I like the concept of reinvention, renewal, or transformation. But I like most the concept of rebooting! Organizations, teams, groups, entire companies, always reach some plateau at some point. The point in the curve where things are OK, but not brilliant; there is nothing wrong but also nothing very good; no particular problems but not many new ideas. Things are stable, there is no crisis, people turnover is low, all is fine, thank you. ‘You have reached the un-remarkable destination’, your organizational ‘Sat Nav’ seems to say. It’s time to reboot the system.
One of the programmes I have designed under the banner of ‘Accelerators’ is called ‘Reboot!’. We ask people to find the elephants in the room, the sacred cows, the things that need urgent health checks, make an inventory of mistakes and successes etc. What one can do in one single day of Reboot! is simply amazing. A Game Plan is then easy to create.
Regardless how you do it, or what you call it, you need to plan, not for ‘essential maintenance’, as many digital services and their websites do from time to time, but for a full reboot! Look inside, up and down, sideways, dust here and there, question the unquestionable, open the windows, allow fresh air, imagine, inject some disruption, reboot!
This healthy shakeup can be planned. Actually, it is hundred times better when scheduled, as opposed to when you are forced to do it in a crisis, or under stress. Schedule some ‘reboot time’ in the life cycle of your organization, no matter what, even if you are at a peak of performance. Stop, push the button, have the courage to pause, listen, then re-start.
The old lithium batteries that we used to have in older devices and phones, came with the warning: to discharge completely from time to time and then charge again, otherwise the continuous use and daily charge will make charging less and less effective. Eventually, the battery life will be minimal. Well, organizations today are still in lithium battery mode. Follow the advice. Schedule rebooting. Abandon the plateau, even if it is a comfortable one.