ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN
1. You don’t know anything. 2. You are full of s*!t.
If you can’t hear that or you don’t understand that—you can’t work with us. To which I would also add, “You have no place running a company.” Here’s the logic. Most people want results that are different than what they have. How they got the results is based on what they currently know. People have trouble letting go of what they currently know to get to the next level of results. (You don’t know anything.) How are you full of s#!t? If your business were an operating room, would you use any of your current excuses for being late, not being ready or allowing some of your team to not do their work?
Really, you are too busy to work out or get those reports done, but you can make that golf game or clear all decks for that hot date? Interesting …
We look at your company like a very high quality product—it takes a very thoughtful design and build of the company, to be reliable, to perform well and for you to really enjoy using it. We are business architects and that will be the basis of the work we do in this series together.
WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THIS MAKE?
We had a client who could not crack $7 million no matter how many coaches, consultants or goats were sacrificed. They hired us and we set a goal to double their sales to $14 million in one year. We developed a sales approach and started to implement it. In two days, we realized it was going nowhere inside the current design of the organization. We rebuilt it in four weeks and then hit $15 million in three months.
Your company has a design, just like a car. Let’s say, it’s functioning like a car with only two gears. Two gears can only take you up to 60 km/h but no faster. No better gas, pushing the pedal ￼harder, having your mother-in-law in the back or even hiring a race car driver will make it go faster ￼with that architecture. It takes a rebuild of the car itself. Let’s look at this straight up. Whatever you are selling– product or service–it must perform to customer expectations with reliability. You take the time and effort to design and build what you are selling so it functions as well as required and is consistently reliable. If your product starts to have a weak spot, it is quickly addressed; otherwise, it would likely no longer find a buyer.
￼Your business architecture, on the other hand, has various strengths and weaknesses, and various flaws that you put up with. Our assertion is: if you put up with the same number of flaws in what you sell that you put up with in your business, no one would buy it. If parts of your car didn’t do what they were supposed to as often as some of your people (or you), you’d trade it in for a donkey.
If we were to look at your business the same way we would look at building your dream house, we would want to carefully design it to give us exactly the experience and performance we wanted. We take time; we don’t cut corners. We know we are going to spend a lot of time here. We want it to be great.
We have all had the experience of knowing more was possible, trying numerous things and going nowhere, changes just not sticking and wondering why we didn’t buy Apple stock sooner. I became keenly interested in learning where limiting architecture came from. As it turned out, I discovered that before anything can ￼actually be designed or built effectively, it has to have a certain “intention.”
We are not always aware of what our intention is. In the sales breakthrough example above where we hit $15 Million in three months, one of the partners we were working with said his intention was to grow the business.
After digging under the surface, we revealed (also news to him) that he had worked hard for many years, was training daily for the iron man, had a new baby and was setting up his new house— and now believed he must protect his precariously balanced life. (This is the full of s#!t part.) While he said his intention was to increase his business, his real intention was to protect his (just barely) balanced life. He believed that any growth beyond a certain amount would throw him into Architecture and Design overwhelmed, and so without realizing it, he had built bottlenecks preventing growth. Every business has its own version of this. What are yours?
PERFORMANCE BREAKTHROUGHS – THE IMPACT OF ENVIRONMENT
Let’s look at the first critical component of business architecture. Everyone knows that getting the best out of your people (and yourself) is critical and often frustrating. How we have produced breakthroughs in performance, time and time again, is by developing the right environment that humans respond to—cultural and physical. In our pursuit of effectiveness, we observed situations like the following—when an emergency deadline happens, within a minute, everyone is ten times more productive. The deadline is over; we go back to being slower and less productive. We learned we can design an environment to elicit what we want. We started to look at things like: what kind of environment would elicit or evoke people’s passion or productivity or responsibility or authentic communication. We began to notice other things. You can be noisy in a pub with your friends. If we walk from there into a church, your behavior will immediately change—no management needed. Not only this—if I try and manage you to make noise in the church, you will resist. Environments pull for some things and also suppress other things.
WHY WON’T YOUR PLANNED CHANGES STICK?
Without changing the environment, you might fight a losing battle. With the right environment, it could happen by itself. In my work, I chose to provide our clients with major results, by working on the environment. It is, of course, very important that people are communicating responsibly, authentically and with velocity. I used to do work to get people to see it is important and to get past their fears—until my study of environments trumped all of that. I noticed in high-performance environments, such as surgery, there is no need to train an anesthesiologist to speak up to the surgeon when it’s necessary. An anesthesiologist wouldn’t say, “Well, Surgeon Delaney, I wanted to tell you, he was not quite under yet, but you seemed a little miffed today so I thought I’d wait.” Here, clearly, communication training in this environment is not even necessary. It would NEVER OCCUR not to communicate, or be accountable. Therefore, architecting an environment that does not require any form of behavior modification is clearly part of a high- performance organization.