» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News
X

Forgot your password?
Skip Navigation LinksHome >
VOL. 128 | NO. 220 | Monday, November 11, 2013
Graber Atkinson

Michael Graber & Jocelyn Atkinson

Parts or Whole?

By MICHAEL GRABER & JOCELYN ATKINSON

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Comments ()

What do you call a single cell in a huge body acting counter to the general flow of a body? A rebel cell.

The theory of cancer is happening at the corpuses of businesses everywhere. When parts are running in different directions than the whole, there is a schism a hand.

As Marcus Aurelius said, what is good for the bee is good for the hive. The parts and the whole need to be in harmony, and every part (each initiative, every project, every action or inaction) should play an integral, strategic role. If parts are not working in concert, then efforts and resources are wasted.

How well do your parts sync up to a whole? Does every assignment, every project, every mission add value to the total vision?

Given the buzzword of “corporate waste” or the thousands of killed projects we have seen sitting in a warehouse that’s next to a warehouse that’s next to a warehouse filled with shelved projects, we think there is a lack of cohesive vision at many companies.

The reason is simple, a lack of vision and leadership. These firms are not applying systems thinking and considering how the parts add or subtract from the whole.

Often, to ignite new growth, we are called into a skunk works for new product or new market innovation. What we discover, time and time again, is that there are so many parts running in different directions that no one knows what the whole is anymore.

This lack of a holistic approach show that shortsighted, knee-jerk approaches to growth do not work for more than a season and the long-term fallout confuses the whole enterprise.

The corpus is sick without a whole vision. If a company chooses parts as a default – without envisioning how each part adds value to the enterprise – it displays a lack of a coherent vision.

Before a project kicks off ask how it is related to other projects. Ask if there is a clear path to value. Ask how this part plays into the whole.

If you cannot answer, take it to your leaders and demand clarity.

Jocelyn Atkinson and Michael Graber run the Southern Growth Studio, a strategic growth firm based in Memphis. Visit www.southerngrowthstudio.com to learn more.

Sign-Up For Our Free Email Edition
Get the news first with our daily email


 
Blog Get more from The Daily News
Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 66 180 11,618
MORTGAGES 81 223 15,202
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 21 68 2,979
BUILDING PERMITS 0 392 27,646
BANKRUPTCIES 90 218 11,180
BUSINESS LICENSES 26 63 4,101
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 99 422 16,906
MARRIAGE LICENSES 19 62 3,526

Weekly Edition

Issues | About

The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.