In a poignant moment, the leader’s words summarized what everyone was feeling: “The complexities in our business are increasing at a rate of 2x, 3x and even 5x the rate of growth in our business.”
Then he paused, before adding: “It’s not sustainable.”
The customer, however, is not going to relent in rapidly evolving their sophisticated needs. Your hyper-competitive rivals in the market are not going to rest. And it is fruitless thinking the CEO will call a “time-out” or suddenly lower expectations.
So, what are you going to do?
- Some organizations are focused on addressing the symptoms: Deploy long-overdue health and wellness programs for employees. (Worth discussing: When leadership doesn’t effectively create the systems required to manage complexities their employees pay the price.)
- Other companies stand frozen like a nocturnal animal staring at a beam of light: They’re taking little action but telling stories about how bad things are getting.
- Then, there are those few organizations, like the leader and his team at the open of this blog, who are innovating how they collaborate: They’re finding significant capacity between people. They are assessing their current beliefs around what it means to work together, developing key interpersonal capabilities, and getting serious about the new math: 1+1 must = 3.
No one is suggesting addressing manic-like increases in complexity is easy. It’s not. But what if the stories a team tells itself (about how busy they are) hurt more than they help? At what point does a team become victim to their circumstances?
Is complexity (Xn) our destiny? Or is it our signal that our best leadership is ahead?
What if we saw the elevated pressure caused by crazy complexity as the moment we’ve been waiting for? What if this is the point in our careers where – together – we get serious about:
- setting aside personal agendas,
- collapsing the time it takes to truly trust one another,
- and bringing out the best in each other?
Finding solutions to growing complexities is complicated when humans aren’t at their best. Those who start with evolving their cultures of human excellence have an advantage in this new race.