peak behind the scenes of self-publishing, crowdfunding, and working for yourself.

Table of Contents

Working for Yourself

Mooning the Merry-Go-Round

Freelancers 

Master Your Persuasion Process Bit by Bit 

Preneurs 

Voice 

Appeal 

Consultants 

Fans 

Authority  

The Challenge 

Behind the Scenes 

60-Minute Habit 

Brainstorm Your Business Name 

Day 3.5 Pink, Pitches and Pixar 

Packages for Producing Profits 

Secrets 

Day Five: Repeating 1st Grade 

Who Should Take the First Step the Chicken or Egg? 

Is It Worth All Those 3 am Wake Up Panics? 

Day Eight with Two Yogis at a Fork in the Road 

How To Choose the Best Crowdfunding Platform for You 

Skip These 6 Self-Publishing Truths at Your Own Peril 

Bill from Colorado Springs, You’re on the Air!

Lessons Learned the Hard Way

What’s Going On? Why? 

Where Are You Going? 

What happened on your journey so far? 

There’s Nothing in your Spam Queue at the Moment 

What Would Leo da V Do?  

Day One of My 1-Year Experiment

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

Table of Contents

 

S2 E88 — Convincing Family, Friends, Fools and Angels

We flew into Manhattan, digitally videoed almost all of their software engineers, surfaced their “core foundational story” and crafted a marketing and advertising campaign for the CEO, and the internal story to keep and retain the brains in the fold.

“5”  Steve Howey, 42:The brilliant solution will be simple, but it’s not always so easy to think like that. What would an outsider see? A child? Ask the naive questions that your sophisticated mind often skips.” Cancer

Hi and welcome to Friday’s Episode 88 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 31st day of July 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 E87Start Ups Aren’t For Everyone. Are They a Better or Worse Fit for You?; S2 E86How To Avoid a Disastrous Career Like Mine; S2 E85How to Up the Odds in Your Favor

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E88Who’s Marc Maron and What’s da Vinci got to do with him?; S1 E87 — Pipe Bombs Destroy Vacation Bliss; S1 E86Day 86 of My 1-Year Natural Experiment; S1 E85What happens when the fear subsides?

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In a previous episode I summarized everything you need to know about four basic organizations to stack the odds in your favor when shopping around for your next job opportunity.  

Oh, what disaster to avoid (unlike me) in your next career move. 

Now we’re building on each of the 16 talent profiles and how they can take advantage of opportunities in stages of organizational growth from Start Up to Maturity and from Decline to Reinvention.

Five Major Stages of Growth for Organizations

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Start Ups

Their founders are often described as a maniac on a mission. In the very beginning they grow organically through loose collaborations. Innovation leads to an IPO or acquisition by a larger company like Google or Amazon or other more mature players in the space. 

What they develop, independently, usually dramatically speeds up a standard process, or eliminates major steps, or in some radical way revolutionizes business-as-usual.

30. Venture Guidance

As a Systematic-Professional advisor I prepped potential startup entrepreneurs seeking investments from a group of entrepreneurs and former executives who agreed to pledge $50,000 each as seed or A-series funding.  Presenting with a deck of 10 slides, after being coached individually, they stood and delivered to a group of us role playing the sharks and throwing them curve balls challenging their assumptions.

Wannabe Entrepreneurs Seeking Angels 

I’d meet each person with a great idea, hear them out, conduct a preliminary in take against the criteria for receiving our free services provided by a budget from The Small Business Association.  

Instead of qualifying for a business loan at a vetted SBA bank affiliate that they’d have to pay back, we were there to vet their idea against evolving criteria provided to us by Tech Coast Angels — a group of entrepreneurs and former executives who agree to pledge $50,000 each as seed or A-series funding.  

In my own career I had failed so many times at start-ups that I could pick apart most of their plans and presentations almost instantaneously.  But, that didn’t mean I wasn’t a sucker for ideas I felt would be sure hits.  Even after I left the SBA program I continued to meet and mentor some of “my” entrepreneurs.

Individual Tech Coast Angels investors rarely got their money back on my clients.  

Our game plan was to divide the amount you needed by $50,000 increments and then you knew how many of those investors you needed to convince. Two for $100,000 or 20 for $1 million.

If our wannabes “graduated” from our “harassment” they submitted an application for an invitation to the next Tech Coast Angel meeting of all investors.  If they passed their initial screening, then they were invited to present to the large group. And, if lucky, to other Angel investors in the region until they collected enough $50,000 commitments.

Before Shark Tank

One of the mentors I invited to participate in The Executive to Executive MBA mentoring program provided a service just like Shark Tank, but way before. His proposition was for a founder to present to his group , get evaluated on strengths and weaknesses, work on the weaknesses with advisors within the network and pitch again.

Part of his value proposition, besides providing billable hours for advisors in their network, was introductions to investors who favored their model of vetting startup ideas.  

The Angels usually recouped their investments when the venture capitalists invested with hundreds of millions or they made their money when a startup was acquired by a larger company or registered for an initial public offering (IPO) on one of the stock exchanges.

But to be honest, the statistics rang true.  Most start ups fail within the first 5 years, but that’s after tapping into friends, family and fools and maxing out all of their credit cards and taking out second mortgages.  If one of my clients didn’t secure Angel Funding, then the game was over.  They never jumped the chasm to land on emerging growth. 

27. Knowledge Management — Brand Company

At Think!City and again as Systematic-Professional consultants, we crashed our models together — learning and development, knowledge creation, media production, internet communities, strategy, advertising and marketing. 

We worked together in a highly creative environment within a corrugated metal building designed by a local architecture firm in Laguna Beach, on a curve in Laguna Canyon Road.

Start Up Talent Culture

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

From our studio we continued internal and external branding with clients ranging from startups to Fortune 100.  I fell headlong into sharing new knowledge that springs out of new innovations.

We pioneered a way of capturing the essence of a brand on digital video, searched through audio tracks for the touch points and reused portions of the interviews for orienting new coders hired at accelerated rates. 

Start Up #1

One of our clients, Interworld, was so new their CEO, a 101 Breakpoint Inventor,  just didn’t know how to talk about what they did.  So, we flew into Manhattan, digitally videoed almost all of their software engineers, surface their “core foundational story” and crafted a marketing and advertising campaign for the CEO, and the internal story inside to keep and retain the brains in the fold.

The CEO was able to coherently sell Interworld’s story to potential investors and customer within an advertising campaign framed by their brand.

Before engaging the 103 Commercial Innovators and 105 Marketing Athletes in our process Interworld’s turnover rate hit 90%. But, because they had told us what their core foundational story was, they fervently believed in that mission they defined and the vision we fedback to them.  And, they voluntarily stopped taking the two or three daily recruiter calls from Wall Street and Silicon Valley.

Interworld loved our work. 

Start Up #2

A technology opportunity emerged quickly which focused primarily on retail investors throwing money at an e-commerce platform that addressed Amazon’s bookselling initial business.  They saw the writing on the wall. The business model customized each “brick and mortar” business and took them online with the same look and feel of the store. 

As each new company signed on, the company with the platform, Online Retail Partners, learned new stuff, and developed newer bells and whistles they then shared with their “investment partners”.

The retailers knew their business, but didn’t understand technology.  So they invested in a company that did.  And as Online Retail Partners grew out, the new and legacy retail investors would share in the rewards. 

Warren of Incubating Start Ups

So, up on the 11th floor of a dingy gray building with only one operating elevator and noise chugging steam heaters sat a warren of start-up companies squirreled off into sections of large and small rooms — basically large enough to fit in tables with chairs facing each other and a lot of digital screens and yards and yards of cables.  

Online Retail Partners was one of them. We arrived to surface their business model like we did at Interworld.  The CEO laid out several problems for our help.  He said they worked on Internet-time — ever accelerating time-to-market like we faced at Proxima creating 2-way “meeting room tools”; they couldn’t afford any stinking time away from their pace to go to no stinking training; they “popped” retail businesses online in 75 to 90 days in a slow quarter; they needed to hire and assimilate 100 new employees and …

When we met them they had a core team of 5 or 6 geniuses — 103 Commercial Innovators and 105 Marketing Athletes — who learned how to finish each other’s sentences.  Everything worked like butter.  Nothing bad happened, until they began to break up the foundational team as they took on new partners and spread them out among them.  

Chaos But In a Good Way

New hires told us they would see people walking around between the shared couches and conversation areas in the incubator, back to one or two other tabled rooms, but had no idea which one of them was the team lead on a project they were hired into.

To us it just seemed like a ferris wheel spinning faster and faster until somebody launches out into space.

