Organizational holding patterns


Companies often struggle to release new products or to innovate because of organizational holding patterns.

Teams struggle to create, because there are just too many different pieces pulling in the opposite directions. therefore nothing is happening.

So in some sense, any external power that comes in will be disruptive and hopefully in a good way.

3 important holding patterns include:

  1. internal focus of metrics and ‘bureacracy’, as opposed to customer focus as the priority set of metrics
  2. change is not ‘built-in’ to the org or there is no mechanism for change. even more, change is seen as a threat, for example to job security.
  3. delegation not working correctly, where all responsibility is centrally hoarded, limiting input from people who are affected by the change

If this is happening, it’s true that it will be hard to heal the system on its own. You will likely need someone external & high level to come in and implement the changes.


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