Down with myopia in organisations!

Myopie in organisaties - Stanwick management consultants

Research shows that myopia in people has increased drastically over the last half-century. Overuse of the eyes at close range often leads to this myopia. In addition, science tells us that myopia is hereditary. After all, there are 26 genes that ensure that we have a 10-times higher risk of myopia.

I not only see myopia in people, but also, from my own experience, in organisations. I can immediately illustrate this with three recent quotes:

  • “We can no longer see the wood for the trees”
  • “Our end-2-end processes are a black box”
  • "We have no insight into the status of our current projects"

I see the same patterns that science has already detected in humans also recurring in organisations. Specifically, an increase in myopia over time on the one hand, and the genetic factor on the other.

An increase in myopia is affecting more and more organisations

The current market context can no longer be compared to that of a few years ago. We operate as organisations in an environment characterised by VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity). These dynamics make it more difficult for companies to embrace all of this. A painful fact: as organisations, we are evolving towards myopia. A simple example: the complexity of various internal processes can no longer be understood by own management.

"While the customer is demanding more diversity in the dishes, we see that kitchen can no longer keep up."

Evolving from unconscious myopia to unconscious transparency

From my own observations, I notice that organisations have a different understanding of the genetics of myopia. For example, we see that only a few companies are in phase 4: as an organisation, we understand that we need tools to embrace the VUCA world, and this has become a natural fact across all teams.


Myopia in organisations
Myopia in organisations


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Depending upon which phase (degree of myopia & degree of awareness) an organisation is in, I will set up a unique approach together with the team. For example, with a team that is still fully in phase 1, I will start with visual management (fundamental lean tool). This ensures that a team starts to see their current functioning (literally), which allows them to think about what the problem areas are & finally be able to improve. Behavioural change becomes a fact at that moment.

The glasses or lenses that we put on afterwards to ensure that we can progress to phase 4 is always a choice of the organisation itself. In this, I always recommend starting small and playing the card of “Just Do It”! Kaizen! Build a dashboard and evaluate it at short intervals.

I will be interested to learn about your experiences...

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