Crazy creative Dave and I interviewed those first geniuses and recording those on digital video with B-roll footage to capture the early warehouse environment with exposed pipes — kinda like where we worked in the corrugated metal building in the bend of Laguna Canyon Road.  

No Time For This

First of all they couldn’t agree on how many product development steps it took from new idea to finished product — in their case a password and access to their customers online environment.  We interviewed them separately, then held a group session where in an old school way had them draw their product development process on butcher paper taped to a wall

A new hire came up to me and said that was the single best thing that happened to him in the first 30 days — watching them convince each other what their process should be — as he was sitting off in the conversation pit looking on.  

He told me as we were breaking down the lights, that when we identified who we interviewed, asked for their phone and email he found out who his boss was and finally knew what he should be working on in “Phase 1”.

Team Follows the Leader to the Next Company

The CEO, who came from Staples of all places, body-snatched the original team almost intact from one of Amazon’s competitors and gave them complete freedom in founding the company.  And the technology team’s leader —  a 101 Breakpoint Inventor —   absolutely walked on water all the others said, so his personality, reputation and competence provided enough “stickiness” in the beginning.  But the second and third wave of new hires didn’t know him or about him.

So, as they grew, turnover accelerated.

Stickiness and Accelerated Time-to-Mastery

Our challenge was to accelerate each new team member’s time-to-mastery, without drawing too much away from everyone’s concentration on shortening product cycles, and without sending them to orientation off-sites for a week like we did in the old days.

Crazy Dave and I knew from our experiences with “Strategic Safari Tools” and technology innovation challenges circulating the new knowledge innovation teams “throw off” as emerging best practices was critical to their survival as they tried to scale and grow.

We focused on those emerging best practices.  We drew out the product development phases, using our digital video we briefly explained what happened in of them from my interview with each expert, using just the first frame of their picture we captioned them with their email and phone number.

It became embarrassingly easy to find each other quickly and efficiently. And solved the eternal problem with best practices for as long as I can remember.

In the old world, when you finished a project the leader was to see to it a best practice was written up — what the situation and context demanded, something about surprises, what worked well and what didn’t, and maybe a question about “if you had it to do again, what would you have done differently?”

Product geniuses didn’t have the time to write something up.  They raced around attending to first-time problems and gnarly solutions.

Knowledge Leakage

We used to call it knowledge leakage.  It just evaporated. But the issue was composing something in writing. 

If you wanted me to write up a best practice about what we’ve covered here it would be a chore.  

It’s so much easier for you to interview me,  to pull it out of an expert and capture it.  As you interview them, they’re given the opportunity to unspool.

They’re replaying it for the first time from beginning to end and re-discovering what they learned, but hadn’t thought of before.  It could be the real lesson.

We Slowed Them Down Until …

I found a software tool that scanned down through the audio tracks of video and logged in time codes and content automatically.  They provided an editor tool and a search function so we could very quickly zero in on all the instances that “Phase Five” appears in that hour of tape.

We didn’t all have to be in the studio at the same time.

That was the real pinch point in our behind the scenes magic.  With ORP or Interworld, or 18Global, or even Zany Brainy we couldn’t slow them down and the way we did business originally did just that

Our Systematic-Professional practice offered digital asset management — that just-in-time, just enough capability delivered to any creative team member’s desktop.

We Practiced What We Preached

Our Verage searchable knowledge base allowed us to view the entire 1-hour digital video, a smaller section of the video or little snippets within a clip.   If someone rolled onto our production team without having traveled to Ireland, Australia or Dallas they could view everything to get up to speed with the client.

Summary

Why are these talent profiles magnetized to Start Ups?  Usually the “Maniac on a Mission” aka 101 Breakpoint Inventor thrives on the highest degrees of Independence, Speed and Disruptive Innovation. 

As founders they bet it all on the line — “Go Big of Go Home!”  Usually they’ve cultivated a loose team of co-conspirators who may not entirely grasp the expansiveness of vision, 

16 Talent Profiles by Organization Type

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

but as one 103 Commercial Innovator told us, “Whenever Ian calls, we know to drop everything and join him.”  They know the new venture, base on past adventures, promises to be one-of-a-kind that they will regret if they don’t hop on board the train leaving the station — destination unknown.  Wherever founders take them the market, industry or themselves will never be the same.

Start Up Culture Attracting Three Talent Profiles

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

The early team can’t all share founders need for disruption and speed at the same highest degree.  To bring the vision to life and launch it into the marketplace some team players need medium degrees independence, disruptive innovation and speed to function aka 103 Commercial Innovators without unnecessarily challenging what the founders see that they can’t yet. Part of what they’re able to bring to the table is a translation function.  Figuring out how to define and deliver a proof of concept, a rapid prototype — something that is more tangible even for the rest of the team.  They’re always on the lookout for commercializing early applications of the vision, figuring out strategies for licensing their intellectual property and setting up joint R&D projects to fill in missing pieces and technologies. 

The first two usually hang out in Paradoxy-Moron organizations and can stay and grow as that organization matures through growth stages and reaches maturity. But finding a home in another start up, as serial entrepreneurs often do, they’re joined by folks, 105 Marketing Athletes who value speed (high) and affiliation (medium), but interject a focus on new knowledge creation.  They plug the holes in knowledge leakage that cutting edge processes produce by capturing it and sharing it and protecting it as proprietary processes almost as much as intellectual property.

Evidence

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Today’s Holiday Birthday: 

 Life always gets more interesting when you follow that whisper of curiosity. Your interests and skills evolve. You’ll take risks and gather up the freedoms available to you on the other side. You’ll be applauded in a familiar group and accepted into an elite one. You’ll win with someone you feel driven to impress.

The whisper of curiosity — I love that turn of phrase.  This ain’t my legitimate Holiday Birthday, but it certainly applies to how I’ve led my career and original research which I’m trying to stuff into this here “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” my work-in-progress.

“3”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “The point will be just to show up and see what you discover. If you can lower your expectation or, better yet, go in totally without one, you’ll be primed for a stellar day.” Aries 

Go in?  With this pandemic I hardly go out.  I pine for a stellar day, but I’m not seeing the signs of one yet, but it’s still early.

“5”  Steve Howey, 42:The brilliant solution will be simple, but it’s not always so easy to think like that. What would an outsider see? A child? Ask the naive questions that your sophisticated mind often skips.” Cancer

So often I had to ask myself that question and asked my clients similar sets of questions to move over, under, or around seemingly insurmountable barriers.

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 4427 to 4516.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • 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

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E87 — Start Ups Aren’t For Everyone. Are They a Better or Worse Fit for You?

Their founders are often described as a maniac on a mission. In the very beginning they grow organically through loose collaborations. Innovation leads to an IPO or acquisition by a larger company like Google or Amazon or other more mature players in the space.

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): You can take the heat today, especially if you’re the one providing it for yourself in the form of self-discipline or lofty ambitions. You may not achieve all you desire, but you’re better for the effort.” Pisces

Hi and welcome to Thursday’s Episode 87 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 30th day of July 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 E86How To Avoid a Disastrous Career Like Mine; S2 E85How to Up the Odds in Your Favor; S2 E84Maybe Robin Hood Got It Right After All, Eh?

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E87 — Pipe Bombs Destroy Vacation Bliss; S1 E86Day 86 of My 1-Year Natural Experiment; S1 E85What happens when the fear subsides?; S1 E84Crisis averted?  Energy depleted?  What are we going to do?

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In a previous episode I summarized everything you need to know about four basic organizations to stack the odds in your favor when shopping around for your next job opportunity.  

Oh, what disaster to avoid (unlike me) in your next career move.

Five Major Stages of Growth for Organizations

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Now we’re building on each of the 16 talent profiles and how they can take advantage of opportunities in stages of organizational growth from Start Up to Maturity and from Decline to Reinvention.

Start Ups

What do we know about them?  For our purposes we assume two driving forces conspire together — a disruptive innovation and a rapid pace to commercialize an invention into the marketplace to establish a first movers advantage.  Think Apple, Google, Facebook, and say, Tesla.  

Their founders are often described as a maniac on a mission. In the very beginning they grow organically through loose collaborations. Innovation leads to an IPO or acquisition by a larger company like Google or Amazon or other more mature players in the space. 

What they develop, independently, usually dramatically speeds up a standard process, or eliminates major steps, or in some radical way revolutionizes business-as-usual. 

Think Amazon and retailers. 

Somehow, they are capable of anticipating something new and act decisively to establish a new market, industry, technology, or a new scientific discipline. Seemingly against all odds they’re able to refine and deliver a rapid prototype of the new product category.  

Only technology enthusiasts are interested. 

Here’s the rub. 

