Organizational Changes to Deal with Whirlwinds of ChangeBy: Jim Clemmer
"The world is moving so fast these days that anyone who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it."My library is full of books chronicling, charting, and categorizing the major changes societies, organizations, and people are going through. My research notes tracking and detailing these changes run to over four hundred pages. After wading through endless models, "megatrends," "change waves," "powershifts," and "new economies," I have summarized today's most significant changes:
What's Been Wrong With Our Organizations
"You can't expect different results if you continue to do the same things."Most organizations were designed — and managers were trained — for the conditions described in the "From" column of the above chart. When economies are expanding, competition is tame, and revenues are growing it's easy to confuse brilliant management with a bull market. Many entrepreneurs and managers are living proof of comedian and film director, Woody Allen's observation that "eighty percent of success is just showing up."
But most traditional organizations and management styles are now about as useful as tail fins, hula-hoops, and Nehru jackets. Here are the all too common bad habits, sloppiness, and problems that are seriously impeding the effectiveness of mediocre and failing organizations:
"Though forecasting specific events is futile, becoming conversant in the growing technical language and comfortable with the evolving conditions and events that shape the future is an increasingly essential part of what management is and does. Managers who don't make the effort, who don't learn, and who don't get comfortable with what needs to be learned will surely constrain their careers and hurt their companies."Predicting the future is a dangerous business. Many economists, futurists, and other seers who've peered into their crystal balls and proclaimed what is to come have learned to eat ground glass. It's difficult to predict the exact look and approach of those highly successful, 21st century model organizations that we'll be studying in the years ahead. But the key elements of top performing organizations in today's environment are clearly emerging. When you scratch below the surface, you'll notice that these same characteristics have described many of our best-run companies for decades now:
© Copyright 2001 The CLEMMER Group
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