Clay Parker Jones

Clay Parker Jones • I'm an organization designer at R/GA. I was a Co-Founder of August, and the Managing Partner of Undercurrent. Sign up for ways of working guides and a semi-weekly newsletter:

Peeling Carrots

Peeling Carrots

As I was peeling carrots for soup last night (snow day!), I realized that I always do it the same way: by doing the big end first.

If you peel the carrot the other way, starting with the skinny end, the diameter and the newly wet surface don't give you much control when things go sideways.

Alternatively, peeling the base first gives you more purchase for the fine work of peeling the tip.

I approach organizational transformation the same way: starting with the big end (the bottom) of the organization first.

It’s quicker work to change the small end (leadership), but it’s much more fragile. Leaders can leave, change their minds, get fired.

If you start with leadership, it can feel like you’re moving fast, but you don’t have a lot to hold onto if things start to go sideways.

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