ESSENTIAL BALANCESThe Book
Leading, managing, and changing organizations is hard.
And it’s made harder by the constant whirl of new methods and models.
What if there were a way of understanding and improving organizations that was timeless and fundamental? A way of seeing and acting that transcended the passing fads and fashions?
Autonomy and Cohesion
If there is not enough autonomy in an organization, it will be ineffective, and slow to adapt. But with too much autonomy and not enough cohesion, the organization will not be efficient. It will grow silos that will pursue their own continuation and growth at the expense of the organization.
Can you have freedom and keep everything working together at the same time?
Stability and Diversity
Stability in organizations is dynamic, yet viable organizations can maintain it and re-establish it when disturbed. When people leave, others get recruited. When the market shrinks, new services are offered. When a competitor gets stronger through new technology, this or a better one is adopted.
But when disturbances are unpredictable, organizations can only survive if they have enough diversity of people, ideas, and investments.
Exploration and Exploitation
Should you exploit a resource, refine a technology, and extend the offering to existing clients? Or should you look for alternative resources, new technologies, and explore new markets?
Like an animal needs to eat (exploit) to have the energy to look for more food (explore), a company needs a flow of resources now, so that it can finance research and innovation to ensure its future.
The Essential Balances workshop is an effective way to start developing new thinking habits for organizational diagnosis and design. It complements the book with demonstrations, discussions, exercises and games. The workshop is delivered in closed (within a single organization) and open format. There is a full-day and a half-day option. More information here.