Make Room for Innovation – Discard Old Systems

By Pat HeydlauffPat Heydlauff

Are organizational boxes keeping you imprisoned in the “we’ve always done it this way” mode? Are you finding it impossible to rapidly adapt to change within existing bureaucratic confines?

The workforce that begins in confining boxes stays confined and cannot work to its highest potential. Workers cannot become fully engaged, maximize productivity or work at peak performance because they are always bumping into barriers that prevent forward movement. Nor can they cope with change easily and adapt or respond to it rapidly.

“Working Beyond Borders: Insights from the Global Chief Human Resource Officer Study 2010” by IBM sheds further light on change and adaptability with a study based on conversations with 700 Chief Human Resource Officers worldwide.  Frank Kern, senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services notes that “the biggest challenge facing enterprises from here on will be the accelerating complexity and the velocity of a world that is operating as a massively interconnected system.” The survey also indicates that it is not outside issues like floods, famines, stock market woes and collapsing economies that are causing the problem but rather the inability of leadership and systems to cope with, adapt and meet the challenge of exponentially increasing complexities.

If you are working in an environment that is not supporting your workforce needs and is inflexible, it is unable to adapt to the exponentially increasing complexities. Additionally, with inept communication connections, engaging your workforce and upgrading your electronic systems will leave you falling further and further behind.

J. Randall MacDonald, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, IBM Corporation notes in the report that “leaders expect their businesses to remain focused on two equally important goals during the next three years – the need to drive growth yet, at the same time, maintain operational efficiency.” Growth and efficiency are critical factors in reaching a sustainable future but leadership is stuck with tools like ancient boxes and remains unaware of environmental vulnerabilities and barriers within the workplace. With these disruptions bombarding and disrupting the flow of focus, leadership continues to struggle just to keep pace as if handcuffed and blindfolded by the boxes they’ve lived in for centuries.

It’s time to get out of the box mentality and get into the orbital flow of thinking to create forward movement? Engagement and innovation do not happen or even co-exist in a vacuum. They need fresh bold new energy, new forms of expression and new tools to mobilize them to adapt and accelerate in the 21st Century.

This concept creates workplace environments that support leadership and the workforce. It’s a workplace that provides free flowing focus zones plus creates a new operating organization chart which removes the constrictive boxes in the old system.

The Engage Concept not only sounds the alarm that massive change is imperative to keep pace with increasing complexities; it calls for change in order to create improved efficiency, productivity and profitability.  It also provides the transformational solutions to take you into a sustainable future.

Within the Engage Concept lie three basic foundational pillars that must be upgraded to 21st Century standards: the physical workplace environment, the organizational structure and the connectedness of your communications. When there is a circular or orbital flow of energy and focus within these three areas, you can handle change at warp speed. The orbital flow allows innovation to thrive, efficiency to operate at peak performance, and profitability to be sustainable.

It takes a workplace environment overflowing with focus zones and a system of flowing information to incubate innovation. It takes orbital communication methods plus a fluid organizational operating structure to overcome existing chaos and stagnation. Only then can the organization thrive during collapsing economies, turbulent political transfers of international leadership and a roller coaster stock market. Turbulent times call for wise change – change that increases your opportunities and diminishes your risks.

Where does this all begin? The answer is with you. Leaders at all levels need to understand that things no longer work the same as they did two years ago to say nothing of using the same tools for 500 plus years. Einstein said it well when defining insanity, “Insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Are you using the same archaic tools and ignoring the huge shifts in the way the world operates today but expecting different and better results?

Pat Heydlauff speaks from experience. She works with organizations that want to create an environment where employees are engaged, encouraged and involved, and with people who want to be in control, anxiety-free and confident. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Engage: How to Lead with Power, Productivity and Promise and Feng Shui: So Easy a Child Can Do It. She can be reached at 561-799-3443 or engagetolead.com.

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About editor

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan shares his passion for life and faith through words. Peter DeHaan’s website (www.peterdehaan.com) contains information and links to his blogs, newsletter, and social media pages. Peter DeHaan is the president of Peter DeHaan Publishing, Inc., (www.peterdehaanpublishing.com) the publisher and editor of Connections Magazine and AnswerStat, and editor of Article Weekly.