Leading into the Future XIb: Holding the Center While Innovating and Opening Boundaries
They go on to identify four major hurdles facing those who lead and seek to build strategies while swimming in the blue ocean. These hurdles are cognitive, political, resource and motivational in nature. We must think in new ways to overcome the cognitive hurdle and find new ways to address our differences and conflicts to overcome the political hurdle associated with the blue ocean (and intersect organization). Kim and Muborgne even suggest placing a consigliere on the management team. I will have much more to say about these necessary changes when offering the second suggestion. The resource and motivational hurdles relate directly to the peculiar nature of intersect organizations. There are competing goals and purposes associated with the interact. This means that there will inevitably be competition for resources and varying level of motivation regarding specific operations among those working in and making decisions about the organization.
The hospital that has to make a profit while also providing high quality of health care services to all patients who seek assistance will inevitably be struggling with inadequate resources (time, energy, facilities, staff, money) to meet these competing demands. Similarly, some of those people working in the hospital are most concerned about and motivated to provide the high quality of health care—despite the cost. Others take pride in keeping costs down and in ensuring the survival of the hospital. The challenge is to keep both priorities in mind—to manage the polarities that exist in abundance in this intersect hospital. I offer ideas about the management of polarities when considering the fifth and final suggestion regarding an animating vision of the future.
There is one final point to be made about the hurdles and other actions to be taken in seeking to lead effectively in a world of blue oceans, rugged landscapes and tilted planes. This point comes from, Kurt Lewin (Lewin and Lewin, 1948), a wise and seasoned champion of organizational change. Writing and consulting during the mid-20th Century and being a witness to (and victim of) the demonic forces of Hitler’s Third Reich, Lewin was quite mindful about what happens when one introduces new forces to bring about change in any system. Embedded in his well-known (but often mis-understood and mis-used) force field analysis is the cautionary note that new negative forces typically emerge when a strong positive force is introduced in a system. Put simply, a planned change effort holds the potential of being successful only if some new opposition to this change emerges. An ineffective change effort will typically elicit very little counter reaction, given that the opposition assumes this change will soon pass away (as is the case with most change initiatives). It is only when a change might make a real, lasting difference that the counter forces emerge.