Governance, architectures, operating models, transformation, modelling and the rest. What is the point, why make the effort, why waste you life on documentation? Sustainability and avoiding those dead ends is the reason why. No long exposition here, some bullet points follow with the kind of problems we all face (and many friends are executives):

  • Extensive research shows few executives know what’s going on more than ‘one circle of manager’ away.
  • Executives are often unaware of their own bias’, leadership psychology and organisation culture affecting adaptation.#
  • There is only ever short-term optimism as executives are often over-promised for a methodology’s outcomes.
  • Executives take choices by comparing pre-assumed scenarios and incomplete information – meaning prone to failure.
  • Executives work best with a few critical paths/factors/choices to guide them (the Magnificent Seven’ 7±2).
  • Most executives want to ‘try before they buy’ even if internal – piloting saves face/reputation.
  • Executive’s political life-cycle to add value is short – a fast start is needed.
  • Most executives don’t understand problem complexity, with the under-acknowledged nature of their problems.
  • Ground-floor to top-floor joined-up insights are critical to success and often missing – at the point of need.
  • Normalisation of terminology and data across multiple operations and transformations rarely happens – confusing.
  • Too many transformation programmes die or lose credibility when leadership fatigue sets in.
  • There is too much distraction to intellectually maintain a long-term transformation.
  • The supply side is fragmented, confusing and not aware of what the org culture/psychology demands.
  • Repeatable decision assurance is missing.
  • Risk management and mitigation usually functions on a historic basis, anticipation becomes too difficult.
  • Too much remains hidden in silos – the gaps do harm, cause conflict and waste effort.
  • The mechanics of an organisation become detached from their reality.
  • Competing and controversial methodologies for change confuse executive clarity ‘like for like’.
  • Using industry tools effectively is confused by those same methodologies.
  • It’s all emergent and agile.
  • Corporates’ face ever increasing challenges in adapting[1] to marketplace and external factors – rapidly and reliably.
  • Major businesses face terminal/killer challenges more often than you would expect.
  • Forecasting/prediction fails in periods of high uncertainty, regressions don’t hold true.
  • Adaptation is inhibited by uncompromising cost reduction and short-term profitability commitments.
  • Emotional decisions are rarely verified or recorded for learning; meaning the same problems perpetuate.
  • Psychologically, executives always seek to delegate (someone else owns the problem).
  • Most execs are still hide-bound by social constraints inside their business.

[1] Transformation, adaptation, change and similar are synonymous.  Culture here means organisation culture; leadership style is specific to the top team (Harrison/Empathy models used).  A method is a way of doing something, a tool is what helps you deliver it.  Journey means a plan or sequence of events over time.

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