Building the enterprise of the future: If not now, when ?

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Smart hospitals: Transformational medicine for the knowledge age (July and Sept. 2012): Unfortunately, mainstream medicine still hasn’t figured out that the one-size-fits-all model of the past no longer works. The human physiology is extremely complex. Age and co-morbidities are discussed extensively, but they are only two of many differentiators. Let’s use this as an opportunity to push mainstream medicine into the knowledge age, using a patient-centric rather than a largely statistical approach based on averages and probabilities.

Keeping everyone in your workforce fully engaged (Jan. 2020): The organizations that were able to rise to the occasion tended to exhibit high levels of employee engagement. At the other end of the spectrum, there were employees so disengaged that they actually relished the idea of getting paid to stay at home and do nothing. A key principle in addressing this disparity is understanding basic human needs (Jan. 2018) and how those needs can change dramatically during times of crisis. CEOs donating their salaries and profits to help their employees and others in need is an example that comes to mind.

Big opportunities in small data (Mar. 2016): Notable problems which came up include limitations from being largely data-driven, confusing correlation with causality, and the dangers of using cherry-picked data as evidence. The KM solution: Use ontology to capture context, varying perspectives, and situational relevance. This brings us to …

The convergence of convergence (July 2019) and The future of food: a fresh look (May 2019): The more systems and subsystems we attempt to stitch together, the greater the unpredictability. We’ve seen how massive bodies of knowledge (medicine, energy, finance and economics, law, etc.) remain fragmented and disconnected. This presents an urgent need for systems thinking, which in turn necessitates integrating and curating knowledge (Dec. 2015) generated from multiple disciplines in widely diverse communities.

Given so many interdependencies, acting too quickly can be disastrous. Do you have a tendency to force decisions too early? Or worse yet, do you lack an understanding of how one snap decision creates adverse effects elsewhere in the system? Especially in times of crises, we’re faced with a fierce tug-of-war between acting quickly and decisively versus analysis paralysis. This brings us to …

An uncommon view of collaborative competencies (Sept. 2013): Achieve more by giving full attention to each team member’s unique perspective. In his book, Leadership Is Language (2020), retired U.S. Navy captain and submarine skipper David Marquet introduces a new tool called the Team Language coefficient. It’s a variation of the Gini coefficient used to measure income inequality, only it measures inequality in team and project discourse. It’s great for identifying people who are “hogging” the conversation as well as those who have something important to say, but don’t. Such imbalances were not only present during the crisis, but are pervasive in many other situations and organizations.

As crisis response teams quickly come together, be on the lookout for misalignment caused by differing perspectives and approaches and especially conflicting goals. Bonus points: Start using cyclomatic complexity (Mar. 2020, Nov. 2019) and other tools, including text analytics (Mar. 2020) to identify and correct mismatches and imbalances.

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