Innovation: the difference between organisational agility or fragility


Seth Godin is “on the money” yet again but I would contend that, if it is the most adaptable that survive and thrive, then each are key elements (or “phases”) that, harnessed and applied, drive innovation in an agile, dynamic, system…

Organization vs. movement vs. philosophy

An organisation uses structure and resources and power to make things happen. Organisations hire people, issue policies, buy things, erect buildings, earn market share and get things done.

Your company is probably an organisation.

A movement has an emotional heart. A movement might use an organisation, but it can replace systems and people if they disappear. Movements are more likely to cause widespread change, and they require leaders, not managers.

The internet, it turns out, is a movement, and every time someone tries to own it, they fail.

A philosophy can survive things that might wipe out a movement and that would decimate an organisation. A philosophy can skip a generation or two. It is often interpreted, and is more likely to break into autonomous groups, to morph and split and then reunite.

Industrialism was a philosophy.

The trouble kicks in when you think you have one and you actually have the other.

Panarchic cycle (large)Feel free to fit: philosophy; movement; organisation, as you see fit, to this infographic of the “Panarchic Cycle”

The bewildering, entrancing, unpredictable nature of Nature and people, the richness, diversity and changeability of life come from that evolutionary dance generated by cycles of growth, collapse, reorganization, renewal and re-establishment. We call that the adaptive cycle. 

Holling, 2009

Welcome to Art class: The “art” may be survival

Good Decisions. Bad Outcomes revisited


We can’t entirely avoid outcome-based decisions. Still, we can reduce our reliance on stochastic outcomes. Here are four ways companies can create more-sound reward systems.

1. Change the mind-set. Publicly recognize that rewarding outcomes is a bad idea, particularly for companies that deal in complex and unpredictable environments.

2. Document crucial assumptions. Analyse a manager’s assumptions at the time when the decision takes place. If they are valid but circumstances change, don’t punish her, but don’t reward her, either.

3. Create a standard for good decision making. Making sound assumptions and being explicit about them should be the basic condition for getting a reward. Good decisions are forward-looking, take available information into account, consider all available options, and do not create conflicts of interests.

4. Reward good decisions at the time they’re made. Reinforce smart habits by breaking the link between rewards and outcomes.

The article below is of particular interest to me and my colleagues at Ontonix because it reinforces the approach that we advocate and that is supported by our unique technology.   Business is no longer about linear relationships or processes with the post-industrial resilience suggested by terms like “supply chain”. As was highlighted in this recent blog (video) Eric Berlow: How complexity leads to simplicity, when dealing with the modern [ … Read More

via Get “fit for randomness” [with Ontonix UK]

SWOT analyses: Complex “heart” surgery can’t take months


It doesn’t matter whether it is a business YOU have built from scratch over many years; if it is a business turnaround; introducing Enterprise Risk Management; Corporate Process Management; Operational review, etc. getting to the heart of a complex business is a notoriously slow, painful and potentially costly process.

Financial data will provide little, as it is probably the reason why an exercise is being undertaken!

Qualitative feedback comes with a “tainted” perspective – whether top down or bottom-up – and can say more about the scale of the problem than it does about its nature.

Silos can be difficult to “get inside” or break down.

Buy-in is a whole different ball-game!!!

CHANGE MANAGEMENT ain’t easy and “time is money” that, often, can be ill-afforded.

One sure-fire way of getting insight, that is otherwise unavailable and provides an objective [100% quantitative] is a Complexity Analysis from Ontonix.

SO, if someone tells you “all I want is the best for the business” and that they, their role or their division “…are part of the solution, not the problem” you can test that out by mapping the interdependencies, strengths and weaknesses within the organisation.

Once you measure the health of the system you have a basis for sound, verifiable, decisions that are geared to maintaining, managing or improving the health of the business for its stakeholders.

WITHOUT measurement the complexity of the organisation may be compounded by that of the task: rendering projected timescales, improvements, savings and meaningful (sustainable) change, ineffective OR able, only to be assessed in terms of random outcomes…pot luck!

Good luck with that!

However, if you want to eliminate as much of the uncertainty and risk from these processes as is possible, I would be happy to hear from you. The Ontonix technology is unique: rigorously tested; reliable; effective; quantifiable; verifiable and, depending upon the size of the task, considerably cheaper that deploying a competent person.

Quantitative SWOT analysis Most people in business will have had, at least, a “brush” with an analysis of: STRENGTHS; WEAKNESSES; OPPORTUNITIES; THREATS (SWOT). Done properly, it can be a very useful tool. It can bring focus to key issues for the business to consider, can contribute much to strategic planning, change management and, even, negotiations…EVEN THOUGH, WHEN CARRIED OUT IN-HOUSE, IT IS SUBJECTIVE AND QUALITATIVE! Imagine how POWERFUL it would be if it was: OBJ … Read More

via Get “fit for randomness” [with Ontonix UK]

Create your own job satisfaction and be a change agent..


Another factor in what I describe as complexity paralysis within organisations. THINK ABOUT IT…where does “going with the flow” get you? Swimming against the tide takes “strength”, can be exhilarating will make you feel better, can help others and much, much more…

 

Has your workplace sunken you into a quagmire of broken practices, cranky managers, or a shrinking public purse?

 

Few deny that frustrations follow from spinning your wheels and getting nowhere. Stress that increasingly bombards workplaces, also lowers brainpower. If that watch-your-back syndrome consumes your time and talent, you are not alone.Innovation Brainpower in Opposites

 

Polls show that less that 25% of people find their work satisfying anymore – an all time low. Problems follow when people bring poorly wired reactions to challenges, and it may appear impossible to resolve issues or embrace growth. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Not that you’ll change an entire organisation overnight, but your own courage to act, can create a climate to change and grow.

Create new neural networks – available only to those who act on opposites. Those who act counter to conflicts, for instance, fuel new engines to drive curiosity and offer calm solutions. Tone skills skip over problems, to regain lost brainpower through cultivating a language and caring climate.

 

Imagine a workplace that builds more on people’s strengths, and you’ll be staring down problems that prevent growth.

 

Examples on the original blog are worth a look.

 

Some people may think you are mad but how long can they resist without good reason?

Good Decisions. Bad Outcomes


The article below is of particular interest to me and my colleagues at Ontonix because it reinforces the approach that we advocate and that is supported by our unique technology.

Business is no longer about linear relationships or processes with the post-industrial resilience suggested by terms like “supply chain”. As was highlighted in this recent blog (video) Eric Berlow: How complexity leads to simplicity, when dealing with the modern [non-linear] business, apparently, “good” decisions can often have the opposite of the desired effect without a holistic view of the system…more lessons from nature.

You may not, immediately, get the connection but this is a small extract from a report by US National Academies/National Research Council and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York collaborated on an initiative to “stimulate fresh thinking on systemic risk”.

Catastrophic changes in the overall state of a system can ultimately derive from how it is organized — from feedback mechanisms within it, and from linkages that are latent and often unrecognized.

…back to business Read more of this post