13 Feb Nothing much has changed
In the year 2001 I started my first entrepreneurial initiative – iProdigy – with a commitment to enable business bottom lines by engendering evolution in organizations.
Amongst other things, what had inspired me the most in creating iProdigy was this epoch creating work of Seth Godin that was published the same year –Survival is not enough – something which I believed would bring in a revolution of sorts in the way organizations conduct themselves and their business.
Yet, even after ten years and two massive down turns, nothing much has changed.
Barring a few innovators, as Seth had bluntly stated, even today, “—most managers and CEOs do everything they can, to keep their companies from evolving. They deny that evolution is a powerful force for change and rarely consider how it might actually help them compete.“
To be able to qualify this resistance to evolution, I had carried a research to arrive at what could be some of the symptoms of such self-defeating behaviors amongst the CXOs and came out with what I call as 10-O-O syndrome.
You still get to see management teams glossing over governance and not even stopping to reflect on value guardianship. In fact, values are hardly ever considered to be of significance in creating value.
You will still get to see elaborate exercises on org structuring being done without involving those who are going to operate within those structures – their preferences, potentials and perceptions – as demonstrated, not as claimed – in a process of co-creation. More often than not leading to gross structural dis-engagement, bureaucracy and may be even toxic political dynamics.
You will still see wise business owners dictating the organization vision, mission and values to those down below hoping with naivety that they will, with all their servility, soak themselves in this context and start operating in a well aligned manner from the very next moment. There is hardly any respect demonstrated to these members, as stakeholders, in terms of giving them an opportunity to collectively cull out from their experiential engagement with the business common recurring themes for achievement. Nor is there any investment made in enrolling them to co-create a context. Policies are still preferred to dialog, transactions to relationships and strategies to instincts.
Nothing much has changed and perhaps nothing much will ever change.
Despite several wake up calls and umpteen cases of evolving organizations having displayed miraculous resilience and recovery, most businesses prefer to dismiss this as another theory and bask in the illusion of control and a false sense of predictability. To continue dissipating energy in squabbles amongst stakeholder working with cross-purposes and report sub-optimal performance. They will continue to play a game of fooling themselves and others reporting the five mythical figures of growth – size, strength, spread, share of market and stocks – underneath which will be sleeping a bonsai which could have grown into a formidable icon.
Maybe, there is something in the systemic design which inherently makes business owners ignore the invitation to go for organization discovery and alignment and call upon themselves miseries which they would attribute to the economy. Maybe, this is a conspiracy of sorts which will lead to wiping off of non-evolving, non-living business entities for more alive institutions to thrive in the space. Maybe this is a part of the scheme of things as, inlaid in the design of enterprise evolution.
I have been a wandering witness and the purpose of writing this blog is to report my observation, just in case someone is listening.