Today’s business is changing faster than ever. Enablement for efficiency comes in the form of technology’s support to several areas. Consider ready communication – group efforts comprising necessary expertise can be assembled for chats or videoconferencing and ready collaboration, with necessary swaps and share of data, or physical prototypes in the case of rapid shipments – all enabled by technology. New products are debuted constantly, and their speed-to-market is enhanced by technology; this technology aids development, production and delivery. In fact, it also speeds advertising, and thus spurs demand. It’s virtually logarithmic, or exponential. It’s difficult to exaggerate the effects of the Business-Technology Weave.
There is a quickening business-technology environment. Every aspect of business, technology, and the Weave seems to accelerate, by decade and even by year. In fact, change is a continuum. For the organization, something is continuously changing that affects it. In fact, change is challenging: change is happening within, and it is happening in the surrounding environment. All change must be weighed and assessed for impact, and there must be a ready posture for doing this. Too many organizations think of change as something mounted in a burst; “now we can rest.” This is why so many organizations seem to take action at the back edge of the envelope, if you will: change for them is constituted as an addressal of problems under pressure-filled and even desperate circumstances. When change is mounted under pressure, there is usually a failure to fully survey where you are, therefore the route to destination is a broken one – reaching the destination is painful, inefficient, and sometimes not even achieved. Projects can be torn apart or even thrown out and remounted.
The smart organization doesn’t disengage from change – nothing around them stands still if they do. Therefore, the management of change isn’t just some reaction to what is happening internally, or some engagement that is “forced” by outside change. You must present a position of readiness, so that you have the “muscle” in place to exercise change. You must also be casting about in terms of vision – looking for breaking developments and even imagining new developments that can aid the organization. You must be able to forecast, develop, and schedule. This requirement for readiness presents itself to the individual, to groups, and to the organization in equal measure, as we’ll see.
Further, we need to realize and acknowledge that even change changes. How does change change? Consider: While we’re busy implementing a documented, sanctioned change, some of our assumptions, support products, regulatory requirements, business practices, etc., haven’t done us the courtesy of standing still. Further, various projects and their change can compete for common resources; they can shift in schedule and crash into one another; they can have interlocking dependencies and impacts that must be carefully coordinated. Any time you make a course correction, an accommodation, an expansion in scope, etc., you are making a change to change. Circumstances such as these, and the quality of planning in your organization, either yields a house of cards or a solid structure of mutually reinforcing initiatives and projects.
Because things are shifting and evolving around us all the time, we need plans that have enough structure to guide us effectively, but that are not so rigid as to “straightjacket” us. We don’t want to be implementing so-so or broken solutions today that looked great yesterday. We don’t want the organization to be thrashing as it attempts to mount major changes without regard to prudent sequence, or that are even in direct competition with each other.
Consider what the “quickening business-technology environment” means to you. Consider what it means to your organization. Debut the concept in an appropriate meeting within your organization and gauge the reaction:
See if others have a true grasp on managing the future in view of new change dynamics and velocities.