Their market niche emerges too slowly for them. 

In the early stage it is built up around one or more visionaries who see the potential for the new technology and fund the first proofs-of-concept. 

Talent Profiles Seeking Better Fits

It makes sense that two Paradoxy-Morons and one Emerging-Entrepreneur are attracted like moths to a flame:

16 Talent Profiles by Organization Type

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

So what do they have in common?  

The first two, 101 Breakpoint Inventors and 103 Commercial Innovators, share the need for speed with the third, but being Paradoxy-Morons they’re really into disruptive innovation.

Speed drives 105 Marketing Athletes, but their focus is on learning from their experience and generating new knowledge while building product teams putting that proprietary intellectual property to work again and again.

Three Talent Profiles Attracted to the Start Up Stage

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

The typical scenario for the “garage start-ups” is a tricky proposition. If they come up with a discontinuous technology whose sole benefit is to lower cost and improve productivity within a well-worn application arena, they have essentially an unmarketable opportunity. 

The longer it takes to convert visionary influence into early pragmatist orders tests the start-up’s capacity for survival.  

It has to generate enough cash initially, and then stabilize its business by eliminating cash flow problems. 

And that my friend is the crux of the problem.

Oh, and the vast majority of “garage” Start Ups “bonk” against the garage door and never make it out of the first stage.  

More on that later.

Evidence

“3”  Steve Zahn, 51:The importance of planning will be highlighted. Start with what you want, otherwise, the world will decide your weekend for you and then you get what you get.” Scorpio

Hmm … now I’m wondering why I selected this in the first place.  Sorry!

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Today’s Holiday Birthday:  

You have the power to move people — a gift that was bestowed to you long ago through the opportunities inside of hardship. This year, you’ll articulate your growth and show how you assimilated life’s lessons. You will teach, inspire and leverage your strength into the creation of an environment where you and yours can thrive.

“4”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “It starts off small enough. You notice what another person has and it creates a sharp indent where a seed of want is planted in your being. This is not just about envy; it is the distant cry of a calling.” Aries  

Today’s TauBit for our Patron Saint seems so tortured in the telling that I can’t really tell you what it’s about.  But it includes intention and starting small and a calling, so doesn’t seem to fit what a Start Up is all about?  Well doesn’t it?

“3”  Steve Howey, 42:You will know the particular kind of thrill that comes with pretending to be someone else and pulling it off to the spectacular degree that ‘someone else’ is actually a new version of you.” Cancer

Haha, is this the flip side of “Being careful what you wish for?”

“4”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: These days, it’s not how many people show up but how they show up that matters. Scores of intentionless people can’t make the difference that one intent human being can.” Leo

If there was a motto at the heart of what 105 Marketing Athletes bring to Start Ups, it would align with this TauBit of Wisdom.

“4”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:You’re in the final throes of a minor project and will probably be surprised at your feelings about it. This was more of an emotional investment than you thought it would be. At the end of a journey is a new adventure.”  Virgo

At least through this Pandemic I’m grateful for even minor projects, though by now it doesn’t feel very minor.  Yes, it was an emotional investment revisiting this WorkFit work-in-progress.  

“4”  Steve Aoki, 41:If you think you’re satisfied, then you are. If you think you’re wealthy, then you are. If you think you’re in love, then you are. But if you think you’re wise, then you are not. Wisdom is not a conclusion; rather, it’s an endless question.” Sagittarius

Are you with this on me? The first three “If you thinks” don’t add up.  But, the last two wisdoms do.

“3”  Steve Harvey, 62:With the pleasantness of falling for someone comes the hopes that, at the bottom of it, there will be a soft place to land. There’s a period in which you can test this out, but once you’ve leaped, it’s too late.” Capricorn 

Well, I recall your TauBit rang true when Emma the Baroness and I first hooked up.  I don’t remember hoping for a soft place to land at all.  Having leaped, I’m eternally grateful for the faith she had in me.

“4”  Steve Nash, 45:After years of neglect, one area of your life is about to receive rigorous focus. You’ll get a dozen ideas about it over the next 48 hours. This is the beginning of an overhaul.”  Aquarius

Yeah, although this seems like a never ending Pandemic Year, I’m hoping for some inspiration vs. dread.

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): You can take the heat today, especially if you’re the one providing it for yourself in the form of self-discipline or lofty ambitions. You may not achieve all you desire, but you’re better for the effort.” Pisces

I gotta say composing and then editing this work-in-progress aka Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit may yield a low ROE — Return On Energy.  

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 4427 to 4516.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • 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

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E86 — How To Avoid a Disastrous Career Like Mine

Every organization, including our 4 fundamental aspires to grow. The growth stages follow one after another from Start Up to 3 Growth phases to Maturity and Decline unless a Reinvention transformation kicks off before it is too late. 

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:You will be attracted to a subject appreciated by many and understood by few. When you go deeper, you will learn how you are uniquely equipped to be among those few should you choose to devote focus to this.” Scorpio

Hi and welcome to Sunday’s Episode 86 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 26th day of July 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 E85How to Up the Odds in Your Favor: S2 E84Maybe Robin Hood Got It Right After All, Eh?; S2 E83Why Shouldn’t You Always Lean On Things That Worked Before?

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E86Day 86 of My 1-Year Natural Experiment; S1 E85What happens when the fear subsides?; S1 E84Crisis averted?  Energy depleted?  What are we going to do?; S1 E83The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In the last episode I summarized everything you need to know about four basic organizations to stack the odds in your favor when shopping around for your next job opportunity.  

Oh, what disaster to avoid (unlike me) in your next career move. 

Now, we’ll build on better and worse fit options for each of the 16 talent profiles:

Paradoxy-Morons

      • 101 PMBI Breakpoint Inventors
      • 102 PMTL Thought Leaders
      • 103 PMCI Commercial Innovators 
      • 104 R&D Experimenters

Emerging-Entrepreneurs

      • 105 EEMA Marketing Athletes
      • 106 EEOA Operational Accelerants
      • 107 EERPT Resilient Product Teams 
      • 108 EECBG Core Business Groups

Sustaining-Associates

      • 109 SAICA Internal Change Agents
      • 110 SAAS Analytical Specialists
      • 111 SAAT Agile Tiger Teams 
      • 112 SALS  Loyal Survivalists

Systematic-Professionals

      • 113 SPIC Idea Packagers
      • 114 SPBE Brand-as-Experts
      • 115 SPPP Professional Practitioners 
      • 116 SPIT Institutional Traditionalists

Let’s we review stages of organizational growth from Start Up to Maturity and from Decline to Reinvention.

Five Major Stages of Growth for Organizations

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Key points to keep in mind:

  1. Every organization, including our 4 fundamental aspires to grow.
  2. The growth stages follow one after another from Start Up to 3 Growth phases to Maturity and Decline unless a Reinvention transformation kicks off before it is too late.
  3. Each new stage of growth requires a different talent culture than the previous one. One or two dominate at each stage.
  4. There’s no guarantee a specific company and organization will master the gap between stage its current and potential next stage.
  5. That fact represents a second set of better or worse fits.

Next up.

Let’s begin in the “beginning” with Start Up and build a case for “peeling off” two Paradoxy-Morons and one Emerging-Entrepreneur:

        • 101 PMBI Breakpoint Inventors
        • 103 PMCI Commercial Innovators
        • 105 EEMA Marketing Athletes

Did you notice we “skipped” some?  That’s odd, isn’t it

Evidence

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:You will be attracted to a subject appreciated by many and understood by few. When you go deeper, you will learn how you are uniquely equipped to be among those few should you choose to devote focus to this.” Scorpio

I forget finding the right fit remained frustrating elusive to me until I noticed how companies and organizations evolve into talent cultures that define them, until something forces a change and a different set of talent is required to survive.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“4”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: “Behind the door that’s a few stops down the lane exists another world, a world that you will lend some imagination to until you’re let in and can get a sense of its reality.” Taurus

Is that the portal to the Twilight Zone? There was a time when I lived in Cincinnati about a mile and a half from the house that Rod Serling lived as he imagined the original.

“3”  Steve Howey, 42:Generally, most people feel automatically sure of what is reality. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to go about their day. To question your automatic responses is always an act of growth.” Cancer

Is it too late for me to challenge myself about why I selected this one?

“3”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: It will occur to you that an area you’ve focused on seems devoid of juice. There’s nothing here for you now, if there ever was. Move on. There are other things to squeeze.” Leo

Only one area?  Haha. Another element to consider is just how long it takes an introvert like me to muddle through these passion projects.  Or, is this about Patreon?

