Start from the middle? LO6277

Keith Cowan (
28 Mar 96 14:58:57 EST

Replying to LO6243 --

I had the opportunity to establish an empowered upside-down organization
that was buried inside a large bureacracy. We achieved outstanding results
by every measure. I was encouraged and satisfied with my contribution:
people wanted to join, no one wanted to leave, I forced the turnover for
all the right reasons, quality was at the highest levels, productivity was
high BUT.

When I left, the unit was dispersed into other units and it was like
taking my hand out of the pail of water. People still say it was the best
time of their corporate lives. So in answer to Archie Kregear in a
personal note who asked "Is it possible to effect LO changes from the
middle of an organization?", I say YES it is definitely possible if you
keep at it for 2 years but recognize that it is fragile as part of a
bigger culture which is not supportive.

If your position is CEO, it will take longer than 2 years, and the results
will not remain when you move on to another company. You will also feel
very threatened as the fundamental shift starts and during this phase, you
may be "taken out" by forces beyond your control. Best to be a private
company of which you are the largest shareholder and get Board


Keith Cowan <>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>