The challenge with any kind of structure in business (or personally) is that it makes you predisposed to certain outcomes.  Perhaps this is a function of culture.  If your organization has a set way of performing a task, then the only acceptable answer is one that falls within a predetermined range of values.  If one’s solution or performance falls below the standard range, then you’ve underperformed.  Exceeding the standards leads one to a high-performance situation which can be just as difficult to sort out as one that underperforms.

Mediocrity works for most people and can be profitable.  Working within a range of values that are viewed as acceptable is necessary in some cases to keep the money flowing.

If you are striving to be different, then spend time thinking about what is happening outside of what is normal.  Can you help an underperforming employee make a valuable contribution to the organization?  Can you find something that motivates them to exceed their own expectations and evolve into something new?

Similarly, can you harness the drive of a high-performing individual to enable them to empower those around them?  Can you give them the space needed to find ways to propel your organization into uncharted markets?

The structure of an organization enables regularity.  Figuring out how to use it to accommodate what’s out of the ordinary is how effective leaders make the most out of their resources.

[Photo:  A wall constructed out of Virginia fieldstone. Even the small rocks serve an important role in the wall.]

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