“3”  Steve Kerr, 54:You’re safe to let whimsy have its rule. Wish crazily. There is something of value in far-out or silly dreams. You can assess what is possible later. Right now, let your imagination soar.” Libra

Whimsy and silly don’t seem to be on my pandemic lock down agenda for the day.  But the day is still young and I have to say I’d love to let my imagination soar!

“4”  Steve Harvey, 62:Don’t fight against problems. Struggle wastes energy. Sink to the bottom of a problem as if it were a swimming pool. It won’t take much to bounce off the bottom with your toes and resurface to a cleansing breath.”  Capricorn

My metaphor living on the California coast near the Pacific Ocean shifts to waves of change about to break over you while you body surf.  You dive quickly to the sandy bottom allowing the force of nature to push and pull you as it passes and then you spring to the surface mindful of a second and third set.  You select one and ride it to shore, or you duck dive one more time. 

“4”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011: Why do people tell you their stories and share with you the intimate details of their lives? It’s because your warmth is a heart-opener that they do not get every day.”  Pisces

Early in my first career one school of psychology grew out of California’s North San Diego County and advocated for “unconditional positive regard.” I’m guessing that value has underpinned my engagements with clients, C-Suite executives, students and co-workers throughout all my careers.

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 4427 to 4516.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • 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

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

 

S2 E85 — How to Up the Odds in Your Favor

Up until this point, the discussion about better and worse fit jobs and clients focused on me for illustrative purposes.  But you may have, hopefully, noticed an affinity for one or more of the four organizations.  And you may have felt an attraction to one or more of the 16 talent profiles which define an employer’s culture.  

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:It would be cool if you had a manual for this project, but all the information out there is either too plentiful or too scanty to be of use to you. Reach out to a mentor for information that’s the right size.” Virgo

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s Episode 85 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 25th day of July 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 E84Maybe Robin Hood Got It Right After All, Eh?; S2 E83Why Shouldn’t You Always Lean On Things That Worked Before?; S2 E82How Do You Inject Innovation into a Century’s Old Company?

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E85What happens when the fear subsides?; S1 E84Crisis averted?  Energy depleted?  What are we going to do?; S1 E83The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book; S1 E82Why Writers Aren’t the Only Endangered Species. Sigh.

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In recent episodes (S2 E78, S2 E80, S2 E82 and S2 E84) I shared my Worse and Better fit experiences to illustrate a little more in depth description of what it is like working in and for clients in Paradoxy-Morons, Emerging-Entrepreneurs, Sustaining-Associates and Systematic-Professionals.

In this episode, let me summarize the key points you may to know to avoid your next career disaster.

Four Talent Profiles Attracted to Paradoxy-Moron Organizations

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Summary

What makes Paradoxy-Morons tick?

Disruptive Innovation, Independence and Speed

They notice how limited the traditional, status quo solves the really complex problems and challenges

Disrupting. 

A fast-paced, innovative culture that attracts and retains the best of the best. 

Motto?

“It’s better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.”

What are their unique challenges? 

        • They champion paradigms based on new science discoveries.
        • Once is not enough. From one world beater to several again an again
        • Finding commercial applications of disruptive innovation in the form of new product categories — which haven’t been proven until flawed prototypes and buggy technology work themselves out

What are the takeaways?  

Innovations have to come faster.  Concurrent overlapping talent demands.

In the start up stage they are capable of anticipating something new and act decisively to establish a new market, industry, technology or a new scientific discipline.

Which Talent Profiles find a better fit with Paradoxy-Morons?

        • 101 PMBI Breakpoint Inventors
        • 102 PMTL Thought Leaders
        • 103 PMCI Commercial Innovators 
        • 104 R&D Experimenters

In which organization will they find a worse fit?

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Sustaining-Associates with their emphasis on:

          • Higher degrees of Sustained Improvement, Affiliation and Mastery
          • Building predictably upon past history and loyal customer retention.

Four Talent Profiles Attracted to Emerging-Entrepreneur Organizations

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Summary

What makes Emerging-Entrepreneurs tick?

They rapidly introduce new products into new rapidly moving niches while capturing emerging knowledge no-one else has and based on that experience introduce tweets to early business formulas.

Bias for Action. 

New Knowledge, Affiliation and Speed

Knowledge creation — teams introduce new products by applying emerging new knowledge for a competitive advantage.

Motto?

“There’s no time like the present”

What are their unique challenges? 

        • The 20% accomplish 80% of the results.
        • They learn rapidly by doing.
        • Figuring out what has to happen to boost performance with fewer and fewer trials and errors.

What are the takeaways?  

Imagine a relay race with individual record holders.  But, it takes flawless baton passing as a team to achieve world-class status.

Affiliation bonding is to the team.  It’s up to the team to learn the fastest way to take a new idea and introduce it into the marketplace.

They need to guard their organization’s core capabilities and emerging proprietary processes while quickly managing increasing degrees of complexity as they grow.

Which Talent Profiles find a better fit with Emerging-Entrepreneurs?

          • 105 EEMA Marketing Athletes
          • 106 EEOA Operational Accelerants
          • 107 EERPT Resilient Product Teams 
          • 108 EECBG Core Business Groups

In which organization will they find a worse fit?

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020 

Systematic-Professionals with their emphasis on: 

          • Higher degrees of Embedded Knowledge, Independence and Mastery
          • Classified, categorized, tested and benchmarked knowledge.

Four Talent Profiles Attracted to Sustaining-Associate Organizations

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Summary

What makes Sustaining-Associates tick?

112 SALS Loyal Survivalists anchor the Sustaining-Associates culture. They manage people, technologies, processes, and organizational structures to sustain the innovation they’ve already mastered. Employees identify with the organization and have high affiliation needs that favor slower paced industries and cultures.

Brand Loyalty. 

Sustained Improvement, Affiliation and Mastery

Building predictably upon past history and loyal customer retention.

Motto?

“If it win’t broke don’t fix it.”

What are their unique challenges? 

        • Missing competitive threats and responding too late.
        • Resting on their traditional successes.
        • Preparing the next generation of leaders for a different competitive environment.

What are the takeaways?  

To mature and survive their brand needs to be accepted by the majority of the total available market.

A loyal affiliated talent culture needs constant retention so associates maintain the organization’s reputation.

Through their behaviors they develop a trust mark that keeps bringing long-term customers back again and again

Which Talent Profiles find a better fit with Sustaining-Associates?

      • 109 SAICA Internal Change Agents
      • 110 SAAS Analytical Specialists
      • 111 SAAT Agile Tiger Teams 
      • 112 SALS  Loyal Survivalists

In which organization will they find a worse fit?

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Paradoxy-Morons with their emphasis on: 

          • Higher degrees of Disruptive Innovation, Independence and Speed
          • How limited the traditional, status quo solves the really complex problems and challenges

Four Talent Profiles Attracted to Systematic-Professional Organizations

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Summary

What makes Systematic-Professionals tick?

These are the experts who love their profession instead of a specific organization like Sustaining-Associates do. They’re the Idea Packagers, Professional Practitioners, Traditional Institutionalists in standards-setting associations led by well-known Branded Experts in the field.

Advanced Degrees and Certifications. 

Embedded Knowledge, Independence and Mastery

Emerging knowledge is classified, categorized, tested and benchmarked.

Motto?

“Robin Hood had it right”

What are their unique challenges? 

        • Research into complex problems and complicated large systems
        • Working in knowledge organizations and consulting partnerships.
        • Application of proprietary best practices and knowledge gleaned from their benchmark databases.

What are the takeaways?  

Methods and Metrics.  They prefer to distance themselves to remain objective and follow a well-articulated and tested methodology.

Their majority of clients are large-cap companies, government partners and the medical industry systems.

Studying these organizations provides a giant learning laboratory.

Acknowledged expertise attracts potential clients.

Rainmakers play an outsized role developing new and repeat business. 

Which Talent Profiles find a better fit with Systematic-Professionals?

          • 113 SPIC Idea Packagers
          • 114 SPBE Brand-as-Experts
          • 115 SPPP Professional Practitioners 
          • 116 SPIT Institutional Traditionalists

In which organization will they find a worse fit?

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Emerging-Entrepreneurs with their emphasis on: 

          • Higher degrees of New Knowledge, Affiliation and Speed
          • Knowledge creation — teams introduce new products by applying emerging new knowledge for a competitive advantage.

Up until this point.

The discussion about better and worse fit focused on me, for illustrative purposes.  Hopefully, you may have noticed an affinity for one or more of the organizations.  And you may have felt a tendency for one or more of the 16 talent profiles.  

Next up,

We’ll build on better and worse fit options as we review stages of organizational growth from Start Up to Maturity and from Decline to Reinvention.  

