From technology to organizations, a system is only as fast as its slowest component. Innovation today won’t naturally, on its own, always lead to transformation tomorrow. This puts businesses in a tough spot: how can they create productivity gains that have an immediate impact today?
This is not just a symptom of today’s rapidly evolving business and technology landscape. When electricity first replaced steam inside factories in the early 20th century, engineers bought the largest generator they could afford and replaced the turbine, in place, on the factory floor, and not much changed.
Why? Because despite introducing a powerful new resource to the manufacturing process, factory managers didn’t make substantial changes to how factories or workers operated. Buildings were still designed around the need to link machines to a central turbine that no longer existed, and workflows were still optimized for old habits.
Ultimately, it took the retirement of an entire generation of managers to make way for real transformation. New managers brought with them faster workflows, more efficient use of space, and finally the huge gains in productivity everybody was expecting from the start. All it took was a focus on removing constraints with a new principle: relying on the natural flow of materials.
That same tension persists today, as businesses look to generate meaningful innovation and efficiency by rebuilding their technology and corporate infrastructures. This requires businesses ensure that their software – culture, processes, and priorities, keeps pace with their hardware – their lines of business and the rest of their corporate infrastructure. Through our work with business leaders of all shapes and sizes, Consilient Innovation Network has helped organizations realign and rebuild in order to meet the demands of the 21st century and beyond.