I’ve had enough of people asking me how they can improve their team, while none of the team members are willing to run any experiments and learn from their failures.
I’ve had enough of organizations that want to scale with agile, while the change programs that managers roll out are still mainly about cutting costs and optimizing profits.
I’ve had enough of politicians promising change and making things better, while the policies of their parties are all about scaremongering and protectionism.
I firmly believe that most people are good. They usually mean well. But more often than not, group performance is abysmal. Progress stalls because teams, organizations, and political parties lack a systemic approach to purposeful evolution. I fear that, in most cases, the whole is less than the sum of the parts. In other words, great people, terrible systems.
Can we help improve those groups?
I’m sure we can. But history proves that writing books, running workshops, and organizing conferences are not enough to achieve sustainable improvement. And despite their heroic efforts, coaches and consultants often see their hard-earned results evaporate after yet another idiotic organizational system failure.
I am convinced that the solution is staring us straight in the eyes. The very reason that teams, organizations, and political systems perform badly is that the world is changing faster and faster. Have you ever seen the adoption rates of smartphones, social networks, or streaming media? Did you see how fast people are learning to use wearables and robots?
Anyone who claims that “people resist change” is just flaunting his or her incompetence.
They key to improving collaboration and performance across teams, organizations and other groups is understanding how some human behaviors are adopted at a rate that is similar to a global epidemic. If you have a good idea, and people aren’t picking it up, it doesn’t mean that they resist the change. It also doesn’t mean that your idea is wrong. It just means that there is no platform enabling the idea to go viral.
I’ve had enough of good people wasting their time in bad teams and organizations. I’ve had enough of fantastic books, workshops, conferences, coaches, and consultants achieving only temporary performance fixes. We need a platform that allows good ideas to spread across teams and organizations at Internet-speed. And like the adoption rates of new technologies, we need that platform to make any behavioral changes sustainable.
I want the whole to be more than the sum of the parts. There should be a platform that helps people grow awesome systems.