The Outstanding Organization and Chaos …


When we allow chaos to reign in organizations, we get random and unpredictable results.”


So says Karen Martin and I believe her … in this little nugget from The Outstanding Organization, her new book coming out today, Karen uses one very important word:


Such a simple word, and yet so very important in this discussion.

Martin’s point is clear and valid:  She uses terms like shifting priorities, unclear direction, unstable processes, unhappy customers, disengaged employees to describe conditions with which many of us are very familiar.    She gets no argument from me on this count.  

She further makes an important distinction between two types of chaos:   

What Comes From Others:

Energizing Chaos comes from marketplace conditions, customer needs, and the guys across town or across the planet who compete with us.  

This type of chaos can be useful, because it spurs innovation, competitive energy, and motivation, as long as you don’t let it overwhelm your organization.

What Comes From Us:

Martin focuses on Self-Inflicted Chaos.   You know, the stuff we do to ourselves and which, as she clearly and repeatedly points out, we have the “power to reduce or eliminate“.   Organizations have a tendency to create this type of chaos and, even more important, an inclination to become used to and learn to live with a negative and disruptive environment.

Martin’s mission is to help people in organizations fix this.  Her background in corporate environments and expertise in various quality systems, especially Lean thinking, makes her someone who can do that.

Tomorrow, I’ll share Karen’s foundation elements to begin to build your own version of The Outstanding Organization.

Meanwhile, you can learn more by clicking the title above.  

Reflecting on what we allow ourselves to put up with in the Heartland ….


Author, speaker, and consultant, Karen Martin, provides practical strategies and tools for building an Outstanding Organization. The Outstanding Organization: Generate Business Results by Eliminating Chaos and Building the Foundation for Everyday Excellence is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon

2 thoughts on “The Outstanding Organization and Chaos …

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