Innovative Roadblocks at the New York Times: Best Intentions, Hard Times

globalisation4What’s challenges your innovative leadership goals? Are you and your organization immune to an ecosystem mindset? John Geraci, who worked at the New York Times from 2013-2015, has a few thoughts about his, according to his article on HBR.

“Companies with the organism mindset are too slow to adapt to survive in the modern world. The world around them changes, recombines, evolves, and they are stuck with their same old DNA, their same old problems, their same old (failed) attempts at solutions.

Ecosystems, by contrast, are boundless, constantly able to grow, absorb new entities, adapt, react, and transform. They don’t acquire new elements by ingesting them, but by absorbing new components at the edges of the network. And when they do that, they create new value for the whole ecosystem.

Organizations that pursue strategies like these have what I call the Ecosystem Mindset. All startups have it, while almost no big companies do. It’s an understanding that your organization is not a bounded entity, complete unto itself, but part of a wider ecosystem. It comes with an implicit understanding that the solutions to your key challenges are not all inside the building, but are out there — and that you must locate and interact with them to thrive.”

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As you look at your organization, and your role in it, this comparison might help you understand the challenge of changing an organism mindset to a ecosystem mindset.

Transformational leadership requires system awareness, as well as role analysis, vision and empowerment. Collaboration is a necessary part of transformation organizational development, but how do you create buy-in if you can’t identify the transformation needed in your culture?

It’s a complex diagnostic task at a time of organizational crisis and hope.


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