Why Stop Now?

J. K. Rowling, the famous author who wrote the Harry Potter series states that she won’t write about Harry anymore.


Being an author (Not of get stature), I question this. Ok, maybe Harry’s story has been told and there’s really nothing to add. However, what of the rest of the world and characters surrounding Harry Potter and Hogwarts?

In an immersive realm like Harry Potter, the opportunities are endless to expand on facets that no one ever considered. What about the Flight of Vox — this self destructing Phoenix that was owned by the Headmaster of Hogwarts is bound to have a series of interesting tales as he went through life bursting into flames and rising from the ashes.

I’m sure that there are some pretty interesting stories around the world outside of Hogwarts that Nomag’s have never seen. In Fantastic Beasts and in the Harry Potter series, we learn of other schools, which obviously have other stories.

Ok, J. K. (love the initials by the way), let Harry rest and retire. But, don’t stop now. In your mind is a world many have only glimpsed at. Bring it more to life and who knows what will happen?

Kickstarter Project: Overcoming Organizational Myopia

Overcoming Organizational Myopia, stovepipes, sandboxes, short sightedness

At 2:30 pm, Central Time, on June 27, 2015, KS Project, Overcoming Organizational Myopia lifted off.  Overcoming Organizational Myopia will be a new nonfiction book about successfully breaking through stovepiped organizations to obtain organizational effectiveness.


The Short Story: I discovered that it really does not matter what company or organization I work with, they all have stovepipes.  What I learned is that they are a product of human nature.  The problem is that everyone wants to “break down the silos” as the typical management response. Unfortunately, this NEVER works! All you do is cause confusion and drive unproductivity as the people in your business seek to rebuild the stovepipes that make them feel secure.  This book is about breaking through the stovepipes to become an effective and efficient organization.  It respects the stovepipes and teaches you how to navigate through them using a consistent and systematic application of full-spectrum strategic and organizational methods.  The book is designed to provide you with situational examples so you can self-diagnose your organization.  Across nine areas, the book helps you identify problem areas and, like a business doctor, treat the root causes with solid business solutions.

How do you break down silos?

Saturday I came across this question on LinkedIn…how do you break down silos?

Breaking Down SilosSilos exist in nearly every organization.  Organizations’ that suffer from silos are affected by what I refer to as Organizational Myopia.  My book on this is due out in a couple months that addresses this topic.

Silos are created by human nature.  Entrepreneurs start their small business with a great idea.  They are really good at delivering a service or building a product.  If the customers like the product or service, business tends to grow fast.  Specialty departments form because the founder’s skill is in developing the product.  Needs like HR, Finance, and IT crop up and specific people are hired to do this.  They often need to stand up a team or department.  Then the delivery side of the house gets too busy for everything to happen with one person and it fractures into things like Operations, Sales, Marketing, and Logistics.  These departments tend to start to segment around customer bases and then fracture further into teams.  These teams promote competition across the product for sales and delivery.

When the company started, it was small and manageable.  Everyone was focused on the same things.  The company grows and it starts to form these “groups of humans” in what we call “silos.”  So, the silos ALWAYS exist in successful companies.  The bigger the company is, the more prevalent the silos.  Mergers and acquisitions tend to create more silos then remove them.

Then here comes human nature.  Everyone wants to “belong.”  It’s a Maslow basic need.  They identify with their group at work as part of that effort; belonging means that you are part of one team and not part of others.  Thus, you get a strong feeling of team affinity.  This builds walls and starts to create an “us and them” mentality.  People start to think “we’re better than they are,” “they get better stuff,” “we have more work,” and “we need more money or people than they do.”  The walls solidify with brick and mortar and now your silos are firm and resolute.

Problems with this are a lack of communication across silos, people tend to throw “stuff” over the wall to the next step in processes without regard, constant empire building and resource wars, and everyone develops their own view of what customer is important.  This is Organizational Myopia.

The thing is, just disrupting the silos (breaking them down) WILL NOT solve your problem.  Tear them down with leadership and personnel changes, mergers, and acquisitions–the normal management response to the problem–doesn’t work.  You spend months, if not years, dealing with the change management issues associated, or worse, the ramifications because you didn’t deal with the change management in the first place.  Needless, employees flail around being unproductive for a while and then guess what?  Human nature takes hold again and they form right back into their belonging groups and they rebuild their silo walls and make them even more solid to prevent the same breakdown again.

