Inside LaunchStreet Zach First

Being Mindful of the Peaks and Valleys Will Lead to Organizational Success

It’s as if information overload has taken over and I can’t figure out the difference between the noise and the junk. Know what I mean? And then I wonder, how am I supposed to innovate when I have no time or clarity? Our guest, Zach First, the Executive Director of the Drucker Institute (yes, founded by the management guru, Peter Drucker) talks to us on Inside LaunchStreet about the negative impact of “information obesity” and how having one part of your team or organization working and being innovative is like only having your knee work while the rest of the body is barely keeping it together.

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Key Takeaways:

[2:22] Zach loves singing in church because he isn’t standing out. The end goal is simple — just to sing!

[3:54] Zach gives some insight into the Drucker Institute. It was founded when Peter Drucker, the Father of Management, watched what happens firsthand when management fails to perform. The message of the Institute is to strengthen organizations by strengthening societies.

[6:34] The Drucker Institute just released an article in The WSJ, “The 250 Most Effectively Managed U.S. Companies — and How They Got That Way” Tamara questions how the management landscape of today has changed. Zach believes that part of the change is that management is obsessed with the latest and greatest things. The world is a lot more numerical than it has been in the past. The focus is on metrics and transparent data.

[9:52] Get introduced to Doris Drucker’s term, “information obesity.” It’s important to be careful how much and what kind of information you are consuming. Zach shares three tips to determine the metrics that are worth paying attention to for organization success.

[14:09] Tamara encourages Launchstreeters to apply the information obesity phrase to your life and carefully monitor your information intake.

[15:44] Listen in as Zach discusses how Peter Drucker compares management problems to the human body. Innovation can be compared to the beating heart. Every part of our organization should be engaged in innovation. Innovation is something more than property. It should be thought about as a systematic discipline that can be practiced throughout the organization. Tamara and Zach discuss silos.

[19:44] Zach mentions the East Company article by Rick Wartzman when talking about employees being the company’s greatest asset. We are at a standoff between loyalty between employer and employee. How much should companies spend on employees that show little loyalty?

[23:27] Zach’s article in The HBR, “Rethinking the Corporate Love Affair With Change” highlights why we need to rethink our views regarding change. It’s time to temper how we think about change in organizations. It’s imperative to consider human beings first and build your pace of change around them to achieve organizational success.

[26:12] Organizations often get into a cycle of chasing change. Zach gives listeners two valuable pieces of information. One: You don’t want to constantly be having organ transplants. Two: While you’re chasing the competition, they are busy chasing you too!

[29:37] How does a leader manage both people who accept change and people who don’t accept change? How does the ping pong effect of the strategic optimist and the defensive pessimist combine to get work done?

[32:44] Zach and Tamara discuss how to get the ping pong going and a powerful assignment to develop ideas. The optimists and pessimists combine to reach an end solution that ends up with a product launch.

[35:36] Zach talks about some of the companies on the 250 Most Effectively Managed List. The crucial key in all of these all-stars is that they are able to maintain a focus in all five areas.

[39:56] Connect with Zach and his team at The Drucker Institute.

[40:26] The Drucker Institute has some exciting things happening in 2018. They are launching a data consulting service and an investment product available to everyday investors. They will also be awarding their annual $100,000 innovation prize to a non-profit.

[42:00] The most important piece of advice for Launchstreeters to lead in today’s world would be to remember that there is no wonder man or wonder woman. Be mindful of the peaks and valleys. Understand and be mindful of the things you do well and the things you need improvement on.

[43:28] Zach and Tamara discuss failure. Zach suggests that we should look at failure like it’s a gift. We should open it and discuss the failure. We should think about it, talk about it, put in on the shelf and look at it.

[45:46] How are organizations like people?

[49:01] Go to Innovation on Demand to find out how to get more people involved so you can create a more systemic approach to innovation.



Mentioned in This Episode:

“The 250 Most Effectively Managed U.S. Companies — and How They Got That Way”

The Drucker Institute


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