Descaling Work

Descaling Work To Grow Innovation

For someone who wants to achieve a big project or drive innovation in their business, it seems counterintuitive to get it done successfully is to descale work.

In most organisations, for innovation initiatives to get focus and backing, leaders tend to inflate and go big.  It has to hit a WOW factor for it to be noticed and given the green light.

There isn’t anything inherently wrong with having a big vision.  It is essential to drive innovation and growth.  But you don’t have to make the delivery big. 

So why descale work to scale innovation?

There is a tendency of any organisation to build in large chunks or phases.  They want the huge initiatives that fire teams up and get them excited; however, individual components usually don’t align, causing challenges to their innovation.

When you descale work, you reduce the impact of these challenges by empowering a bold vision with a clear small, first step.  When you pair this pattern with outcome-based measures of success, the benefits grow 10X.

Descaling work encourages the team to identify small, thinly sliced pieces of change to implement.  Working in these small slices allows you to quickly find out what works at the most basic level.  And you get a foundation of real data and useful insights to build upon.

Smaller, straightforward and sooner.  This is not a new concept.  Big companies did not start big.  They started small, then grew into their current business models.  They changed and morphed in a continuous transformation, aligned to outcomes.  All these transformations linked together to be where they are today.

To make your vision become a reality, resist working with a large team to achieve a revolution in one go

You should start with smaller changes in areas and teams that are naturally receptive. Principally with staff that have a growth mindset and personal resilience to withstand constant learning and feedback.

Have small teams, making minor investments to make tiny, consistent slices of value.  Support them with training and coaching as well as removing organisational impediments.  Ensuring there is psychological safety for experimentation and learning.

They will be the ones who bring the vision alive across the organisation.  With less dramatic stops and starts or organisational resistance.

Remember, achieve big through small incremental slices of value.  Descale the organisation and work first so can make significant steps towards innovation. 

Perfect the slices of value you create before you scale up to other areas.  Ensure you give the team support to make mistakes and achieve changes to push the innovation forward.

If you would like to read more about the concept of descaling work to scale innovation, go here.  You will discover exciting case studies to see how this concept has been used across multiple organisations to create meaningful change.

© The Remote Work Index