Organisations and teams are similar. Being able to stop is essential for moving ahead. Stopping enables learning. Lots of busy action is not the same as movement. Movement only starts from stillness.
Posts Categorized: Innovation
Right now, the capacity to pay attention, make sense, act and change ahead of the curve is the holy grail of most organisations and if it is not, it should be.
My hypothesis is that a humanity traumatised by pandemic, facing existential environmental impacts, and that is experimenting with various exponential technologies needs a better approach to strategy. An approach that can yield the crazy ideas that are needed.
In his brilliant book The Laws of Human Nature, Robert Greene writes in praise of what he calls ‘reality groups’ – groups that are infused with a functional and healthy dynamic arising from their ability to maintain a tight relationship with reality.
Running the business is grounded in the here and now. It depends on data from the past. And it can be a relatively comfortable space because it deals with known facts. In contrast, changing the business is about the world outside the organisation and about the future. And the world outside is much bigger and more complex than the organisation – to the extent that it is essentially unknowable.
Perhaps the most famous example of a company that revolutionised itself by shortening cycle times is Dell. When Tom Meredith became CFO at Dell in 1991, it had a cash conversion cycle of + 63 days. When he retired in 2001 it was -21 (yes that is a minus!). He did this by streamlining manufacturing, working closely with suppliers and having customers pay in advance.