If it isn’t broke, why fix it?
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change” – Albert Einstein
CNBC reported last year that the disruptive force of technology is killing off older companies earlier and at a much faster rate than decades ago.
The average lifespan of a US company listed on the S&P 500 index is now less than 20 years old, a dramatic drop from the 60 years that most businesses averaged back in the 1950s, according to Credit Suisse analysts.
Change is never going to happen for those companies that are not only built in another century, but are making no feasible effort to evolve and adapt to the changing business environment.
Any entity that is in constant motion, from companies to people, should always be on a mission to look for ways to grow into the best version of themselves – and one that is in tandem with their ever-changing surroundings.
In the same way, maladaptive companies that are failing to come up with measures to keep up with their evolving surroundings are not going to survive.
“You can never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
These were the words of Buckminster Fuller, American architect, systems theorist and investor.
How will big companies ever come close to rivalling high tech start-up companies if they are using old-age consultancy organisations that were founded in the last century?
Enter stage right: ‘the executive gig economy’, in which struggling businesses are granted interim SWAT teams to quickly solve their problems. And, more specifically, enter: the Hollywood model.
Hollywood as the heartbeat
“Hollywood’s like a warehouse. It’s just a place that you go. What’s interesting in the warehouse has to do with the creative people” – Val Kilmer
I took inspiration from the Hollywood production model when I created the four-step Teams as a Service (TaaS) model – a lightbulb moment for me when I was uncoincidentally in Hollywood itself.
I realised that the C-Suite and recruitment world was all going in the direction of teams. I found that my solution to reduce the persistent capability and speed gaps in recruitment would be to recruit, cast and assemble flexible teams to tackle business problems.
And that is exactly the same way that Hollywood production companies assemble their own teams.
Hollywood studios rarely employ production staff. Instead, producers now assemble teams of the top 5% of talent to serve for the duration of that movie project. Once finished, the teams disperse.
Similarly, the TaaS model starts with a personalised discovery session for clients to flesh out the mission, before casting and gelling the team that S&S must then deploy to deliver rapid results.
In this way, the recruiter acts as the casting director, while the interim partner directs and leads the production with the executive.
The casting director assembles teams from a curated network to deliver projects and keep the business in a continual state of change.
The crowdsourced team members have a purpose and produce much better outcomes than if they were shackled by the usual hierarchies, rules and governance that permanent fixed teams can risk causing.
The Hollywood ethos can particularly benefit those businesses that are bogged down with stacks of organisational and technical debt. The SWAT teams can solve problems, freeing up the executives to concentrate on the innovation agenda.
Walmart founder Sam Walton once said, “We’re all working together; that’s the secret.”
Both the Hollywood and TaaS models are formulae for success because they stress the need to switch the focus from placing individuals to placing teams. That is the future: pre-formed, pre-gelled teams. Resourcing the right people simply does not cut it anymore. It is the right teams of the right people that will cause the most disruptive difference to business.