5 steps to transform any business…

In News by Charlotte Noble0 Comments

…No Selling, No Marketing, No Investment Required…
Doing my MBA in Greenwich, London meant that we had the very best Lecturers and Thought Leaders; those working at the LBS and LSE would captivate us with principles ideas and concepts about business and finance…

One Thursday Evening, such a lecturer walked into the theatre, stood at the front of the room and said nothing for a few minutes.

Then, looking up over rimmed glasses, he said in a calm and steady voice that the UK Education System had been completely destroyed overnight – there was nothing left and we had 3 hours to design a new one…

One of the most powerful principles of Business was about to be given to us – “Idealised Redesign…”

Turns out that back in the 1950’s a VP at the Bell telephone Laboratories gathered together his top people and told then that the US Telephone System had been destroyed overnight – so now there was an opportunity to start over and resign the whole system without constraints, in an idealistic way.

It’s how we got Key Pads not Dials on telephones to improve accuracy of dialing, for example..

Russell Ackof was present in that room and along with Jason Magidson and Herbert J. Addison wrote the book – Idealized Design

“A Dilemma is a problem that cannot be solved within the prevailing view (paradigm) of the world…”

Russell Ackof.
The principles of the method are really simple, and equally powerful.

If you design a system or process from scratch, without the constraints of the existing system or process being in place – you will probably not design what you originally had…

For example, if overnight, all internal combustion engines disappeared; you would probably not design a V8 petrol engine; you would likely design an electric motor powered by airborne electricity, as suggested originally by Nikola Tesla…

If your house was destroyed over night – you’d probably rebuild a better one. The reason you don’t build a better one anyway is simply because the existing house gets in the way…

This type of Free Thinking enables the dramatic and the revolutionary to become possible – when you know what the desired outcome is, designing the solution in this way becomes achievable…

 

Rule # 1

If you don’t know what you’d do when you can do whatever you want, then how can you possibly know what to do when you can’t do whatever you want..?

So how can we use this approach in Business…?

1. Set the Assumption – free the minds of your team by telling them that the Product, Process or System they know has been destroyed. It can play no part influencing their design of the replacement.

2. Agree the Objectives – get the team to agree what the objectives of the revised design will accomplish. What are the desired outcomes of the system that they are about to design…?

3. Allow Free Flow – ideas and principles are to be encouraged through a “brainstorming” approach. The only constraints have to be that the ideas must be technically feasible and that everything else stays the same (the environment…)

4. Agree – define what the new design would look like, and document and record the parameters and features. Name the new design to bring it to life and test out the concepts with others – try to break the idea within the group…

5. Reverse Engineer – look at what you have and compare it to our new radical design, and then work backwards with a plan to achieve it in the future. Get “buy in” from everyone and maintain momentum until completed.

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