Aug 06 2013

You may be asking yourself why we think that organisations need to be dynamic. You may have an idea, but here’s our take on the subject. The world is changing faster than it ever has before. The pace of change seems to be accelerating & to quote Charles Darwin; “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the on most responsive to change”.

There are plenty of statistics on the pace of change and a widely viewed video/presentation called “Did you know?” gives a flavour of the changes taking place. There are plenty of versions of this but the message remains the same; shift happens & it is happening all around us. In 2009 a Harvard Business Review article titled “The New reality – Constant Disruption” the authors expound on this well as do many other articles & books.

What does this mean for organisations & what does this have to do with being dynamic? Being dynamic means being in a state of continuous change, activity, or progress. In other words, if you’re not moving forward, adapting, changing with the world, the world is passing you by. Or as Darwin put it, you’re not surviving. To survive you must change, to thrive, you should be the one driving the change.

What does a dynamic organisation do that is different? They learn quickly & adapt to the problems that arise. They become so good at recognising problems & dealing with them quickly & robustly that when something changes (the market, regulations, customer preferences, technology, etc.) they are so well versed at recognising problems & dealing with them, they don’t skip a beat. They deal with the problem just as they do day in, day out within their organisation.

Dynamic organisations don’t really consider internal or external problems any differently. They are in a constant state of change, just like the world around them & thus they deal with & in many cases lead the changes in their industry/market.

Being the first to go digital, wireless, automated, etc. can be the difference between first & last place. Recognising the problem (or opportunity) in the first place can be difficult, but dynamic organisations make this easy by developing their systems & processes to make problems obvious.

Problems are then dealt with quickly because they are not allowed to grow, hidden by management massaging figures, operators pushing work through or just being ignored. Once identified these problems are solved quickly using robust problem solving techniques, practiced daily as part of the normal routine.

We’re not talking about getting through the problem only for it to surface again, but digging deep to get to the root cause & putting countermeasures in place to ensure the problems do not return.

Once they are resolved, the lessons learned are shared so that others are aware of the problem, the root cause & the solution. Other areas of the business that could potentially face the same problem can then pre-empt it by either putting in place the same solution or at least having it to hand if & when the problem arises there. Additionally, the process of solving problems fully, repeatedly introduces the experience curve effect, where the actual process of solving a problem takes less & less time & effort.

This enables organisations to deal with bigger problems, when they do arise, much quicker than those not accustomed to solving problems as part of their normal routine.

Finally, in a dynamic organisation, leaders develop their people to do these first 3 things. It is not enough to have a handful of people in key positions who are able to solve problems or develop systems & processes to make them obvious. Increasing capability in the organisation, especially a capability that helps it deal with the ever changing world can only be a good thing. Investing in people, working together across functions, up & down the hierarchy to ensure everyone is engaged in improving the organisation & its prospects going forward is what makes these organisations different than the “also-rans”.

 

 

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

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