Agile Thinking in Organizations
Corporations want share prices to move only up and to the right. They need to move the needle now, which means revenue or earnings growth. Executives are compensated in stock to align their interests with those of shareholders. They all fall victim to a kind of collective quarterly myopia. The antidote to the diminishing returns of the status quo is to think differently.
To avoid the pitfalls of organizational debt, we need constant and vigilant simplification. We must create agile roles, rules, and processes — built to learn and change. Organizational debt creates bureaucracy, and bureaucracy protects organizational debt.
We can’t change anything until we get fresh ideas and see things differently. — James Hillman
Our job description tells us what to do. Our manager tells us how to do it. Our office hours tell us when to come to work. Our meeting invites tell us which conversations we can take part in. Our performance review tells us how to learn and grow. They are all distrusted from believing we cannot take responsibility for our contribution and growth.
Evolutionary Organizations know that if you treat people like mercenaries, they will become mercenaries. Treat them like all-stars, and they will become all-stars. To be People Positive is to assume and expect the best of everyone. Increase autonomy, and motivation thrives. Decrease it, and motivation erodes.
[¹]: Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization?