One day (pick any day in your career), a client will have said to you ‘We’re not set up to do that, this way is tried and tested’, then in the next breath, they’ll ask for scalability with stability.
Big businesses based on structures that scaled in the 80’s when the price of bread was stable and people had one job for life, find it really hard to keep up with the rate that technology and mindsets develop.
Back then the channels were limited and the organisations structured linearly, now we have to deal with forever shifting landscapes and instantaneous communication flows.
I work for a company that has recently gone through a lot of change, as we equally work to help our clients to change, so for the last 18 months I’ve been deeply immersed in what the theory verses the reality can look like, and indeed feel like.
I believe that long-term structural change needs three things to be considered:
- Scale; setting a foundation and building upon that in the right way
- Speed; ramping up and achieving significant growth quickly
- Stability; an output that can sustain the duration and return, over and above the investment
Yet at the very heart of all of this, the thing that keeps me awake at night, and no doubt my business partners too is that we only really succeed when change works at an individual level, because that’s where the passion comes from.
I was lucky enough to talk to Evan Spiegel yesterday, the founder and CEO of Snapchat, he’s young, smart and not bound by the constrictions of big old businesses, he said this:
‘Success is based on leaders that love their people’
It rings very true to me, and as I make my way up the corporate rungs it’s becoming starkly obvious just how hard it is to achieve the balance transforming requires.