Doctrine

With an understanding of the Landscape and the external forces acting on it (Climate), next is the training of your people in the standard ways of operating and the techniques that you almost always should apply.

Below is one of the doctrinal principals worth considering carefully.

Principle 1: Use Appropriate Methods

In any large system, multiple methods (e.g., agile or lean or six sigma) may be used at the same time. You will need to be mindful of the particular context where each is appropriate.

Table of Doctrinal Principles

Below are Doctrinal Principles that can be studied and integrated into organizational behavior. Simon recommends starting with the basics (Phase 1). Mouse over each cell for more detailed descriptions, and click cells multiple times to make a self assessment, rotating through weak, warning, good, and neutral (undetermined) statuses.

Phase 1: Stop Self-Destructive Behavior

Communication Use a common language (necessary for collaboration) Challenge assumptions (speak up and question) Focus on high situational awareness (understand what is being considered)
Development Know your users (e.g. customers, shareholders, regulators, staff) Focus on user needs Remove bias and duplication Use appropriate methods (e.g. agile vs lean vs six sigma)
Learning Use a systematic mechanism of learning (a bias towards data)
Operations Think small (as in know the details)

Phase 2: Becoming More Context Aware

Communication Be transparent (a bias towards open)
Development Focus on the outcome not a contract (e.g. worth based development) Be pragmatic (it doesn’t matter if the cat is black or white so long as it catches mice) Use appropriate tools (e.g. mapping, financial models) Think fast, inexpensive, restrained, and elegant (FIRE, formerly FIST)
Use standards where appropriate
Leading Move fast (an imperfect plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed tomorrow) Strategy is iterative not linear (fast reactive cycles)
Learning A bias towards action (learn by playing the game)
Operations Manage failure Manage inertia (e.g. existing practices, political capital, previous investment) Effectiveness over efficiency
Structure Think aptitude and attitude Think small (as in teams, “two pizza”) Distribute power and decision making

Phase 3: Better for Less

Leading Be the owner (take responsibility) Think big (inspire others, provide direction) Strategy is complex (there will be uncertainty) Commit to the direction, be adaptive along the path (crossing the river by feeling the stones)
Be humble (listen, be selfless, have fortitude)
Learning A bias towards the new (be curious, take appropriate risks)
Operations Optimise flow (remove bottlenecks) Do better with less (continual improvement) Set exceptional standards (great is just not good enough)
Structure Seek the best Provide purpose, mastery, & autonomy

Phase 4: Continuously Evolving

Leading Exploit the landscape There is no core (everything is transient)
Learning Listen to your ecosystems (acts as future sensing engines)
Structure Design for constant evolution There is no one culture (e.g. pioneers, settlers and town planners)

Additional Instructions

By examining the doctrine in an organization, you can get an idea of how adaptable it is and how well it will respond to external change or gameplay. You can do this with your own organization, or with other organizations.

In-person? Gather several people from different levels of the organization and perform the above self-assessment together. Distributed? See this form-based assessment by Justin Stach.

Once you’ve assessed the current state of doctrine in your organization, you can go about addressing areas of weakness, starting with the first phase.

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