Business as usual or game-changer?
The most common feedback we hear from leaders is: “We need to change the game but how can we go from theory to practice in a realistic and economic way? We need to ensure business as usual.”
It’s an understandable dilemma. Over the last few decades, during the heyday of the traditional corporation, individualistic thinking was seen as a flaw. Businesses built ‘command and control’ hierarchies based on the army model with authority flowing down from top to bottom and rank dictating how each individual sat within the organisation. Fitting in and not standing out was the key to success. But change is possible.
The Boeing 737 MAX 200 aircraft was described by Michael O’Leary, Ryanair chief executive, as a “Game Changer”. But it’s not just the aircraft that’s changing the game it’s The Boeing Company as a whole, according to John Mervyn-Smith, chief psychologist at eg.1.
John says: “The business is constantly innovating to stay ahead of the game. It currently manufactures 42 aircraft a month and wants to increase this to 52 by 2018, which is no easy feat.”
To remain successful Boeing needs to ensure it is business as usual in order to produce the 42 aircraft each month, whilst giving employees the freedom to explore different ideas to change the game. And it’s this that creates the challenge for many of the organisations we speak to – they feel it’s aiming for the impossible.
But this is not the case and we only have to look at the world of sport to see this, where most things remain ‘business as usual’ in terms of the sport itself but innovation is key to success. Take rugby – players need to get out on the field and play, and the rules tend to stay the same, but it’s what happens behind the scenes to help players reach their peak that can be game-changing.