But, first what do the Steves offer as TauBits of Wisdom?

Evidence

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:Things may not change immediately or even slowly, but the important thing is that they will change eventually. Never give in to cynicism. Your mind is made for beautiful thinking.” Scorpio

Got it, you are preaching to the choir with the first sentence.  It’s the second one that is extremely hard for me in this pandemic world today.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“4”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “If you worry about what you are going to say, then it will prevent you from listening to what is being said. Whatever you can do to put yourself at ease will give you an advantage.” Aries  

Gotta tell you I followed this TauBit of Wisdom after learning it the hard way.  I was so intimidated by advising former Vice Presidents and CEOs when I never was one, until I asked a simple question, “What have you been doing about …?” and listened.

“3”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: Are you holding on to false hope? No. Hope, in and of itself, is an act of truth and light. Believe the best and hold on, white-knuckled, to that version.” Taurus 

Or does hope lead to false expectations? And do false expectations lead to confirmation bias.  And does confirmation bias lead on a slippery slope to conspiracy theories?  Seem like it, eh?

“4”  Steve Smith, 30: “Your head and your heart have not had a meeting in a while, and they will go in two different directions until you bring them into alignment through something peaceful, like meditation, dance or creative play.” Gemini

I choose the first and last alignment choices.

“4”  Steve Howey, 42:Make space. Get rid of things before you have a replacement. Emptiness is not nothingness. Space is a “something” even if you don’t know what it is. Potential counts.” Cancer

Yeah, I see how being cooped up for so long drives you a little crazy without space.

“4”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: Assume that people are doing their very best. If they don’t act like this is the case, they may be consumed with fighting a battle you do not know about. Give the benefit of the doubt wherever possible.” Leo

I’ll have to repeat this over and over today for when I venture out to my local Ralph’s grocery store and encounter the number of unmasked COVID-19 spreaders.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:It would be cool if you had a manual for this project, but all the information out there is either too plentiful or too scanty to be of use to you. Reach out to a mentor for information that’s the right size.” Virgo

OK, it would have been cool years ago when I conducted my original research for this work-in-progress, my WorkFit manuscript. Maybe you can use it as a manual for you.

“5”  Steve Harvey, 62:You won’t get that push from the world today, so you’ll have to give it to yourself. Do so in the form of an intention. Setting an intention leads to actions you wouldn’t have taken otherwise.” Capricorn

Totally see how this TauBit applies — in a lockdown pandemic world intention comes a little easier for us introverts.

“4”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): You’ll thank the roadblock, as it helps you find your own path. You’ll thank the mistakes, as they are your best teachers. You’ll thank the enemy that keeps you so strong.” Pisces

So, two out of three is still pretty good, right?

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 4397 to 4427.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • 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

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E84 — Maybe Robin Hood Got It Right After All, Eh?

I won’t lie to you, my initial transition back to civilian life wasn’t easy.  But, I adjusted to studying and working in the first of many Systematic-Professional Organizations over several of my careers.  

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): There really are things that turn out better because you don’t know what to expect and are utterly unprepared. Bias is usually unavoidable, but a lack of assumptions will work in your favor.” Pisces

Hi and welcome to Friday’s Episode 84 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 24th day of July 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 E83Why Shouldn’t You Always Lean On Things That Worked Before?; S2 E82How Do You Inject Innovation into a Century’s Old Company?; S2 E813rd of 4 Secrets to a Better WorkFit

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E84Crisis averted?  Energy depleted?  What are we going to do?; S1 E83The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book; S1 E82Why Writers Aren’t the Only Endangered Species. Sigh.; S1 E81— Is This My Wake Up Call, Steve?

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In recent episodes we broke out talent profiles for each of the 4 Organization Types starting with Paradoxy-Morons, Emerging-Entrepreneurs, Sustaining-Associates and Systematic-Professionals.

Four Talent Profiles Attracted to Systematic-Professional Organizations

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Here are some examples from my list of best fit companies and clients to illustrate what it means to love Systematic-Professionals, the “blue box” organization, with it’s unique blend of talent profiles:

    • 113 SPIC Idea Packagers
    • 114 SPBE Brand-as-Experts
    • 115 SPPP Professional Practitioners
    • 116 SPIT Institutional Traditionalists

16. Graduate Student AssistantBetter Fit

My initial transition back to civilian life, I won’t lie to you, wasn’t easy.  But, I adjusted to studying and working in the first of many Systematic-Professional Organizations.  

I enjoyed learning and mastering something new and planned to practice my psychology profession after I earned my masters degree. I looked up to Professors with Phd’s — especially the 114 SPBE Brand-as-Experts — who in actual practice taught very little in the classroom while devoting the majority of their time researching and publishing their results.  

We research associates and graduate assistants performed the lion’s share of their teaching load, laboratory and library research assignments. Once they hit tenure they enjoyed extraordinary independence pursuing foundational research. 

I never qualified for tenure.  I didn’t stay on the doctorate track.  But, later I did work in a State Hospital system in which two talent profiles  115 SPPP Professional Practitioners (medical doctors, psychologists, speech and music therapists, social workers and physical therapists) collaborated with 116 SPIT Institutional Traditionalists the front-line workers on the wards who resembled Army’s lifers to me.  

Put in your time in a daily grind and collect your pension in the end. 

Of course, some of the 115 PPP Professional Practitioners knew a good thing when they saw it.  They could run their fledgling practices and side businesses while working half time or less at the state hospital. My job was to work under the supervision of two different psychologists (at two different times) and conduct intelligence testing and client assessments.  

What intrigued me was how the brain worked (or didn’t) and asking if there was any research (cerebral dominance, left and right brain functions) that could be applied. 

17. Graduate Assistant InternshipBetter Fit

Under the supervision of my first Phd we ran a side-business start up offering bio-feedback services to individuals (a few) and organizations (none). 

It was kind of like a professional services start up with 115 SPPP Professional Practitioners.  So Les — Dr. Sig’s second intern at the State Hospital — and I would leave at lunch, drive from Costa Mesa towards the Pacific Ocean, park behind the Edward’s Cinema near the pricey Athletic Club and meetup in the standard medical layout office.  You’d enter into a reception area with three offices behind it.

At the Behavior Modification Institute (BMI) the office walls were painted white and the plush carpet was an electric navy color. The office furniture — modern see-through plexiglass — catered to a small niche of well heeled clientele.  At least that was the business model. I was brought in to create chapters for a manual instructing clients how to use our biofeedback equipment to create relaxation and meditative states of consciousness.

BMI felt like a sure thing, when in reality it was a classic under capitalized startup.

Forced into bankruptcy the side business died and unfortunately the founder did too shortly thereafter. 

The office closed.  I managed to work full-time at the State Hospital. Les took off for Hawaii embracing “est” — short for Erhard Seminars Training and also Latin for “it is” promoted by Werner Erhart — one of many New Age commercial offerings. I felt I suffered from PTSD symptoms, depression and general purpose anxiety.

Someone who traveled in the founder’s circle of friends and who lived in Beverly Hills thanks to the Entertainment Industry described the Leadership Crisis to me at a social function.  I was probably clueless at the time so wanting for everything to work out.  

But, he told me, “Most firms go out of business six months before they realize it.”  

The founder, following an emerging trend, sunk his own money into two white egg-shaped bio-feedback “chairs” wired up to help train a customer who wanted relax and meditate at deeper levels. 

He leased an office with a reception area for medical practice and two offices — all outfitted with electric royal blue carpeting. He sold me, it was so exciting and on the cutting edge of psychology for the time.

7.  Professional Training Company Worse Fit

The focus was on customizing suite of supervisory training programs.  Seemed old school to me at the later stage of my second career. I’d “been there and done that” so the projects didn’t engage my attention.  I didn’t meet their expectations since I didn’t sell new business. However their business model made sense to my growing knowledge management “Robin Hood” understanding of repurposing what you’ve already done for other clients and applying a customized version for new clients as an efficient way to grow consulting revenue.  

But, I also learned I wasn’t cut out to design and deliver supervisory courses for clients like university hospitals, a transportation agencies, or even to three technology companies. I lost interest in management training for slow moving mature organizations while craving the adrenalin rush of working in Paradoxy-Moron companies. 

It just didn’t satisfy the idea packaging  talent I had developed years earlier when the ideas were old and trending towards commodity knowledge.

27. Knowledge Management in Brand Company — Better Fit  

We crashed our models together — learning and development, knowledge creation, media production, internet communities, advertising and marketing in a newly formed strategy and brand consultancy. We pioneered a way of capturing the essence of a brand on digital video, searched through audio tracks for the touch points and reused portions of the interviews for orienting new coders hired at accelerated rates.  Each of us had become 114 SPBE Brand-as-Experts providing what Emerging-Entrepreneurs couldn’t afford at their stage of growth.

