In a moment of crisis or existential change in a company, or an industry, it is tempting to turn to a all-knowing, all-powerful dictator to lead the way. Even if they enlist a team of other leaders to help them, it is still a one-dimensional tool to solve problems that require new thinking and more intense actions.
We need strong decision makers and management teams, but they do not always have the on the ground knowledge necessary to solve questions related to all of the intricacies of a client relationship, operational limitations, and market pressures. Change leadership from the top sometime leads to preservation of the status quo as the safe bet when what is needed is radical innovation.
What is needed is an organizational structure known as “teams of teams” that is coordinated by a executive team that knows how to give the culture a push and get out of the way. It is not only the best way to remain agile, it automatically creates buy in to the solution, which is critical to any change management initiative.
You can’t ask the gods on Mt. Olympus to step in all the time. You cannot expect every individual to figure it out on their own. Teams (PLURAL) turn things around.
In a conventional turnaround, a small team of people at the top tries to figure out a company’s problems and make the necessary changes. In an agile turnaround, hundreds or even thousands of employees attack those problems at the root — and are learning skills they can put to work when the company recovers. The agile approach is indisputably better.