Over the weekend when I was preparing some material for a presentation I am giving later in the month for the Australian Computer Society (WA) on business transformation, it got me thinking about the similarities between some basic laws of science and general business environments.

Think about a tub of water. There are millions of water molecules sloshing around and vibrating in the tub quite happily, then the temperature starts to drop, and keeps dropping. Then a strange thing happens – the behaviour of the molecules changes – they stop vibrating and sloshing around. Why? Because the environment has changed. The molecules become rigid when a certain temperature is reached. There was no leader molecule that instructed that all molecules become rigid and there was no plan to freeze activity. It simply happened because the environment changed.

The same thing happens to businesses. There are seven key elements that an organisation needs to align and keep fluid to achieve optimal results – Strategy, Structures, People, Technology, Process, Information and Governance.

Now think about your organisation and those seven elements. The business will have some form of hierarchical structure, it may have a strategy, and it will have technology, processes, people and information. It may even have a governance framework (unless it’s an Australian bank or Insurance firm, where even it has one it may not be as good as it should be). These elements form the general business environment. Similar to the water molecules, these seven elements need to be reasonably fluid and relate to each other and the things around them. Most of the time each of these elements work well together and overall perform as expected.

Then something in the environment changes and before you know it things are not working as expected and performance is impacted. If strategy isn’t clear – there is no vision, objectives or goals and people don’t know what to focus on. If structures are not conducive to high quality decision making and performance, there is a lot of time wasted and confusion reigns. If technology is not defined and refined it will never be the great enabler. If processes are not optimised efficiency, effectiveness and customer experience suffers.

All it takes is a minor change to the environment and organisational behaviours and performance change.

The question is how can you keep your environment in its optimal state? If you don’t know then contact me jackie@realisingpotential.com au or connect on Linkedin www.linkedin.com/in/jackie-o-dowd/ and I can show you how you how.