by Nick McCune
No company survives without predicting, adapting to, or innovating change. Stasis is fatal.
The world culture itself is suffused with technological enhancements to how work is done. Dramatic changes made to machines, to software, to the manner of communication that dominates and who dominates it; to the materials that are purchased and resources required, to the software and systems that must be built, bought, licensed and deployed – all these changes must be managed, anticipated and absorbed.
Most of human behavior and most of the behavior of a company is based on the ability to excel at making copies, repeating successful events. Most of nature, even the building blocks of life are dependent on successfully copying a previous model. Change – which we may see as creative evolution – is a combination of the ability to copy with the ability to adapt. Bad copies and bad adaptations in nature are dead ends – so it is in business.
It takes little insight to understand that the level of required workforce skills undergoes constant transformation; that new talent must be found and on-boarded, that training and competency must be accomplished and measured. What works well must be copied well. When copies are no longer useful, they must be modified. How does this play out in a business? There are two basic approaches – top-down and bottom-up. The most successful companies have learned how to use both approaches, but there are limitations in each.
The problem of specialized language produces miscommunication and confusion until all parties in a project are clear about terminology, naming conventions, and are able to readily reference acronyms unique to an engagement.