Talk about conflicting influences :-), how about mixing a NGO crusader with ex-GE “Neutron” Jack Welch?
Last year I had a bit of a shock when reading Hildy Gottlieb’s blog reflections about goals and means, and the way many organizations become focused on means and forget what their mission is. Actually, the shock came when I realised that it had happened to the organization I lead to a serious extent.
The Macuarium organization is a queer beast. It has two firm goals: to serve as an experimental, learning environment in ebusiness and knowledge management… and be useful to Spanish-speaking Mac users through information, fostering mutual help and knowledge sharing.
In fact, we have been increasingly swallowed by the means: a complex forum system with a web portal, and the attending processes and relationships and non-goal-furthering complexities of technical support and finance. What would Hildy say?
Also, we are the dominant CoP for Mac-using creative professionals (aka knowledge workers), our forums gather over 80% of threads on our core topics. But that makes for a cozy view and little chance of evolution. Welch suggests (among other things) defining your market in a way that you have 10% or less. What’d he say?
With those two ideas at the back of our minds and a lot of sand to tread on, the Macuarium shareholders discussed, argued, proposed, discarded and envisioned for a whole summer month. We came back with a somewhat clearer view and an evolution strategy that looks like taking us into several new places, some of them commented here… and taking serious shape by the day.
This post is just to reccomend the process, and the catalysts :-). They remind me of that old tip: “Blow your mind – smoke gunpowder”.