Time to kill the company

The exact structures that were intended to grow businesses are now holding us back so it’s time for a revolution, according to innovation consultant and author, Lisa Bodell. “There’s too much dependence on internal needs… leaving no time or energy for what matters – vision, ideas, innovation, creating long-term value,” Bodell argues in her new book, Kill the Company. “We’ve arrived at a point where process trumps culture and the race towards efficiency leaves us unable to reach our potential… Stuck in the land of status quo, we’ve forgotten how to think. We’ve become so focused on inside processes and procedures that there’s no time left for big-picture thinking and value-added work.” Bodell says organisations need to address and resolve the internal obstacles and issues that stifle innovation before they join the ranks of Kodak, Pan Am and others. She’s part of a growing chorus advocating a radical rethink of the way we work, reflected in IBM’s latest survey of more than 1,700 CEOs around the world. “CEOs see greater organizational openness ahead,” the report says. “But as rules are refined and collaboration explodes, how will they avoid chaos, protect the business and deliver results?” Innovation is at the core of many CEO conversations. “Compared to their less successful peers, outperformers are partnering for innovation more aggressively,” the report says. “But they are also tackling more challenging and disruptive types of innovation. Instead of settling for simply creating new products or implementing more efficient operations, they’re more likely to be moving into other industries or even inventing entirely new ones.” In this uncertain terrain the rules have shifted dramatically, throwing up new and sometimes uncomfortable challenges for leaders, notes workplace and learning expert, Harold Jarche. “Dealing with complexity means a focus on emergent practices, not looking back at best practices, which are already out of date,” Jarche says. “The ‘novel way’ to run organizations is letting go of command and control and embracing change from both sides.”

 

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