Starting Over

A friend of mine recently shared a LinkedIn post with me, “Competition can copy everything but not your culture.” While there are definitely some good reminders about creating and strengthening your culture in here, both of us were intrigued by one specific suggestion:

Keep disrupting your own organisation structure. An interesting exercise which we do is assume all of us got fired one day, and someone with no emotion of the past was re-building our team based on where we are today. It is amazing how many insights come out of this exercise, and while no one actually gets fired, many of the organisation’s priorities evolve in a refreshing way.

What a fascinating idea. If we could detach ourselves from the knowledge of how things came to be, would we make the same decisions? So often we get attached to structure and roles because that’s just how things are. We end up with workarounds or solutions that are almost right because we’re too focused on keeping things the way they are because that’s the way we do things.

While I think we might lose a lot if we regularly fired everyone and started from scratch, the idea itself of staring over can be very freeing. Not only can organizations get stale, but we can get stale. Does there continue to be a need for the service or product we provide in the way we provide it? What needs might we anticipate now that we couldn’t have dreamed up five or ten years ago? Is there a way I could better be utilizing my skills? How has our organization grown since we last evaluated? How have I grown? What could I share that maybe I couldn’t have a few years ago? What if our organizational politics didn’t exist?

Whether it’s your work structure or the way you’ve structured your personal life, what would you do if you were starting from the beginning?

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