The Moment You Can't Ignore: When Big Trouble Leads to a Great Future
Malachi O'Connor, Barry Dornfeld
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-The surgical technician ducks as a stapler flies past his head during the concluding moments of a lengthy and difficult operation….
-The high-powered, internationally known finance guru seeks to turn fortunes around at the university of which he is now president … and finds himself a leader without followers….
-The powerful satraps silently sabotage the CEO’s desperately needed growth initiative.…
These are “moments that cannot be ignored”—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 today’s corporations, non-profits, and educational institutions as new forms of work, communication, and technology expose the ways in which an organization’s culture—or “the way we do things around here”—conflicts with new competitive demands. The result: telling incidents—all too visible elephants in the room—that reveal underlying conflicts as well as hidden assets.
In The Moment You Can’t Ignore, Malachi O’Connor and Barry Dornfeld tell fascinating “you are there” 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 Can’t Ignore demonstrates that the adage, “culture eats strategy for lunch,” is more relevant now than ever.
price they could manage and with terms acceptable to both father and children. Hank Jr. would run the show. During the process, they realized that their father (and his father before him) had created value beyond the business itself. This was a new perspective for them. They eventually established a family foundation to share some of the family’s wealth with the community. And they began to think about how to manage the business for the long term to maximize its benefit for all its
capacities of Port Rashid, a major transportation hub, create a world-class airline, and build a new airport. To help manage this growth, Dubai brought in the expertise of executives from England, Australia, Asia, and the United States. But Dubai could not stake its future on expatriate talent. It needed to equip its own people to manage and lead the rapidly growing businesses and mammoth real estate projects. That’s when the Wharton School of Business was called in to design and implement a
too. The only way to assess the potential of these found pilots is to investigate them thoroughly and then make a judgment about which will be able to contribute to SSFG. We asked the group to do that, with our help, over the next several weeks. Once again, the group looked hesitant. More work on top of an already onerous workload. An assignment from outsiders with no knowledge of software and no real commitment to the company. But . . . they had to come up with something. And . . . Quire’s
decide what and how much to tell him about what you’re hearing.” “I have a dinner with him that evening,” Owen said. “A glass of wine or two could help bring out the story.” __________________ We parted, and I spent the better part of the afternoon doing research on Moncreiff’s hyperactive leader. Kenneth Patterson, 59, had been raised in the Midwest, was the first member of his family to go to college, earned his PhD in international finance, then promptly built a sizable fortune running a
anyway, don’t you remember? Consensus building is a nightmare and results in lowest-common-denominator bromides. Look, he’s already got half the China project funded. It wasn’t professional of Carleton to resign in a public meeting. It was grandstanding.” On and on it went. The evening had ended long after the appointed hour and the trustees straggled off home or for a nightcap or to catch a plane to their next meeting. __________________ The following evening I received a call from Dr. Kenneth