Updating Our Operating Systems

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“When it comes to organizations, constant change is inevitable and everything is a prototype.” –Tim Brown ‘Change By Design’

For far too long we’ve come to view our organizations and institutions as unchanging, enduring and timeless structures inhabited by ingrained, monotonous processes, stagnant, fixed cultures, lackluster missions, and uninspiring visions.  For far too long and too often, our institutions and organizations have been more responsible for lulling us into monotonous, mechanical implementation than advocating for creative and innovative thinking and problem solving.

In too many instances, we’ve come to see our institutions and organizations as static structures, rather than evolving ecosystems.

But, in many ways, we’ve found comfort and sanctuary in this established system.  It required little change and disruption upon us as individuals, and even less upon our organizations and institutions.  Steady and routine provided a sense of safety and security.

Unfortunately, that has always been a façade.  Inability to engage in continuous learning and growth has always eventually led to insignificance and irrelevance.  The thing was, in the past, it happened at a much slower and less noticeable rate.

A time that no longer exists, for us or for our institutions and organizations…

Disruptive or not, the speed of change has ramped up exponentially.  We are seeing rapid changes in societal, business and educational structures.  Change is no longer just upon us, it has pushed us out of the lake and into the rapids.  The risk is no longer in moving too fast, as it is in waiting too long.  Indecisiveness is often a liability in our modern world.  Experimental and discovery learning is a necessity for infusing adaptability and agility into our institutions and organizations.

We can no longer be afraid to tinker with our processes and systems.

We have this expectation that our technology and operating systems should be upgraded continuously, and yet, fail to overlay that same expectation upon the institutions and organizations that we deeply invest a good portion of our life into.  We expect our smartphones to be upgraded more than the systems and processes that infiltrate our institutions and organizations.

And that has to change…

Or as Tim Brown states in ‘Change By Design’, we must be “prototyping an organization.”  We have to be more intentional in designing the systems and processes in our institutions and organizations that can allow for them and those who work within them to keep pace with the demands, the turbulence and the rapidity of change.  All of which, hinge on the ability of our institutions and organizations to learn better and faster.

We have to be more intentional in designing systems that not only improve the flow of new ideas and thinking, but begin to overhaul what we learn, how we learn…in ways that provide deep value to both the individual and the organization.

“Institutions must evolve with changing environments.” –Tim Brown ‘Change By Design’

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