Newsletter – January, 2022

On My Mind
Many leaders of organizations have found great value in using an organizational vision to direct and guide strategic improvement efforts. Such a vision is not always created in an intentional and formal way. There are two informal visioning situations – the following is an excerpt from my Visions & Visioning paper which can be found on the RESEARCH page of this website: “The first situation is when the founder of a company (i.e., an entrepreneur) experiences a flash of insight and the vision spontaneously and instantaneously appears (i.e., is created)—“My vision just popped into my head.” This vision is idiosyncratic and it might be difficult for the founder to explain its meaning and significance to others. The founder in this situation possesses tacit knowledge. Polanyi (1966) described tacit knowledge as “we can know more than we can tell.” The founder of the company thoroughly understands the vision, but the other members of the organization may never understand the vision—“You had to be there . . . but you weren’t.” The second situation is when the vision emerges unintentionally over time – “It seems clear now – this is our vision.” The vision in this case could involve shared tacit knowledge.” The challenge for a leader in those situations is communicating the vision – sometimes . . . you just have to be there.

Interesting Stories
Magnus Carlsen (Norway) successfully defended his World Classical Chess Champion title in December against Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) by winning four games and drawing seven games. The first five of eleven games resulted in a draw (“tie”), but Carlsen dominated the rest of the way by winning four of the final six games. Carlsen has been the World Classical Chess Champion since 2013 and he has recently commented that he might not defend his title unless he plays eighteen-year-old Alireza Firouzja who was born in Iran and now lives in France. Firouzja would have to win the next Candidates Tournament in 2022 before that could happen. It would be sad for Carlsen to vacate the title – but he feels he has little left to prove except earn a 2,900 rating.

Company News
There are two definite SIS events on the horizon: the Strategic Improvement Yellow Belt course starts January 4, 2022 and the Strategic Improvement Black Belt course starts January 24, 2022. The brochures are available on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page of this website. There will be several other courses announced in January including Strategic Improvement Green Belt, Strategic Improvement Black Belt, Visions & Visioning, and Leading Strategic Improvement.

Intriguing Reads
I recently read the book titled RUSSIANS VERSUS FISCHER which details the meteoric rise of chess player Bobby Fischer who became the World Classical Chess Champion in 1972 by beating Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union. This is one of the best stories about how “One person took an entire system (Soviet Union) – and won!” Every chapter is excellent and the book contains the moves of numerous games. I especially liked the observations of his Russian opponents. Fischer ended his career early and lived an exiled life in disgrace. He eventually died in Iceland.