"Key attributes for almost any organization, and SO CHALLENGING to implement: agility , flexibility, improvisation – a company’s ability to quickly change is crucial to its long-term success."
MIT's Leadership Center weighs in via an article by professor Wanda J. Orlikowski that equates a successful company to an orchestra. Yes, I've heard this before. Benjamin Zander is quite compelling in his leadership videos on this very note, pun intended.
...to allow for improvisation, CEOs need to release some control and allow employees to experiment
What is helpful in the article is yet another example of "letting go" as in, "sometimes, however, the conductor needs to let go and let its skilled and creative musicians lead." Well now, MIT, yes. And Orpheus, the conductor-less orchestra, has taught us as much. Releasing "some control" as quoted below, is the magic sauce, in my opinion, and adding in some feedback and perspective, on lessons learned, is a part of it.
"sometimes, however, the conductor needs to let go and let its skilled and creative musicians lead." Yes, Orpheus, the conductor-less orchestra, has taught us as much. ~ Deb
It is always, helpful, however to review suggestions for how to create and sustain an agile, flexible, improvisational culture.
Here are Orlikowski's tips for creating such an organization, excerpted:
- Plan to improvise - sometimes you can anticipate change, and if you can do that, you should plan to address that change in a flexible way
- Adapt when you cannot foresee – as business rules are changing, adapt and test on a smaller, departmental scale before making company-wide changes
- Create a learning environment – encourage communication between your employees in different locations and departments, push everyone to learn from each other
- Encourage flexibility – to allow for improvisation, CEOs need to release some control and allow employees to experiment
- Improvise today for success tomorrow – create a culture of experimentation and improvisation even when you’re not experiencing extreme change in practice for when you do need to change
A companion article and video to this one is how Asst. Professor Steve Leybourne, Boston University experiences improv connected with the finance industry, creating a model and citing risk, reward in managers who surreptitiously improvise. In his video, you'll see evidence of the "let go of micromanaging" and still how it is tentative in corporate culture. It seems we have a long way to go to let go, but writing about those who research it is a start.
- Source: http://www.scoop.it/t/innovation-institutions-will-it-blend/p/1715217458/moving-beyond-surreptitious-manager-improv-risk-reward-emerging-best-practice-in-your-org-steve-leybourne
What is your experience with creating a culture that is agile , flexible, and especially improvisational?
Photo credit: ePi.Longo Article source: Chief Executive Magazine