Discipline and agility are not opposites

Too many service providers (and companies in general) use “discipline” as an excuse for “lack of agility”. Discipline does not mean appointing a committee to study the problem for the next year. Exercising caution and prudence does not mean failing to act. Laying a solid foundation does not mean standing around doing the equivalent of watching the concrete set. This misguided notion of discipline is made even worse if the committee sits around drawing personal conjectures based on fear, and concluding that moving with paralyzing slowness (because, I guess, sudden motion draws predators) is the only safe possibility.

There are highly agile companies out there who study and solve problems in a rigorous way — they go out and gather data, they analyze the data, they come to a conclusion, they come up with a solution, they decide what they want to measure to determine the success or failure of the solution, and go out and act. There’s enormous value in swift, decisive, fact-based action. Bonus points if the decision-making is focused on what delivers value to the customer, and that value (whether qualitative or quantitative) can be clearly articulated and measured.

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Posted on February 18, 2009, in Industry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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