28. Knowledge Media Business — Better Fit 

Three of us tried to make a go of our pioneering efforts to capture the new knowledge being spun off so it wouldn’t fall through the cracks for Paradoxy-Moron and Emerging-Entrepreneur organizations.  But the market didn’t support it, again I couldn’t sell it and so we had to go our separate ways.

29. Key Executive Advisor — Better Fit 

I was offered a Senior Vice President position heading up the Key Executive outplacement services in the Southern California regions for C-suite executives paid for by their former companies. I delivered individual and group facilitated services for offices from San Diego to Woodland Hills, Pasadena and West LA.  It dawned on me that who you (they) knew made the most difference for people at this level so I created an online community for information and insight sharing and of course for trusted referrals. 

33. Advisor — Executive and Healthcare MBA Program — Better Fit 

For a decade I conducted a field test or a laboratory applying the content in these second volume of books. I proposed a curriculum to the Director for him to review and meet with me.  “Why would anyone choose to come back to school for an executive MBA (and spend over $100,000 over two years) when you’ve got all they’d ever need in this curriculum? 

And soon, you won’t have to either.

Summary

What makes Systematic-Professionals tick?

These are the expert who love their profession instead of a specific organization like Sustaining-Associates do. They’re the Idea Packagers, Professional Practitioners, Traditional Institutionalists in standards-setting associations led by well-known Branded Experts in the field.

Advanced Degrees and Certifications. 

Embedded Knowledge, Independence and Mastery

Emerging knowledge is classified, categorized, tested and benchmarked.

Motto?

“Robin Hood had it right”

What are their unique challenges? 

        • Research into complex problems and complicated large systems
        • Working in knowledge organizations and consulting partnerships.
        • Application of proprietary best practices and knowledge gleaned from their benchmark databases.

What are the takeaways?  

Methods and Metrics.  They prefer to distance themselves to remain objective and follow a well-articulated and tested methodology.

Their majority of clients are large-cap companies, government partners and the medical industry systems.

Studying these organizations provides a giant learning laboratory.

Acknowledged expertise attracts potential clients.

Rainmakers play an outsized role developing new and repeat business.

Evidence

“3”  Steve Zahn, 51:Staying humble is the most important aspect of your game plan. The cosmic omens warn against self-satisfaction. Remain focused on what still needs doing.” Scorpio

WTF?  My only legitimate TauBit for today can’t match the four 5s the rest of the Steves earned.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “The middle ground isn’t so easily found. You first have to go to two extremes to touch the outlying boundaries. Be patient with yourself. This is a process, and you’re making it up now for the first time.” Aries 

Can I get an “Amen!” to that?  

“5”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: There’s an art to envisioning your projects. Think of outcomes that are just beyond the reasonable, so that you’re sure to keep stretching and growing.” Taurus 

An art, you say?  Just beyond reasonable, you say?  OK I’ll by that, if you will.

“5”  Steve Aoki, 41:This long-term project does have an end, although that is hard for you to see right now. If you can glimpse it, even for a second in your mind’s eye, you can and will have it eventually.” Sagittarius

Even glimpsing the next few steps for a second here and there keeps me going.  But, I have to confess it feels sometimes that all I’m accomplishing is to expand that end, because explanations were missing so critical to you (and my) understamdomg/

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): There really are things that turn out better because you don’t know what to expect and are utterly unprepared. Bias is usually unavoidable, but a lack of assumptions will work in your favor.” Pisces

In more politically charged social situations I’ve come to ask, “What would I have to believe to agree with you?”  We’re all susceptible to confirmation and selection bias, so instead of rejecting people outright, I find it more satisfying to hear their assumptions (and set them straight, haha).

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 4397 to 4427.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • 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

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E83 — Why Shouldn’t You Always Lean On Things That Worked Before?

We already know that a worse fit is found where higher degrees of affiliation, speed and new knowledge intersect in the “green box” of Emerging-Entrepreneurs.

“5”  Steve Kerr, 54:Don’t lean on things that worked before. The same thing that caused a triumph yesterday could be ineffective tomorrow. The importance of context cannot be underestimated. Stay awake and alert.” Libra

Hi and welcome to Thursday’s Episode 83 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 23rd day of July 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 E82How Do You Inject Innovation into a Century’s Old Company?; S2 E813rd of 4 Secrets to a Better WorkFit; S2 E80Unrealistic Expectations Hatched Green Box Lessons the Hard Way

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E83The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book; S1 E82Why Writers Aren’t the Only Endangered Species. Sigh.; S1 E81— Is This My Wake Up Call, Steve?; S1 E80I’ll Give You Adverse Conditions, Steve

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In recent episodes we broke out talent profiles for each of the 4 Organization Types starting with Paradoxy-Morons, Emerging-Entrepreneurs, Sustaining-Associates and now Systematic-Professionals.

Four Organization Types

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Four Talent Profiles attracted to Sustaining-Associates:

    • 109 SAICA Internal Change Agents
    • 110 SAAS Analytical Specialists
    • 111 SAAT Agile Tiger Teams 
    • 112 SALS  Loyal Survivalists

Moving on to Systematic-Professionals

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Counter clockwise from Sustaining-Associates we fill in last of 4 boxes, “above” the shared border with 109 SAICA Internal Change Agents and 110 SAAS Analytical Specialists and to the “right” of Paradoxy-Morons, sharing a bolder with 102 PMTL Thought Leaders and 104 R&D Experimenters.

Four Systematic-Professional Talent Profiles

If we follow the vertical border edge defined by high degrees of mastery anchored with 112 SALS Loyal Survivalists to 110 SAAS Analytical Specialists (high in affiliation) and into Systematic-Professional “territory” you encounter 116 SPIT (Systematic-Professionals) Institutional Traditionalists and finally 114 SPBE (Systematic-Professionals) Brand-as-Experts where highest degrees of embedded knowledge, independence and mastery intersect.

Worse Fit

We already know that a worse fit is found where higher degrees of affiliation, speed and new knowledge intersect in the “green box” of Emerging-Entrepreneurs.

Better Fit

Systematic-Professionals share a slower, higher degree of Mastery with Sustaining-Associates and a higher degree of independence with Paradoxy-Morons.

You’ll find a better fit if you value higher degrees of embedded knowledge too.

Within the “blue” Systematic-Professional “box” continue counter clockwise from 114 SPBE (Systematic-Professionals) Brand-as-Experts to the remaining two talent profiles who mirror their Paradoxy-Moron counterparts.

The 113 SPIC (Systematic-Professional) Idea Packagers  crave higher degree of independence but medium degrees of mastery and embedded knowledge. 

While the 115 SPPP (Systematic-Professional) Professional Practitioners are attracted to medium degrees of independence, mastery and embedded knowledge.

Up next I’ll share what it’s like working for Systematic-Professionals either as an employer or as a client.

Evidence

“4”  Steve Zahn, 51:You don’t need to control a situation to work it to your advantage. You need only be ready to take your turn and hop on the opportunities that open up.”Scorpio

Seems to be so Sun Tzu-like the way it unfolds.  Originally titled “The Art of War” later versions named it “The Art of Strategy” for the executive business market.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“3”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “You can thank today’s smooth ride to your own clean karma. Moral questions come up this evening, but nothing that needs to be solved immediately. Think it over.”  Aries 

Haha.  Another one to look forward to like the TauBit of Wisdom below unfolding in the afternoon.  Check back.

“3”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: Your fantasy of a relationship doesn’t quite match the reality of it, and this is causing some tension. It’s easy enough to resolve, if you’re willing to adjust your expectations.” Taurus 

While important wisdom, Emma the Baroness and I adjusted our expectations of each other while dating, becoming an item as she says and then as parents when you undergo the a transformation no-one understands until the day after, and then for the rest of your life.

“4”  Steve Smith, 30:If you place too much significance and value in the wrong things, this is a human mistake. You’ll learn quickly. Experience is the only way to really understand what’s important and what’s not.” Gemini

Of course all the “book” learning goes out the window until you apply, learn and build your knowledge.

“5”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: You’re wanting a result, and you’ll get it, but the timeframe is the matter in question. It is very difficult to predict how long things will take. Be patient and willing to adjust.” Leo

Look, for someone wired like me this corundum is the hardest part of preparing a consulting proposal — estimating the realistic timeframe for meeting clients’ demands.  At risk was either a nonstarter, because they expected to spend far less, or anticipating their budget I’d low ball my submission and end up with a lot less income.

