List
Print This Post Print This Post

Experiment.

Not kidding. Once upon a time ‘experimenting’ was something that only scientists did. Most people would associate the word with labs and white coats.

In the old business environment, the one of the ‘get it right first time’, most things were lineal and predictable. It was a matter of, say, resources to be able to tackle challenges. The old Army model was the old business model. My tanks are bigger than yours. That kind of thing.

Today, most of the old management toolkits are redundant. Why? Because they were built, developed, sold and taught for a linear and relatively stable environment. Concepts such as risk, decision making, or information systems were largely mechanistic. It worked because it was about machines, and we had a good handle on them. Today, we have an environment that changes faster than our own internal structures, processes and systems. That is why long term strategic planning, amongst other things, is dead.

In the absence today of sure input-output models, if they ever were real, we now need to use the Weapons of Mass Instruction: test, prototype, experiment, get it wrong, try again, experiment again, keep going, here is another one I’ve made. No apologies.

If I were the chairman of the Board, I would ask for the Portfolio Of Experiments. But I am not a chairman of any Board.

It’s messy. Certainly more than the old ‘if you do A, I guarantee that you’ll get B’. Today, nobody has a clue as to how X,Y,Z will turn out. It’s a wonderful opportunity to invent, innovate, shape things. Messy, yes, but not boring.

But we need to accept that the modern organization today should look like a host of multiple experiments. Some of them will succeed, some won’t. Next, fast, new. Traditional management sees heterogeneity with horror. The idea that a Business Unit A with little structure, high risk and in unknown territory, could coexist with Business Unit B, full blown predictable, mechanistic, and productive, is not something that is well absorbed. People who tell me, ‘no, not us, we are OK with that’, tend to progress towards uniformity of structure, processes and systems at the speed of light. Give them a couple of months and the Big Consulting Group would have landed to put some order and uniformity on behalf of efficiency. These people are excellent sellers of efficiency when we need effectiveness.

Management is not wired for the messy stuff. We don’t like the messy stuff, because we were not educated for it, we were told this is a sign of bad management, and Harvard Business Review gives us daily and monthly assurances that some people, actually, are in possession of the truth. How nice.

The truth of the truth however is that you make it up as you go along, with multiple pockets of experimentation, multiple risks, multiple fast reactions, and above all, failing faster than anybody else. It’s the Buffett and Munger school of management: we are successful by making less mistakes than others.

By ‘experimenting’ here I mean trying, prototyping, launching hypothesis and testing them across the board: products, services, process, systems and structures. Also structures. All of them.

Leadership is here the art of running the company as a fantastic, magnetic, adventurous Big Lab.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Continue the conversation…..

Thought leader, keynote speaker and author, Dr Leandro Herrero is available for virtual speaking engagements. Find out more.

 

Leandro Herrero is frequently voted ‘Best Speaker’ at conferences worldwide. He also speaks to Boards and Leadership Teams, participates in other internal company conferences as a keynote speaker, and is available to run short seminars and longer workshops.

The topics of Leandro Herrero’s presentations and workshops relate to his work as an organizational architect.

Each organization has specific needs to be addressed.  Contact us to discuss your needs and to create the most appropriate virtual session for you.

 

 

Keep up with the Daily Thoughts

Twitter Email

Would you like to comment?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To search my website, please use the form below.

  Daily Thoughts

August 23rd, 2023

Can We Rescue DEI From Its Trap (The Label)?

Most of the problems and challenges in organizations, together with most of the solutions, are behavioural in nature. It’s about […]

August 10th, 2023

Restructuring to force collaboration, is likely to create more anxiety than collaboration. Structural solutions for behavioural problems hardly work.

Sometimes restructuring is done with the intention of solving a collaboration problem. ´A people´ don’t talk to ´B people´; if […]

July 18th, 2023

The ‘Impossible To Disagree With’ School Of Management

‘Good leaders have empathy, respect employees and set the example. If you want to change things, you need to have […]

June 29th, 2023

Large scale change is not small scale change repeated many times. Small wins repeated are lots of small wins.

Large scale change, as a series of cascading small scale interventions (often under the philosophy of ‘small wins’) has dominated […]

June 6th, 2023

Culture change is not long and difficult. But we make it so…

I suppose the question is how long is long and how difficult is difficult? In general, business and organizational consulting have […]

May 19th, 2023

Value is an overused term in business and, as such, it’s becoming meaningless

Value, as usually used, means transactional monetary value. Usually it doesn’t mean intrinsic value, or value per se. For example, […]

May 4th, 2023

The importance of ‘critical thinking.’ Your own critical thinking is more effective at making your workplace better than any generic employee survey.

