How can we learn from other organizations?

John W Lewis's picture
Chat Date: 
Thu, Mar 16, 2017

Differences in the way that people think affect how their organizations operate and perform. This is, presumably, not contentious. However, in this article, "Why we cannot learn a damn thing from Toyota or Semco", Niels Pflaeging, @NielsPflaeging, suggests that many people misunderstand how to emulate the way that other organizations operate.

The hypothesis is that copying other organizations is not as difficult as many people think, but it cannot be done by emulating their behaviour. It requires people to think differently and, the article suggests, that is easy to do!

The distinction between people who operate according "Theory X" rather than "Theory Y" is provided as the basis for the flip to be accompished.

"There is no bridge to the promised land of better, bolder, more agile and contemporary org leadership. No one will ever build a bridge there. And nobody really needs that kind of bridge at all. Because we can all beam ourselves there. Our organizations can be flipped into that land of milk and honey, within the twinkling of an eye, as soon we all stop thinking about other people as “Xers”. We do not need more examples for this, we need to correct our thinking."


Let's discuss the topic of this article during #innochat on Twitter on 16 March 2017 at noon Eastern time, based on the following questions:

  1. How effectively can organizations emulate other, more effective, organisations?
  2. Why does the adoption of approaches used by other organizations seem to be "a long, long road"?
  3. What happens when we copy another organizations tactics, without understanding their strategy?
  4. How realistic is it to "beam ourselves" to better leadership?
  5. What else else is required other than a change in thinking?



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