Friday's Growth

One of my mentors, Prof. Ichak Adizes, was trying one day to explain what makes an organisation sustain its PRIME. Unlike living organisms, organisations can reverse the natural ageing process but keeping close to their state of PRIME requires action. At one point in the conversation, as he was describing what a state of PRIME truly means, he uttered the words ‘Organisations in a state of PRIME continue to make babies’. That analogy stuck with me for years. After all, the act of giving birth to something new, bringing together separate parts to sustain an organisation with purpose, with vitality and offering new value to the world, is such a fresh way to describe this state of PRIME. 

I have used this analogy on many occasions to test, once and again…are we still in our PRIME state? Or have we allowed ourselves to settle into a sub-optimal state? Here are three examples which told me we are still there…

1. Over the past year, and as the pandemic hit, we quickly turned to digitisation, to enable our teams to operate effectively – and so did many other teams around the world. But we did not stop there and introduced a set of diagnostics, to help our clients assess for themselves what challenge or opportunity they could be solving for – pointing to value creation and adaptability. We recently extended these online diagnostics to form an integral part of our project delivery method. At the end of one strategy process with a client’s leadership team, I looked back and recognised…we have indeed given birth to something new.

2. The learning curve which professional service firms must climb as they digitize their operations is significant. And so we began to test a variety of collaboration tools. Mural, among several, became a focal point, for our team. But then, there is the basic use of Mural and then…well, there is discovering the true potential of Mural. We began to discuss our ideas with the Mural team in the US and have now joined the piloting of a new Mural ‘on-demand’ service, surrounded by experts and online collaboration experts. Being part of this pilot did remind me…we are indeed making new babies.

3. Working with a truly global team, I have been impressed with Revolut and their approach to digital banking, the ease of managing payments and how it integrates so well with our Finance and other org. processes. As Singapore announced the awarding of digital banking licenses, we got the call from Revolut, as we have been selected to be part of their launch in the country. Another baby being born?

We all have the power to reflect on our organisations. Do you find yours operating at PRIME? Ask yourself, what new babies have we made over the past year? The answer may just surprise you (and your team).

Have a good weekend everyone!


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“The purpose of any form of organizational direction, whether it is management, leadership, education of children or government, is to solve today's problems and prepare for ones that will come tomorrow.”
Dr. Ichak Adizes