What follows is a topic of constant conversation with my clients. And to be very clear: they’re all amazing, brilliant folks.
“Back when analysis ruled the day, the most senior managers were the best analyzers. ‘Proposals would bubble up through the organization and the leader would play Caesar,’ Ries says, riffing again on [Scott] Cook. The emperor would then give the thumbs up or down after analyzing the proposal.
“But in the day of experimentation, the person best qualified to run the experiment is the person nearest to the customer, so data flows up the totem pole. This means that if you’re the CEO and you get the proposal from a senior leader, you should already have the data for whether or not it’s going to work.”
This is scary stuff. It means fewer external partners. It means more headcount. And that’s a bet on new structure rather than proven subcontractors. And we go boldly, confident we’re on the right side of the bet.