Changing organisational perspective

A big challenge for mature organisations is that they become too inward and backward looking.

They ask: what do we know? What have we done before? What do we have? They focus on optimising what already works.

In a time of accelerating change this is a very dangerous state to be in. They should be outward and forward looking instead and constantly seek new ways to create value.

They should ask: where is the outside world heading? What do our customers want now — and soon? What impact do we want to create in their lives?

The change of perspective takes time but can be broken down in to 4 steps:

  1. Awareness — what is happening out there and how is it relevant to us?
  2. Learning — how can we use insights from outside to create new value?
  3. Exploring — how can we actively seek new insights using experimenting and testing?
  4. Challenging — how do we constantly challenge ourselves and try new and bold ideas even if they disrupt our current business?

Each step here is a move towards being a bolder and smarter (in the sense of being able to learn at high velocity) organisation. Ready to take this journey? Let me know how I can help and where we can begin.


Update: Brian Solis about the backward/inward mentality in a post about the future of retail:

“By this I mean, that executives do not see the world through the eyes of customers, but instead make investments based on what’s possible from an organizational point of view.”

Erik Starck

Erik is a Lean Forward partner and the CEO of the company.