Brad Power has been championing ‘continuous innovation’ as the best description of the strategic imperative facing most organizations. I’m finding that it’s a convenient shorthand for what clients are now searching for:
– a culture that combines bottom-up continuous improvement with bold, sometimes game-changing, innovation initiatives across products, channels and business models
– the capability to manage relentless change to every aspect of their operations, from daily operational tweaks through to major systems and organizational transformations, and all at pace whilst ensuring compliance and effective risk management.
Brad’s recent FCB webinar with process legend Jim Champy touched on the evolution of process thinking:
“Twenty years ago process professionals drew their inspiration from engineering. The organization was seen as a machine. Twenty years from now there will still be process professionals, but they will draw on science – especially biology – rather than engineering. The organization will be seen and managed as a living entity.”
The Gaia analogy is a good one though we will surely draw just as much on the insights of psychology, sociology and behavioural economics. It’s a human challenge above all: at the highest level, how do we enable and encourage people working in complex and dynamic organizations within a sophisticated knowledge economy to collaborate creatively and effectively, often across organizational boundaries, in ways that accelerate organizational learning?
There’s a neat example of this new thinking in the context of the UK National Health Service (NHS). Continue reading