(Or why precision isn’t the opposite of emergence)
I think the two articles at the bottom of this article are really important. And here’s why.
Some parts of a business consist of standard work, it’s repetitive and should be made as efficient as possible. This is Lean. The end-point of this game is automation and AI (very efficient).
Other parts of the business consist of non-standard work, it’s work we’ve never done before, it requires ingenuity and iterative experimentation, i.e. innovation. We can’t simply automate this, we can only make it more likely to succeed by changing the way we work (Agile).
Contrary to somewhat popular perception, agile is not the silver bullet for all that ails us. It’s simply not a one-size fits all approach since all businesses are a hybrid of both types of work. Lean-Agile is therefore an acceptance of the existence of the hybrid nature of work within a business and the principle that you would increase performance and get to value optimally through choosing the right approach for the right job. If you try to Lean in a context of the new and uncertain – you kill innovation. If you try to Agile when we’ve done this work before, we know how to do it and we are clear on the outcomes – you introduce waste.
These articles by John Hagel (co-chairman for Deloitte LLP’s Center for the Edge) are, IMHO, important.
He uses different language, but he gets it 😉
- Scalable efficiency – mass production – the Industrial Age
- Scalable learning – times of accelerating change and uncertainty – the Knowledge Economy
I know it’s a bit esoteric, but I think it’s like this:
- Scalable efficiency – mass production – the Industrial Age – Newtonian systems – ‘clockwork universe’
- Scalable learning – times of accelerating change and uncertainty – the Knowledge Economy – Quantum systems (Einsteinian systems) – ‘spooky action at a distance’
The Field co-founder and director