Flow: The Leadership Concept that Cures Crisis Symptoms

Flow: The Leadership Concept that Cures Crisis Symptoms

Today, businesses are handling several challenges in parallel – ranging from supply chains to inflation and rising energy costs to a potential global recession.

In the middle of these crises, there is a big opportunity: to make changes happen that would be too difficult or painful in the course of normal business. This point raises Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack, from a recent interview with our partner, World Economic Forum.

How can this be the case? He gives a few explanations:

#1: People feeling on edge may be more open to fundamental change.

#2: In deep crises, business goals tend to be clearer and more relevant.

#3: This can motivate employees to be fully committed and attentive.

The hypothesis is that there is a huge potential for organizations to utilize their resources and accomplish their objectives more effectively.

Let’s compare this with a world-class football team, for example.

All players are constantly readjusting their positions and signaling to one another. They are fully aware of the ball’s location, while considering where their opponents are. And the available resources – e.g. their bodies, talent, and experience – are applied to their objective, to put the ball in the net more effectively than the other team.

Yet, Stewart Butterfield estimates that only 10% of businesses’ resources are invested in fulfilling business objectives.

At Kaizen Institute, we are convinced that the rate of effectively applied resources can easily be increased.

A concept that we see as very relevant in this context is FLOW – representing the basic difference between Lean and traditional operations.

Lean companies place flow on the sacred altar, while traditional businesses often disregard it and focus on volume and speed. Maintaining a smooth, uninterrupted, and swift flow is the easiest way to ensure optimal application of resources in the long-term, says our founder Masaaki Imai in his latest book "Strategic KAIZEN™".

The Lean approach has built a robust operating system that helps maintain flow, thus, enabling major steps in change and transformation for businesses and societies as a whole.

Grab your copy of Masaaki Imai´s last book today via this link.

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