Box | reboot11
travel lightweight, burn fat.
in these times of crisis, travelling lightweight might be a good idea. This is not about asceticism. It is about leaving things behind that drag/slow you down and limit your ablity to react (and act) on changes and challenges.
After my doctor told me that it's either losing that 20 kg of overweight or taking medicine daily for the rest of my life, the choice was rather obvious. As it turns out, with the right motivation, losing weight is pretty easy.
This talk will briefly summarize my experience in the dieting field (including some practical tips for people who want to lose weight, too), but will soon wander off into the metaphorical aspects of losing weight.
Please note that I am in no way an expert on either dieting, nor organisational coaching or something like that. My motivation for this talk is simply that my experience in trimming down my body to a reasonable weight triggered a lot of thoughts, including the question how this relates to organisations - My experience in working for a handful of very differently sized organisations resonated very well with that, so I thought it might be a fun idea to present my current thoughts on this and discuss them with you:
Of course, losing weight is usually just the beginning. As anyone who has ever experienced the so-called yoyo effect will tell you, holding the reduced weight is often much harder and requires a lot more discipline than the initial weight reduction.
Successfully losing weight (and all the small things surrounding the process) requires *action* (there, I said it!) and change. It requires that you learn to say "No". It, requires the development of discipline. It requires awareness for the things you consume as well as a lot of self awareness. It often requires measurement on key indicators (and as I can tell you, it helps if there are secondary indicators that are, in a form, derived from something simple as "weight").
On the other hand, losing weight has a lot to give. It makes you (feel) more agile. It opens up new possibilites (in my case, I'm now, again, after like 15 years of obesity, a very sportive person). Of course, it is also very healthy in itself - Your risk of other, weight related diseases drops down as much as your kilos).
So much for my physical experience of losing weight. In my humble oppinion, many of these ideas and thoughts also apply to organisations and processes:
Lightweight organisations adapt better to new situations and also are more likely to survive moments of crisis. On the other hand, keeping an organisation (such as a company) lightweight over a long period of time requires discipline. It requires constant effort to adapt. It also requires individuals who have a very high degree of self organisation.
Does the analogy fit? What is "fat" that needs to be "burned" in organisations?
First of all, organisations tend to react to growth by "installing processes". The bigger the company, the bigger the pile of process documents, proper procedures and such and in the end it takes you several weeks to simply get a table for your new colleague.
As an organisation grows bigger, usually quite surreal hierarchical structures unfold. The Peter principle comes into full effect. Employees start to rely on the organisation, get lazy and start to build up their own refuge inside the organisation. Think Wally of Dilbert.
Same applies to lightweight processes. Using lightweight processes usually requires more discipline and responsibility from the individual but rewards you with a lot more agility, a lot less overhead and on top of that, they usually give better, "healthier" results.
To be continued. This proposal is a work in progress.