Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What Makes You a Linchpin?

"Take away my people, but leave my factories and soon grass will grow on the factory floors. Take away my factories, but leave my people and soon we will have a new and better factory"

When it comes to operating machinery, linchpins are essential.

A linchpin is a fastener used to prevent a wheel or other rotating part from sliding off the axle it is riding on. Remove the linchpin, the mechanism collapses.

Within organizations, some people - not many - emerge as linchpins. You could also call them anchors, backbones and mainstays.

Can you think of an individual right now who you would consider to be a linchpin? A central, source of steady support and stability?

In terms of leading edge thinking, few linchpins compare to Seth Godin. In his latest book, Seth makes a compelling case for developing yourself as a potential linchpin against the backdrop of a rapidly changing workplace. Godin argues it was easier, even expected that you could hide behind your Indistrial Economy job in exchange for job security. As he puts it, “You weren’t born to be a cog in the giant industrial machine. You were trained to become a cog".

But things have changed and today, successful organizations are on the hunt for people who make a difference.


Seth Godin has laid it out in plain English.

Most organizations currently have it backwards. The factory, the infrastructure, systems, patents, process, and let's not forget the ops manual are elevated, worshipped and placed on pedestals.

But, what if success in the Digital Economy depends on something else?


How close are you to becoming one in the workplace animal kingdom?

Will you stay huddled with the masses of bleating sheep?

Or charge ahead with the few roaring tigers?

"It turns out that success is coming from the atypical organizations, the ones that can get back to embracing irreplaceable people, the linchpins, the ones that make a difference. Anything else can be replicated cheaper by someone else"
SETH GODIN, - blog March 07 2010

Originally posted March 24, 2010

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