My name is Tim Ragan, and I refer to myself as a performance engineer. It’s what I’m wired to do and what I love doing — working to improve the performance of people, teams, systems, and organizations.
I like to operate at the intersection of business and organizational strategy, people alignment, team performance, and hands-on operational execution.
The specific theme that ties all my work interests together is mission effectiveness — whether that be the mission as it relates to individuals, or the mission(s) of organizations.
At its most basic, mission effectiveness is the combination of only two factors: (1) are the people (or person) tasked with the mission actively engaged?, and: (2) is the work that is being done actually adding value in helping accomplish the stated mission?
The shocking reality of many of our endeavors these days is that much of the work we do day in and day out doesn’t add much value, and many of the people we count on aren’t very engaged. I believe a large part of this is structural — executive teams view the strategy development, business systems and work processes as “hard skills” and focus their engineers, business people, and operationally-primed people on these aspects. The culture, employee development, and skills training are viewed as “soft skills” and assigned to HR and Organizational Development groups. Quite often, the “hard” and “soft” parts of the organization share little common ground, and so their strategies don’t mesh together very well. Little wonder that we end up with systems and processes that hobble people’s best efforts, and armies of disengaged people going through the motions, because they feel little ability to truly make a difference.
Over my career, I’ve spent a lot of time with a foot in both these camps: involved on the people side through my career development and coaching company, and immersed in the systems and process side with my strategy consulting focus. I’ve finally come to the realization that separating them out is the wrong thing to do — we need to look at them together, and focus on building both “hard” systems and “soft” engagement strategies around our work teams, in turn helping individuals and teams measurably improve their overall mission effectiveness. I have an all-consuming passion for transforming and accelerating — clarifying, simplifying and improving — the measurable growth and performance of individuals, teams, and organizations. I help people develop and implement powerful transformation strategies that lead to measurable and sustainable improvements.
My path to here…
I’m a long-time technology business executive; while most talk about the importance of being a specialist, I consider myself to have “specialized in being an excellent generalist” [Good little article here from about the value of “generalists” in today’s modern businesses]. I have logged over 20 years of experience in 11 functional capacities and 8 management and executive roles on 3 continents with 5 multi-billion dollar corporations. I took on a CEO role to work with the Board and founders to retool and commercialize a tech start-up during the 2001/2002 technology industry melt-down. While a very painful time in the industry, it provided an environment to learn a lot of good business — and personal — lessons in a very short time.
In 2002, after 20 years of organizational excitement, management challenges, and a pretty full toolbox of lessons, experiences, and approaches, I decided it was time to slip the corporate yoke and go “independent”. In mid-2003 I formally launched C-View Strategies as a business transformation consulting firm, where I have had the good fortune to work with many dozens of client organizations over the years helping them develop new capabilities and improve their overall mission effectiveness.
In 2009, I purchased the company Career Coaching International (CCI), which focuses on helping individuals drive the transformation of their career development and success. My work in the career development field has dramatically expanded my own knowledge of how to help people discover their true gifts and re-engage and find deeper purpose in their chosen careers; along the way we’ve helped many of our clients access their own entrepreneurial dreams and start their own businesses. (In February 2016, I completed a significant rethinking and re-branding of CCI to better address the challenges individuals and organizations face in the modern work world: introducing Career Constructors.)
For me, mission effectiveness also refers to how well our organizational institutions are aligned with societal concerns, and in particular, the alignment of the institution of business with our society. To this end, I’ve been researching and developing various themes about concrete ways in which we might go about reforming business so that it is in better alignment with 21st century societal imperatives. While still very early in the exploration of this massive undertaking, the outlines of my approach and beliefs can be seen in The Business Detox Project.
In terms of educational background, I have a B.Sc. (Electrical Engineering) from University of Alberta and an MBA from University of Ottawa. From 2004 to 2013 I was a part-time professor/lecturer at the University of Ottawa (Telfer School of Management) where I regularly taught “Business & Society”, a course that examines the ethical and moral implications of modern business and its interaction with government and civil society. I’ve also taught marketing strategy, international business, and BPR (business process redesign) numerous times at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
So that’s my bio, my companies, and my research and work interests. I hope you find articles on this blog that challenge your thinking, inform you about mission effectiveness, and help you to see the world just a little differently. Let me know how I’m doing in my own mission to inform, challenge and engage you — comments and feedback are most appreciated.