Tuesday, October 26, 2010


One can make an accurate diagnosis of the health or disease of any system, but if the orientation to fix the problems rather than create structures to create what you really, really want, I guarantee you that you will begin forward movement and then your gains will be reversed.

Consultant after consultant can diagnose problems, conflicts, issues, symptoms of an unhealthy system but the only proven way to obtain and sustain long term results is to install structures in order that the natural energy can flow towards its intended outcome or result.

I spoke with Barbara, a long term dental assistant and clinical coordinator yesterday and she gave me a startling insight into the power of the first two paragraphs:

“Consultants keep coming into our practice and telling us that we should be doing better and that our practice should be growing, but it’s like we don’t have a ladder to get there.

We need a contractor who will build us a ladder so we can climb up to where we want.”

What Barbara and every other thinking, reasoning person is begging for is a structure (ladder) to get to where they want.

What do St. Paul, Minnesota, St. Louis, Missouri and Dubuque, Iowa have in common? I grew up from age 7 to 21 in these cities. They all are on the Mississippi River, the largest and fastest flowing river in the United States. It is an amazing body of water. The river flows at different rates with the variance in seasons, which makes it obvious that in the spring season, with the snow melt and spring rains the river will have more water in it and it will naturally ‘follow its path of least resistance’ at a higher flow rate.

Dams are placed every so many miles on the upper Mississippi; structures that are designed to control and maintain the flow of water throughout the year. WHY? So the tugboats, which require a minimum of 20 depth, can navigate
the river to move millions of tons of oil, coal, and other commodities from one point to another on the river.

I often think of Virginia Satire, the famous family therapist, who was the genius who intuitively created Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It was Virginia that stated:

“All unhealthy family systems are unhealthy in dissimilar ways, but all healthy family systems are healthy in similar ways.”

This is a profound statement. There are similarities in healthy systems; they are similarly structured, with similar elements and structures but none are exactly the same.

Ms. Satire would never work with just one member of a family system. She believed that ever individual within any system could and would impact the behavior of the entire system.

You know this is true. One dysfunctional member of any family system or team can and will impact the behavior of the entire system. Why would this be any different in your business? One unhealthy person in your business can and will impact the behavior and thus the performance of your entire system.

So, people do have great impact on your personal life and your business life. But there are also other elements in your business structure. Yes, there are people.

· People either know what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and why they do it, or they don’t.
· People either have systems and structures that determine and define whether their energy is utilized to achieve certain results or they don’t.
· People choose to function synergistically within the structure of your practice, or they don’t.
· People are either engaged and inspired to produce a certain outcome or they aren’t.
· Leaders provide the inspiration; management creates the structure so that the energy of people can and will produce consistent outcomes and growth.

Every business system, like a music composition, is composed of core elements. These elements are either structured to create movement in a positive direction or they are inhibiting the flow of energy. Some structures are designed to be immovable and stable, and others are designed to move.

Time is nothing but energy. You either use it effectively or you lose it. Time is not recoverable; once spent it is lost forever.
You either structure your time in effective and efficient ways or you don’t!

Money is energy. With the ‘wrong structure’ money is dissipated, lost with little or no return. In the Creative Process we control the flow of money rather than simply react to it. Accounting systems of any are reactive structures which always lead to the reaction to money.

Cash flow systems are management structures, like dams which control the flow of money, rather than reacting to it and wondering where it went at the end of the month, quarter or year.

A sound Marketing Structure identifies in advance those prospects, customers, clients or patients who are more likely to buy, and a sound marketing structure finds and attracts those prospects to you who want what you have to offer.

A sound Sales Structure (process) enables you to identify early those who will buy and those who won’t. A sound Sales Structure saves you enormous time and energy as you are working with people who want what you have to offer and it is far easier to work with them.

As sound Organizational Structure enables all the elements or components of the system to work together in a synergistic manner. A few, in a synergistic relationship, can produce far more with less effort than many working in structural conflict.

Purpose or Why is the reason your business exists. Sadly, but true, unhealthy businesses are those that focus on internal results, for themselves, rather than outside results, for the people or businesses they serve.

The power of purpose is massively misunderstood and underestimated. In 1973, General Motors started to die. The CEO made this statement:

“The purpose of General Motors is to make money for its
shareholders, not to make cars.”

General Motors has been losing money for more than three decades, practicing manipulative discount strategies yet continues to lose the war regarding ‘market share’ and ‘profit.’

It took a government bailout of $100B to rescue a company that couldn’t rescue itself. Now, with a purpose beyond itself, it may survive. Workers abused the company as well as executives, all in the name of getting as much from GM as they could.

“When you lose your WHY
You start to DIE”

Enter ENTROPY. All systems have a natural tendency to dissipate, become disorganized, return to randomness. The same is true for us human beings.

Organizations however, don’t have to die, they can RENEW themselves.

Renewal of any family system or business system always begins with revisiting the owners, values, beliefs, vision and PURPOSE.

PURPOSE is the starting point and ending point of everything. Without a worthwhile reason to exist, or live, people within organizations and the organization itself begins to die.

I didn’t invent this, I’m just a messenger.
This is Nature. This is Biology.

Like it or not PURPOSE is the prime element, the most powerful DRIVING FORCE of any person’s life or any business.

· You show me a person without a Clearly Defined Purpose and I’ll show you a person who isn’t going anywhere.
· You show me an organization (any kind) without a clearly defined Purpose and I’ll show you an organization that isn’t going anywhere.

Great people in all walks of life engage with and live their purpose. Victor Frankl, (Logotherapy) the famous Austrian Jewish Psychiatrist, proved that only those who had a bigger why, a bigger purpose beyond themselves, survived the Nazi Concentration Camps.

A person or organization with a GREATER PURPOSE can and will survive any setback, any turmoil and will find the energy to survive and thrive.

PURPOSE is NEVER about YOU, but it is in some way it is about

Making a difference in the lives or businesses of others.

· It is enhancing the quality of life of people in some important and meaningful way.
· It is enhancing the quality of life of any group of people whether organized for profit or not.

When any individual or organization, large or small loses it’s WHY…it starts to DIE!

Michael Schuster for
The Schuster Center

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