So, I’ve started attending regular yoga classes – no easy feat for someone built as I am.
Recently the yoga instructor had us enter a ‘warrior’ pose – standing, wide legs, arms pointed outwards parallel to the floor. After reaching this position, she has us gently flow our upper body back and forth while maintaining the solid wide legged position.
What felt unusual at first started to become strangely natural.
To reinforce the move, the instructor calls out “solid foundation, flexible top”.
Our organisations are like this yoga pose. Our ‘form’ collapses if we are too flexible – resulting in mixed messaging and poor quality outcomes. While if we are too fixed – we are stagnant, overly burdened with administration and not able to adjust to market forces.
It is in the balance of fixed and flexible that we grow. A balance between core foundations and willingness for risk. Our core foundations provide the internal confidence to pursue new opportunities – but we must have and do both.
This is a common mistake made in the attempts to create more ‘agile’ organisations. In the excitement to make the shift, all rigidity is abandoned leaving a chaotic mess rife with rework and silo behaviour.
Remember – ‘Solid foundation, Flexible top’.