FROM PERFORMANCE TO CHANGE, INNOVATION AND THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION.
The oncoming 4th Industrial Revolution*, warned the World Economic Forum in December 2015, has the potential to take over or radically change jobs – even highly skilled jobs – in most advanced societies. This is the predicted disruptive potential of new technology to jobs, employment and society. How are organisations to prepare themselves for this tsunami?
At the other end of the spectrum, at the frontline where products and services are currently delivered, the pressure for performance (in quality, functionality and market share) is ever permanent and increasing.
What is the common point between the two extremes described above?
The common point is that addressing both ends of the spectrum, and whatever else lies in-between such as change, innovation and agility, depends on capability – on organisational and personal capability. We define capability as what an organisation must be, must have and must be able to do to survive and thrive. So capability is what enables organisations to have high performance and what will enable them to ride the 4th Industrial Revolution. With the definition agreed on, we then asked: Are there generic aspects to capability that enable organisations and people to thrive? Our answer is yes and we have good reasons for it.
It was with this in mind that we decided that there was a place – indeed a need – for a channel dedicated to discussing the concept and practical uses of capability, to education, consulting and to the development of appropriate tools. The time for the Capability Institute had arrived, we believed. Our next task was to define its scope, even provisionally, so that it would inspire us and guide our efforts. After much soul searching we defined its mission as: Help every organisation reach the potential latent in its people. Surely, you might say, an organisation is more than its people. While this objection has some appeal, on reflection, all the structure, resources, infrastructure, systems and processes that exist inside organisations – and that are part of capability as we’ll discuss in later blogs – are designed to enable people to perform. When people can lead, make decisions, collaborate and execute at the maximum of their ability, then organisations thrive.
Of course, this is but a simple introduction and I don’t pretend that you’ll be convinced with the statements above. In fact, I believe that you will have lots of objections and comments and I am sure I’ll find them interesting and helpful. I look forward to the conversation.
In the meantime, we’ll be working on the next blog to start explaining the models and practical uses of capability, such as performance, and how it can be leveraged to great benefit inside organisations.
Founder, Capability Institute
* The 4th Industrial Revolution refers to the perfect storm being created by advanced computing, networking, learning systems, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing and robotics. (The first 3 revolutions are often summarised by reference to the steam engine, the electricity and the production chain, and electronics and computing.)