Jumping off of what we briefly heard about in class last week, this post will be about organizational frameworks and how to disrupt them fluid for the sake of progress. By now we should all understand the role that frameworks play in business and operations. In many ways they’re needed to provide order and guide users through a proven procedure. Most people desire the comfort and stability that good frameworks offer. Unfortunately as we get more and more comfortable with a framework we become less inclined to change it. Well if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? This approach may be fine in many situations but our society and our businesses are alive and changing; and a framework that does not change with the times, is broken.
The three keys that were mentioned last week to keep frameworks fluid were (1) be fearless, (2) be imaginative and communicative, and (3) make relationships outside of your work circle. All of these are good. The way I see it the first leads to opportunity, the second to creation, and the last to influence and stability. But I believe there is another equally necessary skill and that is the ability to empathize.
What I mean in this sense is not just to feel good or bad for others when they feel good or bad. It’s more about feeling and thinking like others so you can modify frameworks to serve more than just yourself – and for the record, when I say “you,” I mean not only an individual but also a group, business, etc. What I tend to see happen is we become stagnant, complacent, and overconfident as a result of establishing a comfortable framework.
Take our government as an example of a framework that is intended to maintain order. It was established more than 200 years ago, and although it is not a perfect system it has worked for us since then. But it has not been stagnant. As time marched on we added, removed, and amended laws for the sake of meeting our society’s current needs. Frameworks, no matter how good, should stay flexible. Empathizing – considering their effects as well as affects – will prompt you to actively think about how well a framework is serving its purpose and therefore keep it fluid.