Search This Blog

Monday, July 7, 2014

It Is Not 'Disruption', It Is 'Turbulence'

Shigetomi's "flowing water crest" is a gem-like work created by abandoning the ego and assimilating it with the flow of water. The main shadow of the flow of the sudden time while echoing the song of Raku Holy Water is
probably because it has the memory of water

July 2014

Catchphrases come and go: Transformation, transactional to services, customer-centric, think outside of the box, change or die, innovate or die, release in beta. Each moniker seems to hold its uniqueness for about a week.

"Disruption" - is one such word.

Today, it's disruption tomorrow it's something else - observing the same thing over and over, calling it something new, expecting different results.   In an attempt to understand the temporarily incomprehensible connectivity between multiple events occurring in real-time, a snapshot is taken.

A static slice of activity predicts futures based on this single shot.

Like watching rapids flow through rocks and stone, some of us see the single rock, others, the collection of boulders, and still others, the river flowing into the sea.  Once a moment is captured on film, we all begin to see the same thing - albeit historically static.

These snapshots are easier to understand and help each other feel good, but aren't these frozen slices of time stifling enlightenment?

What we're really trying to get a feeling for an understanding of is "Turbulence", not disruption.  We suggest describing current, past, and future business, economic, political, and personal processes as "flows".  Inside these flows, there are obstacles that cause turbulence, like the stones in a river.

Turbulence is defined as a:

"...violent or unsteady movement of air or water, or of some other fluid..."

Turbulence has been difficult to understand and to this day, define.  Werner Heisenberg's (not the one from Breaking Bad, the other Heisenberg) studied this phenomenon and presented findings in his 1932 doctoral dissertation titled, "On the stability and turbulence of fluid flow."  Scientifically defining turbulence is a challenge; a force of nature not easily determined mathematically - this stymies most who study quantum physics.

Turbulence may best be defined by both science and art.  Indeed, Leonard da Vinci was described to regard nature "as weaving an infinite variety of elusive patterns on the basic warp and woof of mathematical perfection."  Maybe Leo understood.
"Turbulence provides a perfect example of why a problem is not solved simply by writing down a mathematical equation to describe it." 

Turbulence and Business.

The business ecosystems contain information 'flows' - we call them workflow -  flows contained within flows, contained within more flows,  adjacent to and part of an infinite number of eddies and motion. 

These flows mix, sully, stir and tumble together. ("How to Perform a Basic Workflow" - Here) and when observed, business process turbulence is observed around clogs and static impediments (like rocks in the river or printers and copiers in the process).  Turbulence occurs around one employee, an entire department, and unoptimized business policies.

So What?

Look at your business, branch, department, sector, team, or pod and consider how information moves. Typically, when documenting workflow, consultants use interviews to create a picture of how information moves through the organization by way of processes.

It could be a masterpiece.

Add motion to the two-dimensional representation and you can see the ebb and flows of your systems - Turbulence.

What's the Difference?

When we look at events as "of a time" happenings, we naturally become myopic and siloed becoming the state we observe.   Easier to see, our comfortable yet narrow vision and it's to look to the past for answers - worse, it becomes simpler to predict the future (a flowing and always in motion stream) based on this static view.

"Disruption" or a disruptive occurrence is a frozen point in space and time - we label and treat it as a simple, singular occurrence in a vacuum.   

This is not nature.  

The place where Innovation and Disruption converge - Turbulence.   It's a tough concept to envision.

But wait, there's more.   Imagine if you will a free-flowing representation of your information flows, complete with rapids, falls, as well as serene segments - expand that vision from two dimensions into three.

Now THAT's Turbulence.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Contact Me

Greg Walters, Incorporated