Question for associations: Our we changing as fast as the world around us? Music. Publishing, etc. as examples of industries impacted by fast-paced change. Change is “shaken rather than stirred.” Top down systems are not geared toward adapting at this pace.
Volatility has been going on for 40 years. Accelerating in the past decade. The world is more turbulent faster than organizations are adapting. 20 percent of what we know as a human species we only learned in the past five years. Are we getting stupider faster?
Most leaders assume their business model will (can) remain static. The only way orgs change is during a crises. Shake up the foundation, the core beliefs. IBM, GM as examples of companies having to experience NEAR DEATH experience in order to change. Reaction: get to the bottom, decapitate current leadership and start over dubbed the “turnaround.” However poor model. It must be transformation.
Change must be a fundamental change in the way we lead. Mental models of exec team depreciate faster than their power (5-10 years out of date). More concentrated more political power, the less power to adapt. Small number of people are responsible for strategic direction – these people hold organization “hostage” to their outdated will.
Companies that figure this out will be the companies that survive. As humans, we have propensity of denial making tough to accept change. Tend to dismiss symptoms and signs. Until of course it is too late. Rationalization to mitigation. Then we tend to patch. Finally confrontation (yourself). A realization that you now how to change. Consider this pattern – it exists in board rooms. Think of music industry reaction to MP3s. Longer it takes, the more expensive adaption.
How do you avoid trap? Humility is an enormous virtue. Spend a lot time listening to people who are those disagreeable. Are we looking for these people or are they marginalized? We must blow up dogmas. Orgs that could blow up these dogmas are the once to adapt quickly. Think Nintendo Wii. Also, Google challenged the idea of buying software off the shelf.
Another challenge. It takes effort to find the two gems out of 100 ideas. Orgs have the will to make this effort? We tend to find one mediocre idea, get buy in, for it to only fail. Strategy must be a more transparent process with the participation of many. Org that fail have “low sperm” count, not enough ideas to hit the target. Most org established ideas have constituencies, so tough to move towards nimble, distributed idea model. Resources tend to get locked up. Usually one seller, one buyer.
Employee has idea. How much red tape to move this idea in your organizations? They need resources. Resources are tied up in the traditional initiatives. It will take years and years of buy in. But perhaps too late. Bottom line: we need to try lots of different things. All tech management was invented 100 years ago. Challenge then, try to turn humans into cogs for betterment of org. Strive for obedience.This is not the same challenge facing org today.
Obedience is not enough from the people working for you. People have enormous creativity. Passion. Initiative – all secrets of creating wealth. The work they do for you org is the way they will make their mark. Knowledge is a commodity. We have to turn the old model inside out. The role of leadership today is not how do I get people to serve, rather how to create an environment to inspire people to tap passion, creativity, etc.
What is the secret? Have everyone accountable to themselves, their projects, their initiatives, etc. Drop the all the traditional rules that govern office policy and procedures.
Human beings naturally are already adaptable. Have initiative. Think of the web. Flickr, FB, all the posts, etc. Also we’re enormously engaging. Orgs are not people. They need to be more human. Org needs to be fit for humans.