Growing a Business Doesnt
Necessarily Make it Better">
For organizations of this ilk, success is not about superior product but superior standardization of process to increase scale. And, Ill add, the ability to use their scale to short-circuit competitors ability to survive. The result is fewer, bigger organizations producing a higher quantity of lower-quality, but standardized, output.Roll in our own tools and computers, and algoritha get turned into binary code, which is even less flexible and judgement-driven than standardized humans in the workplace.The tail end of this movement, past its utility, obliterates human jobs, obliterates product quality and obliterates margin. The clueless managers who insist continuing down this cul-de-sac is inevitable have a name: The Obliterati. I believe Martin has nailed a clean explanation of where we came from and how we got here. But heres why I think this evolution hes described so well has got a limited life span. Waves of intensification (doing the same thing but increasing harder when returns arent growing) yield lower and lower returns. Organizations run by The Obliterati think about growth as a function of scale, so they expand when under pressure in existing markets. Expanding adds significant complexity (think for example of opening up a market in Russia in the 1990s and the new cultural, regulatory & logistic hits). And complexity results in more need to cut costs to recover net, which leads to an intensification cycle (see sidebar), and has a strong tendency to lead to a collapse. Thats the current model, and its headed for a near certain inability to continue. Whats next, if Martin is right, is the great opportunity for IT people to take a bigger, more influential role in leading organizations to a healthy haven for survival. Ill tell you about it in part II. Jeff Angus is a knowledge management and restructuring consultant who has been working with IT since 1974. His newest book is Management by Baseball: The Official Rules for Winning Management in Any Organization (Harper Collins). Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on IT management from CIOInsight.com. Sidebar: A little more explanation on ruination by growth
For organizations of this ilk, success is not about superior product but superior standardization of process to increase scale. And, Ill add, the ability to use their scale to short-circuit competitors ability to survive. The result is fewer, bigger organizations producing a higher quantity of lower-quality, but standardized, output.