I recently asked my colleague and expert on process management, Joe Bockerstette, to come talk to a group of manufacturing CEOs. My chief takeaway was this: your organization is perfectly designed to get the results it is producing today.

Whether good or bad, the systems are delivering the results one can expect from the current design.

This is true for organizational systems, but it is also true for team systems and any system you use to manage yourself.

The bottom line is that we need to take 100% responsibility for the results we are getting and the processes we are using.

Taking responsibility is not about blame. It is getting clear on those factors that enable success and focusing on those with intensity.

This means:

  1. If you like the results you are getting, then you must identify and support those factors that are driving success.
  2. If you are unhappy with the results (or feel you could do better), then you need to figure out what is the weak link in the system. It might be your leadership. It might be team members. It might be the tools that you are using.

If you don’t like the results you are getting (or feel you can do a little better), have the courage to change. But keep in mind that change requires growth. I call this the Acorn Principle. Acorns grow into big, beautiful trees. They do not morph into giant nuts. And neither should you.