Truly Powerful People (368)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

I had a conversation today with Sylvia and many bulbs lit above my noggin. Things I have been chewing on for a few years came into clarity. We were talking about teams, particularly training people to work as more effective teams.

I have been saying to no audience in particular that “Time is money” is an antiquated industrial era notion; today relationship is money. That is not some woo-woo notion. Read any business magazine and count the number of times you see the word “nimble” or “responsive” or “flexible” or “fast pace of change.” These are the words and phrase used to describe the characteristics of a successful business; these are the words used to describe the business needs of the day.

In the old world the structure of a business was the management hierarchy, business as control. Control models slow you down, they restrict energy and innovation because that is what they were designed to do. Nimble is anathema to the culture of control.

What I realized today, what has been right in front of my face for ages, is that the structure of a nimble business exists within the relationships of a team. The structure of a team is concrete, it is in the agreements they make and hold and cultivate together. Nimble is a team that knows what they serve and why they serve it (they are oriented according to what they bring). Nimble is a team that can adjust and respond to rapid change; it is a form of flocking behavior: simple relationships that are capable of complex movement. Nimble is possible when the team holds itself responsible, when the individuals that make up the team hold themselves responsible, when accountability (one of my least favorite business terms) is personal and does not require any form of accountability police (otherwise known as management) to hold the line.

Relationship, carefully created around specific agreements, is the structure of contemporary business. Nimble is possible when powerful people empower people.

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