The trick is to learn to work in a silo environment, not break down the silos.  Knowing how to Overcome Organizational Myopia is the purpose of my book.  It’s about breakthrough, not break down.

Working on One Dead Marine II

One Dead Marine

One Dead Marine

In May of 2012, I published my first fictional novel, One Dead Marine.

This book takes you into the world of The Savage SoulTM and Scorched EarthTM, which was created by a close friend of mine, Kevin Bogucki (Bogo).  Bogo worked on the world of The Savage SoulTM since we were kids in school.  Today, Scorched EarthTM is the planet Earth born out of an advanced society in the twenty-first century that died a painful death–and the killer’s name was Yellow Mike.

One Dead Marine follows Anthony Moon, a Native American U.S. Marine, who finds himself 150 years in the future, where old-world technology, magic-wielding demons, flesh-eating zombies, and monsters of every imagination populate the environment like the air he breathes.

Moon guides us through his journeys and experiences as you follow along in his own personal journal of his arrival to this new post apocalyptic world.  His journal outlines where Lance Corporal Moon learns to survive–barely–in a fanatical environment built out of the madness of a twisted drug and an ensuing great disaster.

The time for One Dead Marine II is upon us.

I have slowly worked on this second story, which picks up where the last book ended.  Lately, with the help of blogging, I have been getting wore into writing and this book is taking shape.

One Dead Marine II (true name yet to be announced) takes our unlikely Native American Marine hero to Las Vegas, Nevada.  Expect to see more of his struggles, to learn more about Moon, that he doesn’t even know himself, and battle lots of zombies–ugh!

This installment of The Savage SoulTM and Scorched EarthTM series will push Anthony Moon’s psyche to its limits with the madness that makes up planet Earth.

My goal is to release this installment by the end of the year.

Additionally, I’m working to reformat One Dead Marine, which was only released in paperback, in e-book format available for Kindle and Nook.  I hope to have this version released by April of this year.  It was very exciting to publish my first paperback and taught me some things about self-publishing that will help me when I release my first non-fiction business book, Overcoming Organizational Myopia.  I expect to also release that book by the end of May, beginning of April.

This second book following Moon will not be a journal, like the last book.  This one takes us into the more traditional approach to book writing by putting it in the first person view.  Also, I expect this novel to be longer than the first, which was just under 29,000 words (130 pages).

Well, back to writing…

High Performing Organizations

I’ve been working in some way or fashion in the field of quality consulting since about 1990 when I attended one of my first Total Quality Management courses at Carswell AFB in Ft Worth TX. Since then I have worked in the areas of strategic planning, strategic communication, performance management, process management, human capital planning, resource management, and education and training. I’ve been in the lowest tactical to the highest CEO positions of military, non-profits, and companies and seen many things both doing and consulting in these areas.

So what?

Over the last several years I’ve been really thinking about what makes companies successful. My upcoming book, Overcoming Organizational Myopia is based on a lot of that thought. What I see too much of is organizations looking for that silver bullet. I was in a recent meeting, where a leader said he was looking for that one single metric that when tugged upon it unravelled everything else going on in the organization. My answer would be really simple, that doesn’t exist. Being a top performing (you fill in the blank) takes a lot of work and it’s constant work.

The group I work for now has been extremely successful over the last two years. My boss is even going to be interviewed by Gallup because of their employee engagement success in their last UCount survey. One of the managers in the team commented that now we have to sustain it. My response was, no, now we have to make it better next year. In today’s day and age, sustaining is the death of a company. You have to get better. When I started with them in January of 2012, they had just won The Keepers of Quality award for their major organization. That was great, but there was a lot more they could do. This month, we share part of our two-year continuous improvement story with that sMe audience to discuss how we are building and encouraging an environment of continuous improvement–quality.

What is all this mean?

High performing organizations don’t just “happen.” It takes. Lot of hard work and it’s a constant journey. If you read business books like I do, you probably heard many ways to become that high performing organization. They tell you what it is, they tell you what you should do, and they tell you why. They fill your head with fantastic stores of Apple and Dell, turn arounds like IBM and Harley Davidson, etc. trust me, I have read them all–well a lot of them. The thing they don’t tell you is HOW.

