I was out for drinks with one of my MBA colleagues the other day & he was talking about some of his recent interactions with some very senior people in business. He was talking about their approach, their effectiveness & the concept of management in general & suggested it is all the “art of hindsight”. Milling it around in my head I quickly saw the link with Dynamic Organisations.
Pretty much everyone accepts that we cannot predict the future, we can only learn from the past & attempt to make better decisions about the future. Strategies & plans for what will happen, as Helmuth von Moltke posited some 150 years ago, are all great until first contact. From this first contact, we then have to react to what has happened. In business, the same is true, we need to be able to react quickly to changes in industry, in the market, in technology, in political positions & laws, etc.
It is our hindsight, and the speed at which we can see and react to events that determine success or otherwise. Dynamic Organisations, because they have systems & processes that make problems (and opportunities) obvious, and are good at solving problems or seizing opportunities are quick to react to changes, both internal & external to the organisation. It is this cultural reactiveness/adaptation bias that builds & maintains their success.
Sure, we should plan for the future, develop strategies for how to get where we want to go, but we need the flexibility to adapt as the situation changes, and the realisation that it always will.