“3”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:You’ve been a leader, and you’ve been a follower. When you’re acting to the best of your ability, the roles are equally demanding. You’ll be at the top of your game this afternoon.” Virgo

Well, true but I’m not seeing this one playing out.  But then it’s not afternoon yet.  So, I may have to change my rating tonight.

“5”  Steve Kerr, 54:Don’t lean on things that worked before. The same thing that caused a triumph yesterday could be ineffective tomorrow. The importance of context cannot be underestimated. Stay awake and alert.” Libra

What is it “they” say?  An overused strength becomes a weakness.  And as we’ll see in later episodes you could definitely describe the “gap” between stages of growth from Start Up to Maturity and from Decline to Reinvention in the same way.

“3”  Steve Aoki, 41:You don’t have to comment on every statement or have a judgment of everything going on around you. It’s enough to be a witness. Save your energy. You’ll need it later.” Sagittarius

Except as the evidence for relevance applied to my day, eh?

“3”  Steve Harvey, 62:People find you attractive, and they will want your attention and time. Both of these commodities are precious, and today they will be best given in the spirit of investment instead of charity.” Capricorn 

The reverse doesn’t seem to be working for my Patreon supported episodes.  Oh, well.

“4”  Steve Nash, 45:A sense of calm will alight on your decision-making process. There is no need to overanalyze — if you even need to analyze at all. You simply know what to do.  Aquarius

Ha ha, I’m sensing a theme about methodological problem-solving and decision-making approaches setting up this next one.

“4”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): You don’t have to anticipate every outcome. Get a general idea and then act. There is an opportunity that can only present itself when things aren’t exactly going as planned.” Pisces

So, even though I’m a card-carrying Systematic-Professional as a 113 SPIP Idea Packager, I only anticipate the broader horizon to set up If That, Then This actions, instead of sinking into analysis-paralysis.

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 4397 to 4427.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • 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

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E82 — How Do You Inject Innovation into a Century’s Old Company?

I left law school to fulfill my military obligation is a polite way of saying it.  In the Army I learned two things I can talk about.  One was how unprepared the service was after recruiting college graduates who had other better ideas of what their future would look like and who weren’t loyal like the lifers.

“5”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: Your knowledge of words and symbols will lead you to analyze a situation and comprehend it so well that you’ll be a point of reference for others. You’ll contribute significantly to team decisions.” Taurus

Hi and welcome to Sunday’s Episode 82 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 19th day of July 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 E813rd of 4 Secrets to a Better WorkFit; S2 E80Unrealistic Expectations Hatched Green Box Lessons the Hard Way; S2 E79Ain’t No Paradoxy-Moron? How About an Emerging-Entrepreneur?

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E82Why Writers Aren’t the Only Endangered Species. Sigh.; S1 E81— Is This My Wake Up Call, Steve?; S1 E80I’ll Give You Adverse Conditions, Steve; S1 E79Can I Keep It Up? For a Year?

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In a recent episodes we broke out talent profiles for each of the 4 Organization Types starting with Paradoxy-Morons, Emerging-Entrepreneurs and Sustaining-Associates.

Here are some examples from my list of best fit companies and clients to illustrate what it means to love Sustaining-Associates the “tan box” organization with it’s unique blend of talent profiles:

    • 109 SAICA Internal Change Agents
    • 110 SAAS Analytical Specialists
    • 111 SAAT Agile Tiger Teams 
    • 112 SALA Loyal Survivalists

Oops, this first example turned out to be eye-opening, educational and potentially deadly. And, definitely not a better fit for me or my posse.  

3.  US Army Worse Fit

I definitely was not loyal, having not much in common with lifers, but I got to know and work with all kinds of people from different backgrounds and I felt I needed to fulfill my obligation. 

Luckily part of my time was spent in more challenging work in preventive medicine. But to tell you the truth I hated standard operating procedures, “There’s the right way, the wrong way and the Army way.”

Why?

I left law school to fulfill my military obligation is a polite way of saying it.  In the Army I learned two things I can talk about.  

One was how unprepared the service was after recruiting college graduates who had other better ideas of what their future would look like and weren’t loyal like the lifers.  

We took on more skilled MOS specialties.  

I graduated from medic to preventive medicine and eventually worked in an air-condition laboratory in Vietnam for processing water samples.  And we palled around with the officers — many trained in medicine in my unit which caused frustration up and down the chain of command.  

I learned I wasn’t cut out to blindly follow orders as standard operating procedures when it seemed like there were more efficient processes that could deliver the results in half the time.  

You know what they say, “There’s the right way, the wrong way and the Army way.”

At Fort Dix, New Jersey for basic training as a freshly minted psychology college graduate the Army’s “game” revealed itself to me. Unfortunately for my drill sergeant my psychology training made me resistant to his methods and kept me anticipating what his next tactics would be.  Like getting my platoon to sing along while marching to chants of “kill Charlie.”  Sergeant Ski told us he came back from Nam and we’d better listen up, because all or most of us would be on our way there shortly after a brief stint in Advanced Training following Basic’s indoctrination of new recruits.  

At Ft. Sam Houston in Texas and later in Long Binh, Vietnam my buddies — college graduates too — had much more in common with the officers.  Our common interests created challenges up and down the chain of command. I wanted to solve problems and suggested new more efficient ways to improve procedures, but those fell on deaf ears.  So, I learned to “go underground” with work arounds that made my job easier without calling attention to it.

As a Sustaining-Associates Organization Type, the military thrived with 111 SAAT Agile Tiger Teams and 112 SALS Loyal Survivalists primarily with 110 SAAS Analytical Specialists in administrative and headquarters functions.  

I never came in contact with any 109 SAICA Internal Change Agents— if you discount us college-educated passive-aggressive, but two decades I later discovered their introduction of rapid sharing of best practices into a resistant culture in a video I’d shown to managers and product leaders in a high tech company stretching from emerging to rapid growth.  

Based upon higher affiliation and medium pace and improvement dimensions I now categorize my manufacturing, gas station, Good Humor Ice Cream and even department store retail jobs. Yes, those were summer jobs, including becoming an insurance agent, but the business model was recruit them, orient them to represent the brand, and replace them when they don’t work out.  

9. Consultant Life and Mutual Fund CompanyBetter Fit

This one worked out much better.

I scored a long-term retainer with a life insurance and mutual fund firm.  It was the kind of mature organization that employed maintenance workers just to polish its brick entry way.  

A few years earlier they had won company of the year honors like we did in my “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than to beg for permission” company.  

Their challenge was — how can you inject innovation into a century’s old mature company?  

I figured, why not try. 

It was a complex, complicated maneuver with tons of new knowledge and new idea packaging.  

My direct client, a 110 SAAS Analytical Specialist with help from a small team of 109 SAICA Internal Change Agents worked together to influence the company’s “immune system” through leadership classes. 

The long-term retainer, a consultant’s dream, provided billable hours for three days a week collaborating on the advanced leadership curriculum. I picked up some other projects — one with Ford Aerospace when their division,  Ford Aeronutronic’s Human Resources staff required coaching during the closing of the Newport Beach facility,  

I taught reengineering and continuous improvement through the local university and collaborated with the Vice President of Human Resources at a headquarters of a medical laboratory to build out a Leadership Academy.

A few years later my long-term retainer client left to form his own consultancy, snagged a similar assignment with another 100-year-old plus company operating in the food industry.

He (110 SAAS Analytical Specialist) brought me in to create a similar leadership curriculum for his client who was a 109 SAICA Internal Change Agent to inject change into their Strategic Leadership. He worried that their organization had operated at the stage of growth for years for so long that the up and coming current managers (112 SALS Loyal Survivalists) hadn’t experienced any other way of operating . It was a prescription he felt for a disaster on their career watch.

Well, like at Fluor anytime you try to maneuver a mature organization away from what had worked so well for so long the entrenched management resists the opposite set of key success factors like your immune system repels diseases.

Summary

What makes Sustaining-Associates tick?

112 SALS Loyal Survivalists anchor the Sustaining-Associates culture. They manage people, technologies, processes, and organizational structures to sustain the innovation they’ve already mastered. Employees identify with the organization and have high affiliation needs that favor slower paced industries and cultures.

Brand Loyalty. 

Sustained Improvement, Affiliation and Mastery

Building predictably upon past history and loyal customer retention.

Motto?

“If it win’t broke don’t fix it.”

What are their unique challenges? 

        • Missing competitive threats and responding too late.
        • Resting on their traditional successes.
        • Preparing the next generation of leaders for a different competitive environment.

What are the takeaways?  

To mature and survive their brand needs to be accepted by the majority of the total available market.

