Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.

How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought: Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth. Got Knowledge?

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The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Friday, August 11, 2006  

Change Agents, Tiger Teams, Analytical Specialists and Loyal Survivalists

Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

“You know how it is when you’re a kid, you’re trying to say something but you can’t get it out. Somebody you’re trying talk to, some older person, maybe your parents, they keep talking to you, they don’t stop. You want to say something but you just can’t. What a situation … well, an airplane was flying by. Out in the field Sun looked up and saw it. She’d just finished her project. She was hoping that people could look out the window of the airplane and see what she’d made.”

Neil Young & Crazy Horse “Greendale”

DOUBLE NICKEL RANCH. Mature organizations require four kinds of talented people – loyal survivalists, agile tiger teams, internal change agents and analytical specialists -- who thrive in high affiliation and slower paced cultures. They manage people, technologies, processes, and organizational structures to sustain the innovation they’ve already mastered.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: What is it like working in an Associate organization?

Explorer: Well, first of all, this is the quadrant about sustained innovation. So it implies a past history of success and mastery.

J2020F: So this story coincides with the same location versus moving scenarios?

Explorer: If you are a Staying-Put-Doing-What-You-Love person – say a “Digitally Mobile” or a “Portfolio Local” -- and you are lucky, you'll find enough small to mid-size organizations in your local geographical location that you love, so that if something happens to you as a result of a major organizational event, you can hop over to another opportunity in a reasonable amount of time.

J2020F: If not, then for the more affiliation-driven Boomers a move – either temporary or permanent is in the cards, right?

Explorer: Right. The two groups grappling with a stay or move decision are “Starting Over” or the “Interim Managers.” They may target “Satellite Cities” or “Distant Exurbs” to find the right fit, since both provide suburban or smaller scale urban amenities.

J2020F: What about those living in “Affluently Elite” or “Exurb Society” communities?

Explorer: If they still want to target top spots in corporations, they will probably take executive recruiters’ calls. Headhunters will want to entice them to move to another urban metropolitan area for a headquarters position. Or they may spend more time at or move to their resort second homes.

J2020F: Is it true that the people who find themselves “Starting Over” might want to target the “Resilient Project Teams” in those communities, if their marketable skills aren’t in demand anymore at home?

Explorer: Sure. By hooking up as a temporary team member in an Athletic Organization, they can build more marketable experiences by virtue of producing new emerging knowledge.

J2020F: What about the “Interim Managers?” When they move and search for a position that upgrades their skills and experiences in a more Athletic Organization, which functions are they likely to qualify for?

Explorer: Of the four, the better fit will be with the talent clusters found in the “Operational Excellents” or the “Core Business Groups,” since they move a little bit slower and still provide higher degrees of affiliation. But, keep in mind a better fit is probably to locate “Associate Organizations.”

J2020F: Start with the lower right hand box – the “tan on tan” box. Who are the “Loyal Survivalists?”

Explorer: If you join a new organization to become a “Loyal Survivalists” you can apply your skills as a marketer extending product brands to an organization of multiple brands. This talent cluster really appeals to those classical marketing professionals, say in consumer package goods.

J2020F: So, you’re pitching in to make sure the organization sustains innovation and renews itself without losing sight of its identity?

Explorer: Yes, and along the way, you'll enjoy the camaraderie as you extend a core competency -- the required mastery of agility -- through internal change agents, tiger team performance, sustained collaboration and interdependent relationships among analytical specialists.

J2020F: Briefly describe those remaining three talent clusters – “Internal Change Agents,” “Agile Tiger Teams” and “Analytical Specialists.”

Explorer: “Internal Change Agents” – the red box with the tan background – lie diagonally (as in a chessboard) on the “border” separating “Agents” from “Associates.”

J2020F: Why is that important to understand?

Explorer: They are the first talent clusters to “pick up” the innovation as it had moved from the “Breakpoint Inventors” through the “R&D Laboratories” during more formative years of the organization’s history.

J2020F: I take it that their “red color” signifies that they are the more creative and innovative associates, but not in the same way as agents? They aren’t focused on introducing a radical new business model, for instance?

Explorer: That’s right. But, within the mature organization, they are the most disruptive. They have to keep the agent spirit alive by leading a skunk works or by reinventing, reengineering or continuously innovating.

J2020F: That must mean that the “green” “Agile Tiger Teams” preserve an Athletic capability.

Explorer: It does. They retain the do-what-ever-it-takes attitude and like athletes, their loyalty is more than 50% to their leader.

J2020F: Why is that?

Explorer: They may have a long history with the leader – having been acquired by the mature Associate organization, for example. The leader cultivated extraordinary teamwork as a core competency by emphasizing knowledge sharing in a culture of reciprocity, trust and community values.

J2020F: So, if the leader leaves the organization, what happens?

Explorer: A significant core from the tiger team will more than likely follow.

J2020F: And, finally what about the blue “Analytical Specialists” who border the “Academic”

Explorer: These associates, still more loyal to the organization as a whole, take on promotions that require them to specialize. They inject what I call professional traditions into the organization.

J2020F: What do you mean?

Explorer: In some respects, they are the early adopters of “Academic” methods, certifications, standards and proven practices for solving complex problems.

J2020F: So, they open the door to more fact-based approaches?

Explorer: Yes. And, that may be how they come to work closely with the “Internal Change Agents” and “Agile Tiger Teams.”

J2020F: How is that?

Explorer: “Analytical Specialists” are often seen as internal enemies by “Agile Tiger Teams,” because they want to take the people element and the need to address special situations out of the equation for success.

J2020F: So, they have to partner with “Internal Change Agents” to convince the tiger teams through a series of pilots that their fears are unjustified while their roles become more valuable, but in a different way?

Explorer: Exactly.

J2020F: Let's turn to the four flavors of Academics. What distinguishes them from the rest?

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.

9:53 AM

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