Monday, January 2, 2012

Managing the Leading and Lagging variables in an adapting cycle - Rationalize and Articulate

As mentioned in the last blog, we discuss today about "Rationalization" and "Articulation".  

An old adage in Kannada says - "You cannot get a wooden pole standing if you are in deep slush!". This reminds us constantly the importance of having a strong foundation and good bedrock to support any new initiative that one may take. The currently blog in many ways tends to communicate the same lesson to the reader.

If one sits back and looks at the possibility of having an administrative system that could smoothly manage the organization's current activities as well as allow the system to become ingradined with further innovation, it wouldnt be hard to realize that this is always a challenge. Having such an organization is definitely every manager's love. To a large extent 3M does maintain this in its culture of intrapreneurship. One could also look at what needs to be done in the current context to move ahead addressing the challenge at hand, instead of only talking about innovation.

If an organization is really serious about something like this, it needs to look at the system as having both the "lagging" and the "leading" components in the adaptation process. The organization would have to "rationalize" the lagging variable of the adaption process by developing appropriate structures and processes to materialize the strategic decisions taken up in the earlier phase of the adjustment process. As to take care of the leading variable, the administrative system must facilitate the organization's furture capacity to adapt by "articulating" and reinforcing the path along which the innovation would have to move. 

If we look at the TV case, the management revamped its approach towards planning, coordination and control processes to handle the "lagging" component, while to address the  challenge of "leading" variable the management got in a storng team for marketing and related activites. 

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