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The Agile Mindset Includes  Boldly Architecting the Whole Company

The Agile Mindset Includes Boldly Architecting the Whole Company

Published on June 28, 2017 In order to achieve true Agility in your organization you need to properly design the organization itself. I have the privilege of training and teaching ambitious students at Northwestern University’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship in how to design and operate a truly 21st Century Agile company. While many entrepreneur courses focus on merely developing a product and its related markets, my course called “Radical Entrepreneurship” trains students how to participate in, and operate an Agile enterprise. What many entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs have learned as far back as 1985 when he was founding NeXT computers (pictured above) is that today the true competitive advantage is in how one architects the company itself. Products pivot, or they come and go entirely, today even faster than ever. Take for example that a generation ago only 20% of profits were derived from newer products–today that is over 70%! One of the profound lessons Steve Jobs learned after he was kicked out of Apple in 1985 and went on to found NeXT Computers is that the design of the company itself is even more interesting and important than the products the company designs. This is because if you have an Agile organization you can continually discover new opportunities. “I discovered that the best innovation is sometimes the company, the way you organize a company.” -Steve Jobs When Jobs was just forming NeXT he conducted a retreat with the dozen or so folks that followed him from Apple. Watch here where he clearly articulates that even more important than designing great products, is making a great company, one with smarts and heart,...
Learning Consortium for the Creative Economy

Learning Consortium for the Creative Economy

Oct. 26, 2015 Learning Consortium for the Creative Economy We Went Exploring I had the privilege of traveling with and visiting nine companies this past summer that have courageously and boldly moved their management cultures and practices into radical new ways and I am thrilled to now share this summary of what we discovered. When you see how this is really happening—at scale—it can be so amazing and beautiful, so efficacious and humanizing, that you begin to wonder: why doesn’t everyone organize in this manner? What rational leader and manager would want to even consider any other such approach in today’s fast-changing, creative economy? Read...
Will You Crash Your Company by Using the Wrong Math?

Will You Crash Your Company by Using the Wrong Math?

When NASA applied the wrong math they lost the $125M Mars Climate Orbiter. One team applied English units while all the other teams were using Metric units and the Orbiter crashed when approaching Mars at an altitude of only 37 miles instead of the planned 93 miles. Apply a 20th Century mathematical model and you risk crashing your organization up against the 21st Century economic planet we now all do our business upon. I am not speaking of the arithmetic for business such as accounting and finance. I am inviting you to take a step back further and consider the role that your mathematical model plays in your management mental-map. If we are in a revolution in how we organize the 21st Century enterprise then what mathematical model will accompany this new revolution? If we don’t have a new mathematical model can we even say we understand the modern firm? Like John Nash (A Beautiful Mind) needed to advance the mathematics of Game Theory to better describe economics, the mathematics that describes today’s Agile enterprises also needs to be discovered. “substantive change is coming to management…” Rod Collins, from a Wiki Management, A Revolutionary Model for a Rapidly Changing and Collaborative World [2014] Business thought leaders are now saying we are in the first transformation in the theory and practice of management in over one hundred years, really since modern management was invented by the likes of Frederick Taylor. Rod Collins, writes in his latest book Wiki Management, A Revolutionary Model for a Rapidly Changing and Collaborative World [2014] about how “substantive change is coming to management.” This “Great...