Great Groups are vivid Utopias. They are a picture of the way organizations ought to look -- sort of like a set of aspirations and a graphic illustration of what's possible. So how do we, in our mundane, quotidian organizations, create these things? I think there are a number of factors that we can look at.
Perhaps the key factor, and it's almost a banal thing to say, is finding a meaning in what you do. That is, how do you make people feel that what they're doing is somewhat equivalent to a search for the Holy Grail?
This is more than just having a vision. You can see the difference in the often-cited way in which Steve Jobs brought in John Sculley to take over Apple. At the time, Sculley was destined to be the head of Pepsico. The clincher came when Jobs asked him, "How many more years of your life do you want to spend making colored water when you can have an opportunity to come here and change the world?"
Source: An Interview with Warren Bennis: http://www.strategy-business.com/press/16635507/18276
Well, years and years ago, I started to ask myself three very simple questions, which dominated my life for many years. One of them was, "Why are organizations everywhere, whether commercial, social, or religious, increasingly unable to manage their affairs?" The second question was, "Why are individuals throughout the world increasingly in conflict with and alienated from the organizations of which they're a part?" And the third was, "Why are society and the biosphere increasingly in disarray?" When I asked these questions to audiences a few years ago, they didn't have that much meaning to most people. But with such recent events as September 11 and the collapse of Enron and WorldCom, it's all pretty obvious now. So if all those things are true—and to me they're just as obvious as the nose on anybody's face—there has to be some deep, universal, underlying thing we're not getting at. There has to be.
Source: WIE: Transformation by Design: http://www.wie.org/j22/hock.asp
The greatest challenge to organizations is the balance between continuity and change. You need both. At different times, the balance is slightly more over here, or slightly more over there, but you need both. And balance is basically the greatest task in leadership. Organizations have to have continuity, and yet if there is not enough new challenge, not enough change, they become empty bureaucracies, awfully fast.
Peter F. Drucker (1909 - 2005)
Source: THE CORPORATION THAT PLAYS TOGETHER, STAYS TOGETHER: http://www.pbs.org/lflc/backstage/jan2000.htm
Skillful pitching... is a necessary, but not sufficient, part of raising capital. More important are the realities of your organization: Are you building something meaningful, long lasting, and valuable to society?
Source: The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything, Pages: 119