One often hears how chicken are bred for consumption. One joke around that is breeding chicken with 6 legs would multiply production and economies – if you can catch them. A similar quip is around chicken that can fly ( thanks Leyya), so if you can see yourself flying with them, you can really do well OR was that flying with geese.
The option of the right team to fly with is one that perpetuates the corporate world. The structure and composition of such teams can become the winning recipe, while getting it wrong may seem like trying to fly with chicken. Organisations tend to focus on the individual and career pathing that supports individual ambitions. Having said that building winning teams is what creates sustainability in operating areas and resilience if teams back up other similar teams in their delivery. Building teams doesn’t require a permament structural adjustment but can preferably be to support delivery on the job at Hand, reconstituting the team for the next project. It is when organisations try to cement efficiencies by embedding teams as permanent structures that flexibility and adaptability are reduced. One often hears ‘silo’ type mentality being quoted when these structures have hardened over a couple of years.
Options are moving to a project based Organisation that provides adaptation whenever a project is completed or once phases are completed. Not all type of businesses are ready to be ‘loosely’ organized but it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing type situation either. By definition, if an Organisation regenerates itself every 5 years, 20 % of what it does has to change every year. Granted this could reduce to a lower number but if change is inherent in environments, organisations that don’t change are unlikely to be the leaders in their industries.
One can also think of cross functional teams that come together to work across the organizational matrix and thereby support the flexibility required to deliver on this type of projects. The latter is a compromise on the matrix structure that embeds hierarchies with the attempt of changing hierarchy temporarily to support the project objectives. The latter requires executives at various levels to suspend their natural ‘power’ and probably also ‘ego’ requirement in deference to such cross- divisional/ functional team to support overarching organizational objectives.
I came across a Forbes article ( http://onforb.es/1kcmFS1 ) BTW i like the idea of ‘Idea Sheets’) that gives further context to the issues faced by innovators. When one considers that often the source of innovation is outside of the Organisation or even the industry charged with its own progress, one recognizes that a key limiting factor is the ability of those around us to recognize Innovation when it challenges existing paradigms.
There is also a 1912 Bertrand Russell story of chicken (problem of induction):