Funny, there are so many How To and Self Help books on the shelf, but none give away the secrets to becoming a great organization. How To books sell too–my speech writing instructor and mentor, Joan Detz taught me that in 2005.

So, how does an organization really improve? That’s the thoughts that have been on my mind of late. My soon to be released book focuses on part of the story, overcoming the “silo effect” that plagues every business in the world. You know what I’m talking about…sand boxes, camps, teams…the way we organize and the way we group as human beings lead us to form silos–we become myopic in business. They problem is that it will ALWAYS happen–you can’t avoid it. Leaders and managers alike might recognize it and try to break it down, but it happens to all of us. Overcoming Organizational Myopia is a true how to book focused on the nine things that suffer in siloed organizations and how to overcome it–not solve it, but to overcome it.

But the key, I think is the “Golden Egg,” as James Farhat would say. That is how does any organization that wants to be high performing make it happen? If they were a car, how do they get their engine firing on all cylinders? That is my journey this year. My effort in 2014 is to not only define it, but to lay out the roadmap and provide holistic training to all, at whatever level they are at, to help them become better and grow.

A guy I worked with in Booz Allen used to comment about how the different teams in our office would fight over the pieces of the “pie.” He was talking about this perceived limited amount of money that was available to all of Booz Allen that we would fight to get a piece of. He believed that believing that the pie was a certain size was limiting our ability to go for more and this we had to take more of someone else’s pie to grow our own silo–back to the myopia view again.

In America today, I think many business look at the perceived pie and think they have to take from others to get a bigger share. That leads us to disruptive innovation, aggressive marketing, and like tactics to win over the market share pie. What if I told you that the pie doesn’t exist. The better you are as a high performing organization, the more people will buy your whatever? I believe that doing good work gets more work–it’s not about pies, but about becoming the best at what you do. This is true both of an organization and as an individual.

So, I leave you with these thoughts on this Tuesday morning. Myopia, pies, and high performing organizations. Let me know what you think. Tell me it can’t be done…that I don’t know what I’m talking about. I look forward to the debate.

For those interested, what does a high performing organization mean to you?

Totally New Year

So begins another year.

How many of you started this year off with resolutions? How many decided not to have resolutions?

This year, I put my planning juices to practice. I not only have several New Year’s resolutions, but I developed a plan to implement them. That’s right, an actual year-long plan of all things.

Top on my list is to get back into shape this year. Several years ago I worked toward this and then I kinda just let go. Selling two houses, moving twice, getting married, a huge water leak–things just got a little overwhelming. Well, this year I’m back on the wagon. I’m starting out slow and plan the whole year to get back into the groove.

I’ve always been focused on reading, but this year it’s one business book a month. This month is Starting with Why. I started it last month, but will finish it this month. I already have the next three books lined up.

That brings me to writing. My business book–first one–Overcoming Organizational Myopia is done and I just need my editor to finish it. I plan to stay on her this quarter so I can publish it. Finishing it was my goal last year and I did that. Now I need to get it on the shelves. But blogging is something I used to do and I have decided to do again. My plan is to gradually get to a blog a day (lesson Lisa taught me). For now I meet my goal if I do one a month–check.

I downloaded the WordPress app and expect to exceed my goal and get to one a week or more soon. Of course, my plan is to reengage my strategic planning blog and get the whole thing finished, but I will also blog thoughts and ideas.

What are your thoughts on blogging? What do you like to read about–what interests you?

For now, I’m signing off, but I’ll be back sooner than you think. I look forward to your thoughts.

One Dead Marine (ODM) Available in Paperback

sci-fi, fantasy, science fiction, post apocalyptic, Savage Soul, Scorched Earth, Anthony MoonEnter the world of The Savage Soul(tm) and Scorched Earth(tm) — the advanced society of the twenty-first century that died a painful death — and the killer’s name was Yellow Mike.

Join Anthony Moon, a Native American U.S. Marine, who finds himself in a unfathomable apocalyptic world of 150-year old technology, magic-wielding demons, flesh-eating zombies, and monsters of every imagination. Journey with him in this first volume of many where Lance Corporal Moon learns to survive–barely–in a fanatical environment built out of the madness of a twisted drug and an ensuing great disaster.

Moon guides you through his journeys and experiences as you follow along in his own personal journal of the life of a Marine on the Scorched Earth(tm).

Connect with him now in his story — One Dead Marine.


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