In the past few months I have started to see a number of organisations that have become caught up in the pressure of transformation projects and making so-called progress.  But what I see in some instances is not progress, it is simply activity.  That may sound harsh but it’s true.

People have become too busy to stop and think.

They have become too busy to see and observe.

I see those using lean and agile methods making sprints so compressed there is little down time in-between them. When we work at a frenetic pace for too long we can lose perspective and start to see signs of stress, such as mistakes, burnout and staff-turnover.  Yet, because the demand (real or imaginary) is to maintain a certain pace, the signs get missed. People know there are opportunities that will make a positive difference but don’t have the time to assess them, the bandwidth just isn’t there. Individuals, groups and teams gradually slide into a state of paralysis or complacency. Teams may be active but they are likely producing mediocre results.

Boards, Executive Teams and Managers need visibility of when and where things are starting to slide, because if things slide too far, it can be crippling. Whilst transformations are underway they still need to keep an eye on competitiveness and levels of resiliency. As the pace of change will get faster, not slower, we all need to look at how we manage the transition.

With the pace of change becoming faster, as process automation increases, as jobs change, every now and again we need to stop to smell the roses.

If this resonates with you the following may also be of interest.

The first is an article that we recently created on emergent risk:

The second is an article from McKinsey on Framing reinvention: