Getting Unstuck

Understanding the System

As a follow up to yesterday’s post, here is more practical advice from the book UNSTUCK by Keith Yamashita and Sandra Spataro.

If you’re feeling stuck and wonder what the issue is, the authors suggest looking at the system–instead of focusing on symptoms. A balanced system should look like the model below.

Image © Keith Yamashita and Sandra Spataro, 2004

In this model, a balanced organization centers around its purpose. Its other elements revolve around the purpose like satellites.

  • Structure and process
  • Metrics and rewards
  • People and interaction
  • Culture
  • Even the almighty strategy

When organizations get stuck, one or more elements is out of balance. Often-times, an organization will center around one of the “satellites.” For example, people in an organization too focused on structure and process can begin to wonder where all the fun went. While those in a company without structure and process can easily feel overwhelmed.

Some may think defining and communicating the company’s purpose seems frivolous. When you see it is the center of your organization’s solar system, you understand how all of the elements of the company can become out of balance. This is why Simon Sinek’s message in his TED Talk and book, Start with Why, is so profound.

If your company feels stuck, you may want to get a copy of the book UNSTUCK (it’s out of print, but copies can be found. It gives several tactical options for alleviating the specific imbalance your organization may be stuck in.

If you personally feel stuck, you might check out the UNSTUCK website. I includes a free app, courses, kits and other materials.

Dustin Staiger is a business and marketing coach in Houston, TX. He addresses team and individual effectiveness, marketing, communications and creativity for smaller, entrepreneurial organizations as well as large enterprises.

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