Renounce adaptation, robustness and even ‘flexibility’ in favour of ‘taking any opportunity to do things you think you could not do before’ (Rahm Emanuel). And that means scary reinvention.
Adaptation is survival. Readiness in the new organization is preparedness for winning, for being ahead of the game, for reinventing. Call it as you wish, but it’s not adaptation.
It’s not robustness either. A rhino is very robust. And an elephant.
It’s not even flexibility, which is a form of sophisticated survival.
In the new organizational readiness, coming out of a crisis, of a tension, of an inflection point, is doing so by being much stronger than when the whole thing started. It is about creating a new baseline, a new normal, in which things are progressively much better, more sophisticated, more elevated, more able. That has nothing to do with robustness, flexibility and adaptation. The closest description for that ‘new readiness’ is Nassin Taleb’s ‘antifragile’, a concept that his hypertrophic mind has not elaborated well on in organizational terms (see however ‘The Antifragility Edge: Antifragility in Practice Paperback – December 13, 2016, by Si Alhir)
Forget robust and forget the tanks. It’s guerrilla and its gazelle/cheetah/falcon in the project team. It’s continuous reinventing, not continuous improvement. I do not mean continuous reinventing of everything: business model, operations, strategy implementation. I mean, any next stage (post crisis, post challenge) is much better than the original. Any problem solving not only solves the problem but takes the organization to its next stage of possibilities. Never return to the baseline. The new baseline is higher, better, more sophisticated.
Back to the four drivers for readiness, as we started days ago:
- Rapid Reaction and Reconfiguration (RRR)
- Focus on your ‘social algorithms’ (non-negotiable behaviours)
- Build-in reboot systems.
- Renounce adaptation and robustness. It means scary reinvention
It’s a package. There is no guarantee that the package will solve your future, but without it, it’s going to be very difficult.
This will be my last post for 2016, so may I take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Do check your inbox on the 30th and 31st December as we reveal the results of the “Top Daily Thoughts of 2016” poll, and I look forward to sharing more thoughts and opinions with you in 2017!