Optimal Leadership  by Wayne M. Angel, Ph.D.
The Optimal Organization: Other Possibilities
















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The Quest - A Preface

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Optimal Leadership
  The Optimal Organization
 
    From Where the 5 Critical Factors?
      The 5 Critical Factors
      Understand Who Wants What
      Find a Solution
      Apply the Skills
      Establish Feedback
      Establish Foresight

      Other Possibilities

  Causes of Organization Failure
  Creating the Optimal Organization
  The Optimal Change Agent


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Sometimes what is missing is more revealing than what is present.  There are a lot of people who strongly believe that there are other critical factors than the ones I have named.  Perhaps you have a specific process methodology that you advocate, or perhaps you believe that a happy work place is critical, or perhaps you believe that Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) profiling is critical, or some other personality profiling, or team spirit, or negotiating skills, or marketing, or a win-win attitude, or performance monitoring, or quality assurance.  I can think of occasions where I have found each of these useful, sometimes important.  But I have never found any of them critical to optimal organizational achievement.  And far more importantly my simulations repeatedly show these are not critical.

Performance Monitoring and Quality Assurance (QA) can be mechanisms by which feedback on goal achievement is obtained.  When used for that purpose they are important tools.  However, in my experience I see them more often used to insure that some process is being followed.  If performance monitoring or QA is needed to check that the organization is following a process, it is a symptom that the process is of little value.  In any case the real issue is feedback and is therefore the preferred term.

Task oriented methodologies are also often useful.  They often provide the tools with which to implement the 5 critical factors.  The 2 most notable are prototyping and modularization.  We have already discussed prototyping.  Modularization or what the psychologists call chunking will be one of the keys for getting through the complexity constraint.  In computer programming it is called object oriented design.  Unfortunately that methodology has strayed too far from the essential value of decoupling components.

Most of what is commonly promoted in the achievement literature in business and technology are not particularly important for optimal achievement.  If you have some strong belief in one of these, I can only point to my own previously cherished beliefs, some of which I discuss in

All of these are examples of things I tested and found of little to no value to optimal achievement. 

I first learned how easy it was for those in the past to be wrong when I studied the history of science, and then went on to confirm, by my own mistakes, that I was no different.  Why is it so very easy for us to be wrong? First, because we, Homo sapiens, have a deep seated want to explain.  Second, in the commercial world people gain money and in the political world gain power, by giving us the explanations we desire.  It does not matter if the explanations are right or wrong, only that they are believed.  Every factor that failed my simulation tests was promoted by some type of marketing and one or more persons were gaining financially.  This is not altogether bad.  Something can only be successfully marketed if there is some value.  And, of course, in writing this I am trying to sell you that I have something of value to offer.  It is the way of the world.  But it does appear that the more money that is made the less likely that the beliefs being promoted are true.  For example there is little to be made in promoting the multiplication table and some billions were made in promoting the pending Y2K catastrophe.  (See Organization Failure / Faulty Beliefs / Y2K: A Bad Joke.) I strongly suspect that promoting that "understanding wants", "knowing what-to-do", "knowing how-to-do", "feedback", and "foresight" are critical to optimal achievement is very much like promoting the multiplication table it is too obvious to gain much attention and result in great financial success..

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