A loyal affiliated talent culture needs constant retention so associates maintain the organization’s reputation.

Through their behaviors they develop a trust mark that keeps bringing long-term customers back again and again.

Next up — Systematic-Professionals.

Evidence

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: Your knowledge of words and symbols will lead you to analyze a situation and comprehend it so well that you’ll be a point of reference for others. You’ll contribute significantly to team decisions.” Taurus 

So, I’ll drink to that.  After field testing my original research in the executive MBA program hopefully my manuscript I’m tentatively calling WorkFit serves as a point of reference for you and your decisions. I know it has at the university level so far.

“4”  Steve Aoki, 41:With so much going on, your mind will toggle between being engaged, distracted, engaged, etc. Finally, you’ll have a heavenly stretch of time to ponder what you are and what you might be.” Sagittarius

Since this is definitely not legitimately meant for me, wouldn’t it go without saying that my research may contribute to your heavily stretch of time to ponder …

“4”  Steve Nash, 45:A joyful life is a custom job. No one recipe will work for everyone. In fact, if you were to do someone else’s joy-program it would bore you at best. Create your own adventure.” Aquarius

Am I wrong to loosely interpret this TauBit of Wisdom as living at the heart of my original research into Organization Types and Talent Profiles?

“4”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): The thing that makes you call an activity ‘work’ is that it’s at least a little harder than doing nothing at all. However much effort it takes, it can also be exceedingly pleasant. That’s how it will go down today at least.” Pisces

And I’m guessing that’s how it will go down on each day going forward as I beat this content into submission to make it more palatable.

Holiday Forecast for the Week Ahead:  

In the early days of biology, many scientists believed that all beings developed from miniature versions of themselves, and these ‘seed germs’ were the same in microscopic form as they were in forms full-grown. 

The radical transformations of some creatures, and the ability of certain creatures to reproduce in various ways, including asexually, could not be explained with this theory, which eventually had to give way to ideas of generation more varied and plausible.

There are many ways in which we, as individuals, grow in spirit. Sometimes, we do stay about the same as we simply grow bigger until our soul and personality fill out the space in a way that feels more ‘full-sized.’ But more often than not, the spiritual aspects of our being thrive in more unusual, varied and transformative ways. Often we don’t grow so much as change.

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 4397 to 4427.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • 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

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

S2 E81 — 3rd of 4 Secrets to a Better WorkFit

Usually when people ask what do you do, you probably say something like I work for … (fill in the blank with the name of your employer) and say it with pride.  It might be Nike or Pepsi or The Gap or O’Neal.  The point is if you cut yourself, you’d bleed the colors of the organization.

“5”  Steve Harvey, 62:The better days that are coming will not come because you hope they will. They’ll come as a direct result of the actions you take today. You’re creating better days right now.  Capricorn

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s Episode 81 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 18th day of July 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 E80Unrealistic Expectations Hatched Green Box Lessons the Hard Way; S2 E79Ain’t No Paradoxy-Moron? How About an Emerging-Entrepreneur?; S2 E78 What Do Paradoxy-Morons Want and Need?

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E81— Is This My Wake Up Call, Steve?; S1 E80I’ll Give You Adverse Conditions, Steve; S1 E79Can I Keep It Up? For a Year?; S1 E78Drag Me to Obsolescence, Clear the Way to the Future

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In a recent episode we broke out talent profiles for each of the 4 Organization Types starting with Paradoxy-Morons and Emerging-Entrepreneurs.

    • 105 EEMA Marketing Athletes
    • 106 EEOA Operational Accelerants
    • 107 EERPT Resilient Product Teams 
    • 108 EECBG Core Business Groups

Moving in a counterclockwise direction we shift to Sustaining-Associates, the third Organization Type.

You’ll find a better fit working here if your identity is with the organization — expressed as falling along the scale of medium to high degrees of affiliation.  

Usually when people ask what do you do, you probably say something like I work for … (fill in the blank with the name of your employer) and say it with pride.  It might be Nike or Pepsi or The Gap or O’Neal.  The point is if you cut yourself, you’d bleed the colors of the organization.

Now, if you’re a high affiliation kind of person, you’re probably struggling the most with forced quarantines and working from home.  Zoom meeting may help, but it’s just not the same thing.

Worse Fit

We already know that a worse fit is found where higher degrees of disruption innovation, speed and independence define Paradoxy-Morons.  In fact I should point out that at the opposite ends of fit, you couldn’t be more distant and farther apart than 101 PMBI (Paradoxy-Moron) Breakpoint Inventors and 112 SALS (Sustaining-Associate) Loyal Survivalists. 

Better Fit

112 SALS Loyal Survivalists represent the talent profile where higher degrees of sustained improvement, mastery and affiliation meet.

Feeling no need to disruptively innovate, Sustaining-Associates place more value on sustained improvement instead.

Higher degrees of affiliation is what Sustaining-Associates share with Emerging-Entrepreneurs, but without a high degree of speed.

In fact, we can say “sharing a border” with Emerging-Entrepreneurs translates into “medium degrees of speed meet medium degrees of mastery.” 

Emerging-Entrepreneurs, 106 EEOA Operational Accelerants and 108 EECBC Core Business Group share their border with 109 SAICA (Sustaining-Associates) Internal Change Agents and 111 SAAT (Sustaining-Associates) Agile Tiger Teams. 

If we focus on high degrees of affiliation (the “row” stretching from Emerging-Entrepreneurs to Sustaining-Associates) you’ll notice a progression starting with 107 Resilient Product Team to  108 Core Business Group (team of teams) which jumps into Sustaining-Associates with similar 111 Agile Tiger Teams and finally 112 Loyal Survivalists.

Or speed and new knowledge transitions into mastery and sustained improvement.

As we’ll see later when we continue in our counter clockwise sequence, 110 SAAS (Sustaining-Associates) Analytical Specialists share higher degrees of improvement and mastery with 112 Loyal Survivalists and they share a border with Systematic-Professionals.

But, up next I’ll share what it’s like working for Sustaining-Associates either as an employer or as a consultant.

Evidence

“4”  Steve Zahn, 51:As a rule, you like to think about things before you act. So it will be interesting for you to witness the brilliance that comes from acting naturally, subconsciously and/or automatically today.” Scorpio

So true.  Thinking, but maybe more to the point visualizing how events might play out.  Even when I’m confronted with a problem, I run visualize different ways of solving it — probably entangling memories of solutions similar it.  

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Today’s Holiday Birthday: 

You’ll pick up hard and soft skills this year and be well-paid in more ways than one. A new style of communication will improve your relationships across the board, including your relationship with yourself. You’ll be the star of someone’s life and revel in the role. Your talent for creating memorable experiences will be oft employed.

Wow, this is heady and humbling forecast for getting out of this damn pandemic.  I wish today was my birthday, but you know it isn’t  Hopefully, it is yours and will come true for you.

“3”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “Willpower is a muscle that, like the other muscles you have, if worked too hard will become vulnerable to fatigue. Avoid using it until you really have to. Work on systems that will make the desired action a no-brainer.” Aries  

Systems, eh?  Sounds good.  I do feel fatigued, but I’m not sure it is for the same reason.  I guessing it’s just uncertainty, disease and partisan  politics.

“4”  Steve Howey, 42:You’ll do purposeful work, unrelated to the job you do for money. You are creative and have a fresh take on this, unbound by rules you don’t know.” Cancer

I love this one,  sure I’ll take it.

“4”  Steve Kerr, 54:You have an artistic eye and you care how things look, feel, how they are lit and the message they send. You care how things fill the senses and the emotion that is released as that happens.” Libra

Can I throw this in with Howey’s?  I feel it describes what you do with a fresh take.

“3”  Steve Aoki, 41:Since you really don’t know what’s possible, it would be foolish to limit yourself your own ideas about that. What’s impossible? Maybe you should start there and work your way back.” Sagittarius

I don’t quite understand the message, but it seems positive. Maybe it fits with how to start brainstorming without eliminating 

“5”  Steve Harvey, 62:The better days that are coming will not come because you hope they will. They’ll come as a direct result of the actions you take today. You’re creating better days right now.  Capricorn

Well, all I can say is when this Pandemic Year’s Natural Experiment comes to a close that the content I’m drafting for this work-in-progress, “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” helps you as you position yourself today for better days ahead. 

“4”  Steve Nash, 45:What’s relaxing for one person is stressful for someone else. Be sure to do what works for you to create a neutral state of being from which you can recharge and thrive.” Aquarius 

I chose this TauBit of Wisdom, because I need to remind myself to meditate or I won’t be able to recharge and find opportunity in all this chaos.

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 4341 to 4397.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • 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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