SEP’s “Make or Break” (MOB)

May 31, 2012

A couple months ago, my Vistage CEO group hosted “Make or Break Execution – the Core to Success,” a presentation from Dan Barnett (Primavera).

The “Make or Break” (MOB) of an organization is “the one thing that must be done extraordinarily well to achieve your vision”. At the heart of Barnett’s presentation is discovering and implementing MOBs for parts of your business.
For example you may say that “selling” is an MOB. You then can take the process further, developing a value chain and measurements/metrics.

The MOB for an entire organization is much tougher because there can be only ONE from which the others are driven.

Knowing our organizational MOB would sure be a simplifying concept.

Looking at my notes, I instinctly felt SEP’s MOB was probably not a standard one. People could rightly argue that recruiting and employee development is a MOB. This doesn’t totally get us to the vision. It felt like something cultural instead of operational would be the place to look.

Taking an organizational view it is evident that SEP needs to be “agile” and nimble to thrive in the tech industry. I played with synonyms for some time–thoughts such as engagement, fluidity, flexibility and “every good idea”–and found that nothing felt foundational enough. I wanted some at the core.

Looking at all the end results SEP needs to be culturally innovative (one of our values), transparent, brutally honest and deeply invested.

What focus propels much of this?
If SEP had a single deep-seated drive embedded in its DNA I think it would be LEARNING.Each employee focused continually on learning new things; projects and management teams studying and analyzing what they see. SEP as an organization
focused on staying flexible and malleable.

If we continue to learn on all these levels we can grow and mature as an organization and our vision becomes attainable.

There are at least two topics that immediately leap out at me for follow-up blog articles:
1. How to define/measure Learning as an MOB?

2. How does an organization create and support a Learning focus?

The next activity around an MOB would be to create a value chain of activities.

As I was thinking…

I just walked out of Chris Shinkle’s excellent presentation, “Stop DO’ing Kanban, Start Learning”. Chris initially presented at LSSC 2012 and gave us a “Brown Bag” version over lunch.

The presentation gave me some insights into my questions.

For #1: See Dude’s Law

For #2: Validated learning and the turn of perspective in designing learning opportunities got me thinking about many ways where it is applicable. The attitude of actively looking and creating opportunities to learn could take us far down the road of our