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How Small Tech Companies Can Balance Stability and Agility

The End of Competitive Advantage by Rita Gunther McGrath is an excellent book. Chapter 2, Continuous Reconfiguration: Achieving Balance Between Stability and Agility, makes the point that, although organizations need to make decisions and pivot quickly in order to be successful today, there needs to be a framework in place that allows the organization to do this safely.

In the past, depending on the expert, organizations were either told to create and build on a sustainable advantage or experiment continuously and fail quickly (if necessary). It is a false choice. McGrath writes, “Organizations that get this right are shape shifters. You don’t see dramatic downsizings or restructurings, you don’t see people sticking with one role for long periods of time, and you don’t see confusion about the company’s evolutionary path. Instead, there is a consistent reevaluation of current activities with the understanding that some may need to give way to new ones.”

In other words, think in terms of high-speed evolution instead of revolution.

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