There is something about organizations today that is prevalent. The feeling that we just can’t go fast enough. Many don’t really know the organization’s capability, or aptly characterize what is going on. To know precisely where and how to improve may be lacking, let alone be aware of the impact of it all. Teams themselves get impatient and start to lose some of their calm about the problems that beset and beleaguer them. So what if we were to make a few basic premises about the organizational landscape.
1) We are all here to do the right thing.
Not everything will help, but wouldn’t it make a difference knowing that we ALL want the software that we deliver to not only rock… but paper and scissors as well. MakerBot’s 3-D printer MakerWare will install and tell you that you are installing a bundle of AWESOME. I wish we were all as excited about developing and using our software! Trusting that we want to do better lets me have some patience as we try a few things to improve. Being open and honest also means we are saying directly what concerns us. It also means that if we see a problem then we also know enough to get in there and be a part of the solution. We need EVERYONE’S creativity and innovation. Not locked in up in a solitary head, but communicated and collaborating with the team. It also means that when teams get moving, they will be fairly quick to act in solving and addressing problems.
2) Organizations are fighting for growth – or sit back, stagnate and eventually become obsolete.
The universe allows very few things to continue without some form of upkeep, maintenance, and eventual improvement. Mathematical equations might be one exception, but algorithms which are great at data mining are not. Software is the same way. Technology improves our platforms of usage with smart phones and tablets. Education and expectation grow the demand of an increasingly integrated and aware customer base. Innovation changes paradigms and allows some great advancement or advantage. Moving forward and improving is a continuous adaptation. The time to react, from perception to deliverable is now the measure for organizations. How nimble, how agile are we?
3) There are no limits, only plateaus- get beyond them.
Bruce Lee said something to this effect. We have a tendency to complain about limited memory, limited attention, limited time. Another way to put it is cognitive load. The ability to think is relies on internal processes such as motivations, reasoning, planning, learning, and solving. External processes would include perceptions, stimulus, and actions. Most of my own limitations start with where I think I can’t. I have always been most rewarded in pushing beyond what I’ve done before and doing it from the perspective that I CAN… GO.
4) Teams require work
Investing time in the communication, collaboration, and the cultivation of the team is important. Remember the team is the only thing in the organization that will do the work and get the software to done. Investments in great performing teams will allow the organization to really move. Just as individuals collaborate, so do teams. It starts to scale. I know some individuals out to change the organization. How much more influential might teams themselves become? How about programs of teams? We might not be able to go fast enough. I will say, however, that if we see the improvement – our rate of change will increase as we push against our own limitations as an organization.