Organizations everywhere are struggling to keep up with the accelerating pace of change—let alone get ahead of it.
Most people don’t feel the full rush going on around them, which is a part of the problem. But on almost every important index, the world is racing ahead. The stakes – the financial, social, environmental, and political consequences – are rising in a similar, exponential way. What we need today is a powerful new element to address the challenges posed by mounting complexity and rapid change.
The solution, which internationally known business thinker John Kotter has seen to work astonishingly well, is a second system that is organized as a network – more like a start-up’s solar system than a mature organization’s Giza pyramid – that can create agility and speed. It powerfully complements rather than overburdens a more mature organization’s hierarchy, freeing the latter to do what it’s optimized to do. It makes an enterprise easier to run while accelerating strategic change.
This is not a question of “either/or.” It’s “both/and,” two systems that operate in concert.
A dual operating system.
We still have much to learn. Nevertheless, the organizations that get there first, because they are willing to pioneer action now, will see immediate and long-term success—for stakeholders, customers, employees, and themselves. I am convinced that those who lag will suffer greatly – if they survive at all.