You Can’t Shrink Your Way to Greatness


“You can’t shrink your way to greatness”
— Tom Peters
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I love what Tom Peters said. Yet, when I look around me I see a lot of organizations trying to do exactly that.

The way I see it you only have two real issues in organizations when you look at it from a macro sense.

One is you have people trying to fix things. That is, you have people trying to restore past standards of behavior, performance, and so on.

Or you have innovation where people are trying to raise the bar and create new standards of performance, behavior, and so on.

The first one (the problem solving) has been more than taken care of with quality procedures and “lean and mean” going on for decades.

Companies are pretty good at it themselves, but raising the bar is different. It’s much harder because there is big risk there. In problem solving, you know that the performance once was successful; in raising the bar, you don’t know if the new standard is ever going to be successful.

And this fear is exactly what’s preventing innovation in a lot of organizations. So we keep on redesigning processes and reengineering KPI’s and cutting costs.

But remember what Tom said:

You can’t shrink your way to greatness.

Are you ready to raise the bar?