Organisations, like individuals, need a forest fire every so often, otherwise the deadwood piles up and latent potential remains trapped. When we burn off the deadwood in the form of legacy products, dying business (and mental) models and employee turnover, we create space for new growth and the saplings of change. In today’s business world of rapid change, we need to be in charge of the forest fire and control the burn before it runs amok.
To restrain long-term employees from falling back into their old habits. Even when long-term employees have the willpower, their old habits die hard. It is a tough dilemma for leaders, the tradeoff between retraining and replacing. Either way, there is a lot of pain, both are possible.
The “crabs in a barrel” or “crab theory” is a metaphor to describe the tendency of whenever someone gets ahead, others from their community try to pull them right back down again.
Innovation is chiefly about combining existing ideas in new ways, but how can we do this if people do not meet, do not randomly share ideas at the watercooler, in the hallway, or when they do not come to the office at all?
Organisations were designed for steady environments and excel when situations are steady and predictable. Our business environment, our world today, is anything but steady and predictable. Established organisations excel at processes and procedures. They are organised for pristine exploitation (execution), not exploratory search.
If you look at the image, it takes only a small effort to see the contours of a Dalmatian sniffing the ground. However, here is the point, without the previously stored higher-level concept “dog”, if we were only to use “the parts”, we would see only a meaningless pattern of white and black dots. We would focus on the parts and miss the big picture.