Bossing from Within
Like any successful organization, the personalities of the founders’ of Engineering Justice are the bedrock of its creation and development. And as a proud pair of introverts, Miriam Solis and Mualimu Collins draw inspiration from concepts that speak to their own experience. One such concept is Susan Cain’s famous critique of western culture for under utilizing the power of introverts. Cain states that society must do more to empower introverts, but she may have overlooked the possibility that this is already happening organically through the internet. While many disparage the internet for heightening social isolation, a counter-argument can be made: that many digital tools, whether done so intentionally or not, are designed to socially empower introverts. And there is evidence that this is true, exhibited by the immense success of the many social media platforms that we use today, which were mostly created and designed by self-proclaimed introverts.
Extroverts already get a lot of shine, and we are not here to promote already established norms. We are interested in progress, exploring less popular concepts, and amplifying marginalized voices. Thus, we hope to use the power of technology and the freedom of the internet to drive our impact in more innovative ways and that are reflective of our unique perspective as business leaders.
This is all best understood by first looking at Engineering Justice’s methodology. When we consult with a nonprofit or small business, we start from the vantage point of where most do not look: internal management. It is strange that the very people we work with, and the daily workspaces we inhabit, tend to be what most organizational leaders take for granted. There are obvious reasons for this. Most importantly, organizations stay afloat by generating economic results. So, the bottom line is that an organization must focus externally, on its clients and products. Another reason is introverts are often attracted to operational positions. In these roles, they can escape the spotlight. Lastly, instinctually, it is often harder to look inwardly as opposed to outwardly. However, we urge you to turn your gaze towards the inner-workings of your nonprofit or small business (not too much though, you don’t want to scare away the introverts…!) This is the engine of your organization. It is your most durable and inconspicuous component. But ultimately, if you do not take care of it, your organization will sputter and ultimately stall.
All of this isn’t to say that we are making a judgement call on what component is most important to a given organization. This is about how we approach our consultation services. Because we work on contract and must learn the story of your nonprofit or small business quickly, starting with analyzing internal management gives us the insight that we need to more fully understand our 2nd area of focus - leadership. And, once leadership and internal management are calibrated, it is much easier to generate positive results. Furthermore, because of the nature of business and the state of technology today, many organizations already have the tools and techniques necessary to focus externally on clients and, as stated previously, are already prioritizing this work. Therefore, the enhancement of internal systems and the strengthening of leadership will allow you to more precisely make the adjustments needed to increase ROI on the back end.
Stay tuned, as we will soon share our thoughts on leadership and external management, the other two components of our methodology.