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John KnottsBy John Knotts
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John KnottsBy John Knotts
First created
$35
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The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, August 11 2015 7:21 PM UTC +00:00

About

Overcoming Organizational Myopia -- The Book

Stan sits at the head of a small conference room table. His mind wanders as the branch chiefs around him relate their activities from the past week. Silvia, to his right, leads the financial management branch. She is efficient and effective and always makes sure the agency spends its money in ways she feels are wise. Bill sits quietly across from Stan reading his blackberry while Silvia discusses changes her branch decided to make to the travel expense approval process and outlines her plans to implement them next week. Bill runs the communications and computer support department. Everyone knows Bill wants to be the chief information officer directly reporting to the agency director. As a branch chief, he constantly complains about a lack of manpower, but he feels certain that if he reported directly to the director he would have adequate staff. The meeting shifts to Pam, who leads the human resource department. Her latest gripe is that agency personnel are not keeping up with their annual safety training requirements and believes her office should not be responsible for ensuring everyone in the organization is trained, “It’s their personal responsibility,” she states.

Stan reflects on his past ten years with the agency. After eight years on the operations floor as a branch chief, he was promoted to this position as Support Division Chief. At the time, the director told him he wanted “someone who had a connection to the mission running operations support. ”After he took the job, Stan quickly found out how little he knew about the support division of the agency. He believes all three of the branch chiefs; Sylvia, Bill and Pam, resent him for being promoted over them. They have done little to support him in the past two years. The three were particularly upset when, immediately after assuming his new role, he cut the support staff by twenty percent and transferred the newly-vacated support positions to his old Operations Division. In Stan’s mind, he was simply implementing changes to support the mission, as the director envisioned and doing what it took to achieve the desired results. In fact, over the last two years, he had further trimmed the support budget so operations could have even more money to work with. In Stan’s opinion, he was the best choice for this job. None of the others would have made the manpower and budget sacrifices he was willing to make, but they were clearly necessary. Stan thinks about all he has accomplished while considering that in a few months the chief position for the Operations Division will be coming open. Stan feels he is a great candidate for this role and looks forward to the possibility of getting back into operations even though everything in operations changed when the director reorganized the two divisions into one last year. Stan has been so removed from operations’ mission that he doesn’t even know what they do anymore. He doesn’t think that should matter, because his experience from the last two years should make him a great candidate to solve operations’ problems as well.

  • Does Stan’s situation sound familiar?

  • Do you see anything wrong in this organization?

  • Have you ever worked for this type of organization?

  • Can you easily diagnose any problems you see here?

  • Better yet, how would you fix any problems you see?

Organizational Myopia occurs when an organization loses sight of its foundational purpose and various components of the organization becomes self-serving. Being able to identify the negative effects of Organizational Myopia helps leaders take necessary action. A normal reaction to dealing with Organizational Myopia is to implement an ineffective short-term solution. Successfully overcoming Organizational Myopia requires consistent and systematic application of full-spectrum strategic and organizational methods, and as we all know, the key to solving any problem is to fully understand what the problem is and when it is happening. Overcoming Organizational Myopia will cover the following:

  • Leadership taking necessary actions and staying the course

  • Strong, executable strategic direction

  • Decision-driving SMART metrics

  • Full-spectrum change management

  • Organizational redesign as “part” of the solution

  • Strong and effective process management

  • Appropriate resource allocation

  • Strong focus on communications, education, and information technology

Overcoming Organizational Myopia -- The Project

This book--my first business book--has been a dream of mine since 2009. As a strategic business consultant for the past 25 years, every organization I have worked with suffers from stovepipes. The thing I discovered back in 2009 was 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 like the Stan’s example above 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.

Writing a book for me is relatively easy. As a matter of fact, I love writing, which is a good thing because my current PhD program requires a great deal of writing every week. You can also find samples of my professional and sometimes personal writing at my blog (https://johnrknotts.wordpress.com/). Also, this book is pretty much already written and has been through an initial editing phase. Now we are in the final editing and rewriting stage to ensure the book is as good as possible. I expect the book to be ready for publishing (electronic and print) by the end of 2015.

Obviously the research and writing only costs my time and I plan to self-publish like I have with my fictional work, which will keep my initial costs down. However, there are upcoming costs I can expect to soon face. These costs primarily encompass the final professional editing, some publishing, and marketing of the book. Marketing of Overcoming Organizational Myopia will include potential things like a professional website and advertising; public speaking and book signing; radio and television appearances; etc. This Kickstarter campaign is designed to offset/defray these costs, but I know I will still incur personal costs to ensure the success of this book and its business concepts. Of course, the reward levels are designed to also offset printing, mailing, and travel costs as appropriate. Not to mention that Kickstarter gets their cut too.

Overcoming Organizational Myopia -- The Target Audience

Who would actually buy a book about successfully breaking through stovepiped organizations? If you read the opening regarding Stan and answered, “Yes,” to the following questions, then you are the audience. Let’s face it, if we work with any for profit or nonprofit organization, we all face stovepipes in business. Many times these silos negatively impact organizations that strains effectiveness and efficiency. Essentially, if you are in any business, this book is designed for you--especially if you are in a leadership or management role.

Overcoming Organizational Myopia -- Reward Highlights

Like many Kickstarter publishing campaigns, with just a little support, you can receive recognition and a special piece of the final product--the book. Each reward level essentially receives any lower level benefits.

However, for a select group, I am offering up something much more than the knowledge and application the book brings. For those few who see Organizational Myopia occurring in their organization, I can come visit your US or Canada location and share the contents of this book and my consulting experience. These two reward options (Platinum and Titanium) are available immediately--you do not have to wait for the book--and once you make the pledge, I will work with you to set up the details. I will make every effort to work with your schedule and that is why I limited these options so much. The reward levels were designed to fully fund the time, travel, printing, and mailing costs associated.

Overcoming Organizational Myopia -- The Continuing Saga

Stay tuned to this channel as things progress toward the publishing of the final book.

Risks and challenges

With all things there is risk…without risk, there can really be no innovation, right? For this project, life always comes with risk. For instance, my father (to whom I am dedicating this book) unexpectedly passed away last month. This set back many of my plans a few months. Two years ago, right after moving into our new house, we had a water leak in the attic and it cost us $15K to make repairs. Things like this happen. The good thing is that I have a good draft of the book that is going into final edit, so actually writing the book is done. However, there is no guarantee that editing and rewriting will be done by the end of the year--I just expect it to be done by then.

One of my biggest risks is that I am currently completing a PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. I am in my fourth (of potentially nine) quarters and then have a year to complete my dissertation. This, along with my fulltime job, working on the house, and just trying to enjoy life, absorbs much of my time. Being a planner, I have thought through what it takes to complete this book and have researched the marketing needs once it is published. Having self-published before, I know the ins-and-outs of the effort.

In all, I am confident that I will meet my end-of-year deadline and have Overcoming Organizational Myopia on the streets come January 2016.

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    Welcome to the big leagues...think you have a problem with stove pipes in your organization? This is the level for you. Of course you will be recognized in the final book, receive an early electronic copy, and get a signed copy of the book (super selective, limited edition, numbered copy). However, available immediately after the project is fully funded, I will come to your company or organization on a consulting visit (US/Canada only and up to 24 hours) to consultant and present on the topic of breaking through stovrpiped organizations.

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Funding period

- (45 days)