Build your own Employee Engagement argument for free. You can’t go wrong. Here are three baskets full of concepts: Basket […]

April 21st, 2023

´Busy-Ness’ Is A Trap

I went to a big conference where I was introduced by the chairman like this: “Welcome everybody. Lovely to have […]

April 14th, 2023

Training and culture change. The love affair that ends in tears.

It seems to be very hard for people to get away from the idea that if we just put individuals […]

April 11th, 2023

Teamocracies and Networkracies have different citizens: in-Habitants in team-work, riders in net-work

The old view of the organization is something close to the old concept of a medieval city, where citizenship was […]

April 5th, 2023

3 Ways To Get Approval From Your CEO Or Your Leadership Team

Way number 1: My team has developed these three options, A, B and C. Which one do you want us […]

March 29th, 2023

A Cheat Sheet To Create A Social Movement Tip = to shape organizational culture since both are the same.

Mobilizing people. This is another of the Holy Grails (how many have I said we have?) in management. Whether you […]

March 16th, 2023

Critical Thinking Self-Test: A 10 Point Health Check For Your Organization And Yourself. If any of these are a good picture of your organization, you need to put ‘critical thinking’ in the water supply.

Test yourself, and your organization. Do any of these apply? Doing lots, too fast without thinking. High adrenaline, not sure […]

March 9th, 2023

A culture of safety or a culture of training in safety?

Cultures are created by behaviours becoming the norm. Safety is at the core of many industries. Significant budgets are allocated […]

March 2nd, 2023

Empowerment is an output. If you can visualize it, you can craft it.

The real question is, what do you want to see happening so that you can say ‘people are empowered’? Employee […]

February 24th, 2023

A simple question will jumpstart your organization into change. It will also save you from months of pain spent reorganizing your people and teams.

The following line will short-cut months of (building) ‘alignment’, integration, reorganization, team building, coalition building, and any situation in which Peter, […]

February 20th, 2023

Lead Via Peer-To-Peer Networks – If you don’t lead via peer-to-peer networks, you’re only driving your car in first gear.

Peer-to-peer work, transversal, spontaneous or not, collaboration, peer-to-peer influence, peer-to-peer activities of Viral Change™ champions or activists, all of this is the […]

February 7th, 2023

Write a script, not a strategic plan

If you care about the journey and the place, you need a story. If you have a good, compelling one, […]

January 26th, 2023

3 self-sabotaging mechanisms in organizations

Organizations, like organisms, have embedded mechanisms of survival, of growth and also of self-sabotage. These are 3 self-sabotage systems to […]

January 10th, 2023

Who should be involved in culture change? All inclusive versus going where the energy is.

Many times, in my consulting work, I find myself facing a dilemma: Do I involve many people on the client’s […]

December 23rd, 2022

Tell what won’t change – Introducing 1 of my 40 rules of change

In any change programme that any organization wants to start, they will start by thinking of the things that they […]

December 16th, 2022

Scale It – Introducing 1 of my 40 rules of change

When creating effective change in any organization, there are 40 rules that, in my experience, are the key between success […]

December 5th, 2022

Assets & Strengths Base – Introducing 1 of my 40 rules of change

For more than 30 years I have been involved in ‘change’ in organizations. Again and again, some fundamental principles, and often […]

November 25th, 2022

Campaign It… is 1 of my 40 rules of change

When you filter out the noise, when you try to extract the core, the fundamentals, those ‘universal rules’ of change […]

October 31st, 2022

Hybrid or not hybrid? That’s not the question…

Culture is the new workplace If you want to have a conversation about the future of work, the nature of […]

October 24th, 2022

‘Powered by Viral Change™’: A Social Transformation Platform for the organization of the 21st Century

When we started to work on Viral Change™, as a way to create large scale behavioural and cultural change, and […]

October 14th, 2022

Corporate tribes, intellectual ghettos and open window policies

We talk a lot about silos in organizations usually in the context of Business Units or divisions. But these are not […]

October 7th, 2022

Peer Networks are the strongest force of action inside the organization

Peer-to-peer works, transversal, spontaneous or not, collaboration, peer-to-peer influence, peer-to-peer activities of Viral Change™ champions or activists, all of this is […]

September 30th, 2022

Change that doesn’t deliver change-ability is a waste

The traditional model of change is the one I call ‘destination’ type, that is, how to go from A to […]

September 23rd, 2022

Company structures: aggregate and disaggregate

New organizations, and old ones in the business of transforming themselves, would be better off learning by heart these two […]