“We all want our companies to accomplish more. In our disrupted world, that means they have to run faster, change faster, and grow faster. Faster growth often calls for a bold, new ambition or, at the very least, a brand new agenda for creating value. It is a race against time to produce more value. How do you ultimately assess whether your organization is really ready to enter that race?
Tradition says that organizational readiness is all about having the right capabilities and culture to do what you’re setting out to do. While I agree with this sentiment, it’s only part of the picture.
When I was working as an officer in the Coast Guard, there’s one other thing we took into consideration before heading out to sea on a mission. We asked ourselves, “Do we have the capacity to do what we’re setting out to do?” If the crew we had on board didn’t have the right skills AND enough energy and time to accomplish that particular rescue and return safely to harbor, we might as well not weigh anchor. We’d be putting their lives at risk, as well as our own. Our responsibility as officers and leaders included running a quick capacity check as the ultimate way to assess our readiness before we left dock.”
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