In today’s volatile and increasingly complex environments where rapid change and constant disruption are the new norm, a company’s ability to learn and adapt — to develop new organizational capabilities quickly — is crucial for survival, much less maintaining a leadership advantage.
Project 10X is designed to help companies meet this challenge; it is our integrative, organic and highly flexible strategy for growing those organizational capabilities most critical to leading and thriving in today’s VUCA world:
In a typical company, its existing management hierarchy and processes — its “legacy operating system” — are mostly designed to handle the company’s ongoing operational needs. Project 10X augments this Legacy OS with a special infrastructure and approach designed to support the organization in developing the critical capabilities above — ultimately, growing the organization’s capacity for ongoing learning, growth and change. The Legacy OS and Project 10X work in synergy side by side, allowing each to do what it does best, thus making the whole company more productive, responsive and agile in the face of rapidly changing market conditions.
The benefits and outcomes made possible through Project 10X include:
- Real and lasting breakthroughs in your organization’s top priority, most difficult systemic challenges
- Purposefully engaged, passionate workforce that excels and thrives in increasingly complex, rapidly changing environments
- Distributed, collaborative action-learning networks of leaders & changemakers highly capable of leading your organization’s change and talent development efforts
- Strong, highly ‘generative’ organization culture eliciting breakthroughs in creativity, innovation, learning and collaboration
- Significantly more agile, responsive, engaged and change-ready organization
- Low risk approach: start small, grow organically, with benefits growing exponentially over time
The Project 10X approach can be tailored to any organization where there is a strong leadership commitment to the on-going action-learning journey implicit in achieving a lasting breakthrough in the organization’s capacity to lead and thrive in today’s VUCA world.
Project 10X Design
Because every organization and every change challenge is unique, every Project 10X initiative is uniquely designed for the situation at hand.
This being said, a typical Project 10X initiative includes the following design elements:
- Begin with a high-priority organizational challenge identified and fully supported by top leadership (e.g. ‘accelerating growth,’ ‘greater agility and responsiveness,’ ‘better customer focus,’ etc.) Whatever the Challenge, it must be considered a top priority by senior leadership and critical to the organization’s future. This helps ensure a high level of engagement from the senior team throughout the initiative as well as high visibility throughout the organization
- Attract a diverse cohort of committed changemakers. These players represent the layers and verticals of the organization, are well respected, have high aptitude for change and development work, and are energized by the Challenge. They will be pioneering the new changemaker role for the organization. The Cohort fully owns the Challenge. All learning and development happen in the context of the Challenge
- Emphasize growing a truly generative “3-way alliance” between the Cohort, Stewards and Providers of development and change expertise. The Stewards are the organization’s senior leaders who are highly invested in and committed to the success of this pioneering initiative. They see themselves as stewards of the organization’s future. The role of Providers is to serve as “social architects” and guides on this pioneering journey — to support the Cohort and the Stewards with highly relevant, just-in-time development and change expertise as they grow and tackle various challenges along the Project 10X’s action-learning journey. This 3-way co-creative partnership is key to Project 10X’s potency and success
- Focus on igniting individual growth, developing high quality relationships and evolving a highly generative culture. Cohort members are supported in discovering and developing their deepest commitments and gifts, in growing highly effective relationships with each other, the Stewards and the rest of the organization, and in evolving a highly generative culture of mutual caring, commitment and contribution (see Green-Blue Zone culture.) A primary task for the Cohort is to come forward with an organic, highly leveraged strategy to bridge the Great Culture Chasm for the organization — in a way that accelerates progress on the Challenge
- Challenge and support the Cohort in developing and evolving as a semi-autonomous action-learning network of organizational changemakers. With Providers serving as ‘guides on the side’ (rather than sages on stage), the Cohort learns and grows by engaging with the organization, doing their scouting and research, testing their thinking and applying what they learn as they develop a highly generative strategy and path to addressing the Challenge and crossing the Great Culture Chasm
- Challenge the Cohort to develop and begin to demonstrate a highly generative strategy and path forward that both address the Challenge and support the organization in inhabiting their unique version of ‘Green-Blue Zone’ culture. This could be a 90-day period (which usually represents Phase 1 of the project.) At the end, the Cohort presents their learnings, progress to date and their recommended path forward to the Stewards. Together, they decide on whether and how to proceed with Phase 2. Their choices might include growing additional (and possibly more specialized) cohorts, focusing on new critical organization’s challenges, evolving a more elaborate development and change infrastructure in the organization, etc.
Note that the above only describes a high-level strategy; each Project 10X initiative will unfold in an organic way that best fits the unique needs and opportunities of the organization.
What’s Unique About Project 10X?
For most companies, achieving significant organizational breakthroughs calls for deep shifts in their ‘managing culture’ — their well-established patterns of thinking, working, leading and organizing. ‘What got you here won’t get you there.’
At the heart of Project 10X is a transformational challenge we call Crossing the Great Culture Chasm. It involves ‘rebooting’ our century-old beliefs, assumptions and behaviors characteristic of the ideal organization as a well-oiled machine and pioneering and implementing a more generative organizing metaphor —organization as a conscious living system.
In our experience, the median culture in the majority of sizable organizations today is located somewhere in the Yellow, Orange or even Red Zones. Most are in the Yellow Zone, many are close to the Orange border.
The waste of all kinds implicit in Yellow-Orange-Red cultures is unimaginably high. Yellow-Orange-Red organizations have become the dinosaurs in these VUCA times. These organizations simply aren’t designed for —
- Distributed leadership
- Purpose-filled engagement
- Collaborative innovation
- Change-readiness and resilience
Green-Blue Zone cultures, on the other hand, are designed to grow these capabilities naturally. Project 10X is our key strategy for supporting committed organizations in Crossing the Chasm and growing those capabilities most critical in today's VUCA world.
Ready to explore Project 10X for your organization? Contact us to schedule an exploratory conversation.