Many of today’s larger companies have overly complicated, hierarchical structures. As they grew to their current size, control processes were put in place to create efficiencies. To ensure reliable operations and avoid risk, work became standardized. New layers of supervision appeared, more silos were created, and knowledge acquisition was formalized, all in an attempt to gain efficiency through specialization.
These organizations are now facing increasingly complex business environments that require continuous learning while working. Typical strategies of optimizing current business processes or reducing costs only marginally influence the organization’s overall performance. Faster market feedback challenges the organization’s ability to react to customer demand. Decision-making becomes paralyzed by process-based operations and the formal chain of command. Agility is almost non-existent.
We are seeing growing complexity both inside and outside the enterprise, so can anyone really predict what’s going to happen next in their market? Even most of the world’s economists have been wrong about where we are headed. Looking backwards has not helped us much.