Managing partner John Vincent explains why April's 'this and that' principle can speed up change.
In the past, a lot of management thinking has been rooted in the western tradition: linear extrapolation, predefined goals, deductive reasoning, either/or choices, where strategy precedes design and design precedes change. You often see this reflected in organisational structure.
But these patterns of thinking aren’t necessarily the best to survive and succeed, especially in these uncertain times.
The pace of change across most sectors and markets now requires a more Eastern approach: one which is rooted in connectedness, this and that duality, with no predefined goal; a more systemic approach to dynamic strategy which involves agile design and constant adaptive change.
You might think that sounds harder and slower than a simple, linear approach. And you’d be half right.
It can be harder to embrace the complexity of the interconnected dynamic system.
But it is definitely faster: faster to identify and focus on the most important questions; faster in translating strategy into action; and faster to deliver value, by considering desirability, viability and feasibility simultaneously.
That’s why April bridges the gap from strategy to implementation by considering strategy, operating model, organisation design and delivery all at the same time, not sequentially.
When one of the UK’s fasted growing banks approached us to help with leadership team development, we took time to listen, explore and reflect back the interconnectedness of the issues they were describing.
That enabled the team to quickly obtain a clear, shared view of the most important questions that needed answering around specific elements of strategy execution, decision-making and organisation design.
We then helped them to rapidly and simultaneously co-develop solutions to those interconnected questions through iterative, agile prototyping, testing and adaptation.
As a result, they were able to simultaneously solve their strategy, business management and organisational problems faster, by working together in new ways, and what do you know? The original leadership team development need melted away!
Visit our how page for more on April principles.