What is management by intention? It sounds like a bit of
an oxymoron. After all, don’t we do everything by intention?
Well, yes and no.
One of the lessons of competitive sports, like the
highly competitive world of business, is that what we
do does not always produce the results we expect, no matter how much our
action feels “right” or intentional. In the course of some twenty years of
working in high tech, I have consistently found similar patterns of intentionality
and lack of intentionality in the office. As a consultant, I’ve found
CEOs who manage by magic spell: they found something that worked once
and attempt to repeat that success in every new situation. When it doesn’t
work, they blame their employees. What is happening, of course, is that
they are in a situation that reminds them of a previous situation, and without
thinking about it, they respond to the new situation as they did in the past.
They think they are acting intentionally, but they are actually on automatic
pilot. They are reacting, not acting.
The goal of this book is to provide you with the knowledge of the patterns
of organizational behavior that will enable you to act intentionally, not
merely react. We will look at organizational development from the broad,
encompassing frame of organizational culture and explore the specific skills
you need to develop in order to shape and direct your organization.