Page 362

The Real McCoy

347

(two hackers in a garage, for instance), stories of crises weathered, tales of exceptional performance, jokes that capture and defuse the organization’s human frailties, and visionary images of longed-for future outcomes. If your company—or your client—does not tell such stories, then it is not too late to take people down memory lane to reclaim the lost company heritage. For people who were there at the start, help them remember what captured their imagination when they dreamed of the company. If they are no longer around, do research and find out what it was like for the founders. Have people remember when they were hired and what attracted them to the organization. Enlist them in detailing what they like best about the company—not just in the abstract, but in anecdotes that provide the substance and the feel of what is going right. It is easy to think that all stakeholders in your organization know the deeper and more high-minded values that inform your actions. However, in the hustle and bustle and rush of daily life, it is natural for them to forget why they care about what they are doing. Sacred stories—of a religion, nation, family, or company—bear repeating. The repetition helps the values to sink in and continually inspire belief and loyalty. Branding and Organizational Coherence Branding, if done well, can help large and complex organizations to sustain coherence during quickly changing times. The current highpressure, fast-paced economic climate has required companies to shrink their internal structure. Hierarchies are modified: Often, everyone required for a project gets involved in ways that cross both status and unit lines. In addition, with virtually full employment, workers expect to be treated with respect and to make autonomous decisions within their own areas of expertise. Standard organizational development practice now encourages flexibility, self-organizing teams, and other strategies that bring out the full intelligence of the group and that increase the company’s flexibility in solving problems. It is a most interesting world. However, in many organizations, this greater fluidity often goes to the edge of chaos, especially if no one knows what anyone else is doing. Frequently, marketing plans

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Advertisement