Synopses & Reviews
Culture is the key to success in a 21st century organizationnot simply because it affects how we think and behave, but because its the set of agreements and behaviors that drive how we act in groups and the decisions we collectively make. But every organization now faces the moment it cant ignore as new forms of work, communication and technology wreak havoc on the way we do things around here.” When a traditional structure can morph into a culturally-attuned and culturally-aligned organization, it can become superconducting: everything works better, more smoothly, faster.
In The Moment You Cant Ignore, Malachi OConnor and Barry Dornfeld provide powerful insights on how to confront the clash of old and new so that the people and businesses can successfully meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. They show how to ask the big questions that point the way to renewing a culture:
Who are we? What do we stand for, and whats the connection between our identity and the strategic commitments we make?” When people in a company are uncertain of its identity, they have a hard time executing on any strategy with real passion or commitment.
Who's in charge? In many organizations its unclear whos in charge of any given initiative at any given time. The person with the title may need to cede authority to the person with greater expertise. Or the maverick leader of an innovative project team may actually have more sway than the boss. When people dont know how to determine whos in charge, or when and how to shift authority from one person to another, the uncertainty can be paralyzing.
How do I lead? Senior leaders may have positional and formal authority, but find they have a difficult time attracting followers. To get people on board with their ideas and initiatives, they can no longer simply order people to follow them. Even leaders in traditional command-and-control hierarchies sense they have to move to a different leadership style, but cant fully adjust to a world of command and collaboration.
What's our future? When people dont know whos in charge, are unsure of what their company identity is, and cant get behind their leaders, they rarely have the ability or will to innovate. Old ideas get rehashed. New ideas get squashed or lost. Initiatives that are designed to create an innovation culture” or spur creativity go nowhere.
and#147;The authors bring to life the importance of culture: how very different it is from other elements of change management and how critical it is to take advantage of and#145;un-ignorable moments.and#8217; Their stories are compelling and memorable.and#8221; and#151;Jon Katzenbach, Senior Executive Advisor, the Katzenbach Center, coauthor of The Wisdom of Team, and coauthor (with Zia Khan) of Leading Outside the Lines
and#147;The Moment You Canand#8217;t Ignore brings us something we have not seen in a long timeand#151;a new set of ideas for leaders managing complex and continually changing organizations. This book provides vivid examples of how leaders can create and#145;superconducting organizationsand#8217; capable of successfully managing the rip tides of change that threaten organizational identity, clarity about who is charge, and confidence that they can both adapt to and shape their future. Doing so requires the ability to know and leverage the moments in your organization you canand#8217;t ignore. This book is a roadmap to being able to identify and leverage those moments.and#8221; and#151;David Thomas, Dean and William R. Berkley Chair of Georgetown Universityand#8217;s McDonough School of Business, and coauthor of Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America
Not just another day at the office and#133; or is it?
-The surgical technician ducks as a stapler flies past his head during the concluding moments of a lengthy and difficult operationand#133;.
-The high-powered, internationally known finance guru seeks to turn fortunes around at the university of which he is now president and#133; and finds himself a leader without followersand#133;.
-The powerful satraps silently sabotage the CEOand#8217;s desperately needed growth initiative.and#133;
These are and#147;moments that cannot be ignoredand#8221;and#151;events, actions, comments that stop people in their tracks and, in one fell swoop, make it blindingly clear that an organization is stuck and unable to move forward. And they have become regular occurrences in todayand#8217;s corporations, non-profits, and educational institutions as new forms of work, communication, and technology expose the ways in which an organizationand#8217;s cultureand#151;or and#147;the way we do things around hereand#8221;and#151;conflicts with new competitive demands. The result: telling incidentsand#151;all too visible elephants in the roomand#151;that reveal underlying conflicts as well as hidden assets.
In The Moment You Canand#8217;t Ignore, Malachi Oand#8217;Connor and Barry Dornfeld tell fascinating and#147;you are thereand#8221; stories of people and organizations as they encounter and then navigate through and beyond these un-ignorable moments, and show what we can learn from them. They outline the big questions organizations need to ask themselves about identity, leadership, and the capacity to innovate that an understanding of culture can help answer, and deliver powerful insights into recognizing and harnessing hidden assets that point in the direction of a new future.
In our age of porous organizations and constant change, The Moment You Canand#8217;t Ignore demonstrates that the adage, and#147;culture eats strategy for lunch,and#8221; is more relevant now than ever.
About the Author
Malachi Oand#8217;Connor is Vice President and Principal at CFAR, Inc, a management consulting firm specializing in strategy and organizational development. He holds a PhD in Folklore from the University of Pennsylvania. Building on his training as an ethnographer, he helped CFAR develop the firmand#8217;s and#145;Campaign' approach to leading and managing change, a method that helps organizations leverage culture and change behavior in service of new strategic imperatives. An experienced speaker and meeting facilitator, Mal has spoken about leading change to chief executive audiences worldwide. He is a member of the American Folklore Society and the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations. He is also an avid scuba diver.
Barry Dornfeld, a Principal at CFAR, is an anthropologist and documentary filmmaker with a PhD in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania. He is an expert on organizational change, collaboration and communication. Barry leads workshops for chief executives on negotiation, influence and persuasion, and organizational change in the U.S. and internationally, including Whartonand#8217;s Executive Education division. In addition to his academic positions, Barry has published numerous articles and a book about social capital, digital media and public television. Previously he was a faculty member at New York University and chair of the Communication Program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. The documentary film about Philadelphia-based Klezmer musicians he co-produced, Eatala, was broadcast on WHYY/PBS in 2012.
To learn more, visit unignorablemoment.com and cfar.com