Transformation, Innovation, Agile

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here we are, in the digital, artificial intelligence, big data, robotics world. We are challenged to learn, hire, and develop expertise in those spaces.

Agile, innovation, sprints, scrums …

As we said last month, “The more tech, digital, social media our lives become the more important our interactions with other people are—not less. It still takes people to do deals; to provide problem-solving and service. It still takes people to design the strategies that drive our businesses.”

And, it still is “change or die.” It is definitely happening faster. Tech speeds up everything. The pressure is constant. Our ability to communicate, see results, analyze, and adapt is quantum leaps faster than ever before—but it still is all about people.

“None of us is as smart as all of us.”

— Unknown

“It is not how well our people work. It’s how well we work together.” This sounds like a quotation from legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, but attribution is elusive. I use it as a signature statement.

Recently, I was with a client leadership team at a large overseas institution. We were looking how best to communicate what they wanted: Agile? Digital transformation? Innovation? And, we tested others. At the end of the day, this leading executive said simple words. “I’ve heard all the jargon. We’ve invested in all of them, and more: TQM, Six Sigma, Lean” and others I’ve not heard of nor could I remember. We’ve invested in all the tech our money could buy. At the end of the day, what I want is teams of people working brilliantly well together in today’s digital world, delivering great results on time and on budget.”

Great teams. Working together. Delivering results.

It still takes people getting into the room, listening with open minds, sharing without fear of judgment or retribution, focused on a clearly stated common purpose, working toward a common vision, who all know, like and trust each other. Deciding on the plan, working the plan through its successes and “learning opportunities” and iterating with resilience. Almost sounds like a football team.

The challenge: How will you take your company into its next phase of success in the accelerated world of constant innovation? What’s your plan for the third and fourth quarters, and for 2020?

How will you go back into the wisdom of the ages to bring about your success?

It’s all about your culture, your leadership, your teams. High-tech capability, intellect and emotional intelligence. ♦

Stephen Garber is director of Third Level Ltd. Contact him at 561.752.5505 or

Stephen Garber
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