A wise man once said (paraphrasing), you can do anything you want to in life… but you can’t do EVERYTHING you want to in life. The same concept applies to your company or organization.
In the fourth article of the series, A Corporation is a Person, Too, we further discuss the corporate and personal boundary, and how the boundary not only provides an identity for an organization or individual, but can also act as a “shield” to stress.
Recall the previous example used in part three of the series, where McDonald’s could conceivably consider entering the fine-dining market-and how such a pursuit would likely be outside its boundary, and likely result in failure. We asserted McDonald’s “identity crisis” would be symptomatic of a boundary problem. But the boundary also serves as a kind of “shield” against outside stresses (or even internal ones). In a sense, the fact McDonald’s “knows thyself” actually assists in fulfilling its mission. It avoids pursuing activities outside its boundary and focuses on what it knows-and what it can control. This is an important feature necessary to control internal stresses-particularly for individuals within the organization.
Ever felt as if you had too much going on and too much to do? This is likely a boundary problem-demonstrated by an inability to prioritize organizational or personal goals. Sometimes this may be a function of the individual. But often times, it can be a systemic organizational problem.
Ask yourself the following. What is the fastest way to complete a task? This is not a trick question, but has a really simple answer. What is it?
Don’t do it!
On the surface, that answer may seem simplistic. And the natural follow-up question to ask is, “Well, what if it’s important?” Well then do it! Make it a priority, and make a conscious decision to complete it and move forward. But if it’s unimportant (and it probably is unimportant), then make a conscious decision to NOT do it and move forward. Determining whether it’s important or not depends on your organizational or personal identity, i.e. your boundary.
To test if a task or an issue “demanding” your attention is important, consider whether the task or consideration of the issue contributes in a meaningful way to furthering your organizational or personal mission (which as we already know, helps make up our boundary). If it doesn’t contribute to your organizational or personal mission in a meaningful way, then it’s probably not important. And making a decision to NOT do it or to NOT consider the issue further allows you to move forward and eliminate the stress. The key is to STOP wasting time, energy and resources on unimportant matters. You’ll quickly find that the stress seems to “magically” dissolve. And as an additional benefit, with consistent practice of this strategy, you’ll begin to find how unimportant many of the daily tasks we perform in a company (or in our own personal lives) really are. Freeing yourself from performing unimportant tasks will strengthen your boundary, and provide additional resources in terms of time and energy to pursue the truly important tasks. In a sense, you are learning to say NO to yourself. And learning to SAY and HEAR the word “no” (even when we’re just saying “no” to ourselves) will further strengthen your company and personal boundary.
In the McDonald’s example, not wasting time pursuing fine-dining options helps preserve resources (both financial and “psychological”) to be put to use towards the organizational “mission” that partially defines its boundary. Conversely, an organization that does not have a well defined boundary may waste time and resources constantly chasing the next “great opportunity” that likely resides outside its boundary (if it took the time to consider it). That’s wasted time and effort that will likely cause stress far beyond any return it will gain. If it focused solely on the relevant stresses it would likely achieve a level of “organizational mastery” far beyond what it thought was possible.
Of course many outside stresses are beyond your control. Fortunately, if you’ve taken the time to build your organizational and personal boundary, even those don’t have to cause a “loss” in “resources”. But if you’re “suffering” organizationally or personally over things outside your immediate control, it is a sign of having “holes” in the boundary. Conversely (or in addition to), it may be a sign of organizational lack in the three defined areas that make up the FULFILLMENT part of DURABLE FULFILLMENT. Fortunately, MindOS provides a road map to diagnose and ultimately cure those problems, too. For more on how to “patch up” your organizational or personal boundary holes, and evaluate your organizational needs that may be preventing you or your organization from reaching DURABLE FULFILLMENT, click on the link below and visit our website.
Even with a strong boundary, it’s still possible stress may “penetrate” the boundary. In the next article in the series, we will discuss one of the three internal resources every organization and individual must master to achieve the SUCCESS component in the equation that leads to DURABLE FULFILLMENT.
Jeffrey Suchocki is founder of Corporate Psyche, LLC. To find out more about how to “psychoanalyze” your corporation go to http://www.corporatepsyche.com/. Whether you are an executive looking to “diagnose” what ails your company, or an employee trying to identify the kind of company you want to work for, Corporate Psyche can help.