При всем её возможном неудобстве, Мудрый руководитель принимает истину о том, что мир – место неопределённое, неконтролируемое и непредсказуемое. Однако, как и океан, непредсказуемый мир даёт возможность навигации, но для этого вам необходим подходящий корабль и команда, надежная карта и некоторые знания о ветрах, которые помогут достичь пункта назначения.
Турбулентность в современном бизнесе вызывают:
Мудрый руководитель осуществляет навигацию по этим изменчивым водам, сосредоточившись на базовом. Команде поручено не упускать из виду Полярную звезду (например, потребности клиентов), которая предоставит стабильную поддержку при выборе нужного направления действий. Данный процесс «поиска и обнаружения» позволяет развиться «мастерству и автономии» - люди понимают, «почему» они что-то делают, а не просто делают то, «что» им сказали, и это позволяет команде быстрее реагировать во время перемен.
В турбулентной среде – будь то навигация по океану или по бизнес территории – успех приходит не из попыток контролировать то, что контролю не поддаётся, а из возможности предвосхищать и давать ответ на непредвиденное. Как когда-то сказал великий хоккеист Уэйн Гретцки, успех приходит, если «мчаться туда, где шайба будет, а не туда, где она была».
Данный блог является частью серии публикаций, посвященных Силовым Картам (Power Maps*) – это инновационная, высоко результативная и лёгкая в имплементации техника. Power Maps помогают организациям объединиться вокруг общей цели, предвидеть, что произойдет в ближайшем будущем, разработать уникальный план и превзойти соперников. Вы можете узнать больше, посетив narrativeinsights.com или напишите нам, чтобы принять участие в бесплатных ежемесячных вебинарах. Мы покажем, как Power Maps помогут вашей организации опережать события и быть на передовом рубеже в эпоху цифровых технологий.
* На основании Wardley Maps, лицензия Creative Commons 3.0
The Global CEO Outlook (KPMG 2016) explores the strategic dilemmas leaders worldwide are grappling with today and reveals a certain mood: real, transformational, change is either “now or never” with many CEOs expecting their organisations to become “significantly different within the next 3 years.” Yet old dangers continue to lurk.
Seventy percent of change and transformation initiatives continue to fail with methodologies stuck in a pre-digital era. Continued efforts to reverse engineer ‘ideal’ future states in a volatile and complex world promise little improvement on these failure rates. Far from trying to anticipate what might happen CEOs must start increasing their awareness of what is happening in order to disrupt emerging threats, exploit opportunities and accelerate evolutionary growth.
The challenges facing entire industries are unlike any they’ve faced before. Consulting a major banking client on a communications program a Dutch consultancy contact of mine recognised that “due to the financial crisis, the reputation of the financial sector has been subject to extreme change. In the space of a few months the beauty transformed into a beast.” What do you do when your industry is suddenly felt to be perverse - how do you cope when the lessons of the past provide scant guidance?
As leaders increasingly “recognise that they are now handling issues that they have never grappled with before” they see that fresh approaches are needed. An example of such an approach came from a Russian oligarch I worked with following the 2008 crisis, who actively engaged his own diverse panel of experts to scan the horizon for emerging waves he could rise with, then get off before they crashed. Accessing unstructured, distributed cognition (the ‘wisdom of crowds’) in this way builds on a powerful concept: “the future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed”
Despite the disruption CEOs remain “increasingly optimistic that they can transform their organisation[s] to enable [them] to capture the opportunity that the future holds.” Yet this new, uncertain world is witnessing record levels of corporate churn: while 50 years ago the average lifespan of a S&P 500 company was 60 years, today it’s just 18. And the KPMG Global CEO Outlook found that the less experienced CEOs are the ones who are less concerned about disruption potential, confident they have the strategies to navigate it.
Perhaps never have Mark Twain’s words of caution been more apt:
‘It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.’
In two conversations with senior executives last week the challenges of running large organisations arose.
One commented that his 11 hour day hardly gives him time to stuff a sandwich in his mouth, let alone room for reflection. The other noted - with some irritation - the continued mantra of infusing the organisation with an entrepreneurial spirit to kick start innovation, while noting that nothing in their current set up imitated what an entrepreneur really does (tries and fails, driven by an ever-impending fiscal cliff concentrating the mind).
The latter conversation especially reminded me of the great quote from Peter Drucker:
“The search for innovation needs to be organisationally separate and outside of the on-going managerial business. Innovative organisations realise that one cannot simultaneously create the new and take care of what one already has.
They also realise that maintenance of the present business is far too big a task for the people in it to have much time for creating the new, the different business for tomorrow. And they also realise that taking care of tomorrow is far too big and difficult a task to be diluted with concern of today. Both tasks have to be done, But they are different.
Innovative organisations, therefore, put the new into separate organisational components concerned with the creation of the new.”
However, is it enough to merely put the new in an incubator and expect it to succeed? While ‘putting the new into separate organisational components’ is a necessary step, it’s not sufficient in itself. ‘Innovation labs’ also need the right mandate, mindsets and ‘manpower’. Merely replicating the current in a ring-fenced corner of the office only produces incremental improvements as perspectives (and incentives) are still shaped by the current.
Some other shift is needed
The conversation with the executive without time to even eat made me think of the principles of agile - coming out of the software development industry but increasingly being adapted to other industries - and whether they can be a guide for those aware enough that things as they currently stand are not quite right.
Agile principles are simple. What I’ve added below are some explanation about how they might be thought about to become applicable in other business environments:
The power of the narrative - an open story without a beginning and an end - has long been leveraged in politics and is becoming more widely understood in business today. A compelling narrative mobilises people, shaping thoughts and action. Yet equally a powerful anti-narrative can bind and subject people, leading to destructive action.
So what can leaders do when facing anti-narratives such as banks are self-serving, millenials lazy, Russia expansionist, employees resistant to change?The current trend is to create a ‘counter-narrative’ - a rival virus to undermine the target narrative - with people lining up behind their favoured alternative before metaphorically shouting it from the highest point they can find. The risks of unintended consequences in this approach (division, fanaticism and conflict) should be obvious.
In an age of unlimited, zero cost communications we’re seeing another consequence: the people who are intended recipients of the counter-narratives are seeing through them and rejecting these attempts at coercion. For humans evolved through collaboration not coercion and have inherent aversion to being manipulated. This may explain the rise of ‘authenticity’ politics in western democracies currently threatening the established order.
Action - not manipulation
The answer is simple in theory, trickier in practice. Rather than imposing counter- narratives on the system leaders must seek to better understand why the current narratives dominate and then act to shift the environment, making unproductive ones unsustainable. Yet this must be done authentically - seeking narratives already in the system and amplifying them.
If debilitating narratives obstruct your role as leader you must refrain from trying to drive your own alternatives through propaganda or threats as this unleashes forces beyond your control. Instead, simply increase your awareness of the multiple perspectives existing within the system and discover the positives ones you feel will move parts of the system in the direction you want them to go and monitor for real-time impact. A discovery and amplification strategy supports growth of authentic counter-narratives that genuinely mobilise people.
So leaders - don’t play the narrative; play the issues underlining it.
Shape the Future
Don't just adapt to it