The Control-Pressure model is efficient in so far as it is able to consistently generate output that can meet the most exacting standards in a timely manner. However there is a hidden cost. The two pillars that support it are compliance and accountability. Compliance creates restricts movement to prescribed track. Accountability provides the stick that drives performance along the track. The resulting cost lies in:
- Diminishing returns- Over time as the employees become inured to the pressure, Thus the amount of pressure that must be brought to bear to produce a given outcome continues to rise. In the meantime the work fatigue grows as well. There is a certain point where the increase in fatigue outweighs the increment in outcome from incremental pressure and the system begins to go into sustained decline.
- Rigidity- all the emphasis is placed on consistency and speed creating a mindset that is not actively seeking new and better ways to improve the process. This adversely impacts innovation, resourcefulness, and responsiveness.
- Reactivity- the narrow band mind-set creates a blinker effect wherein the employee is just trying to keep up and becomes increasingly oblivious to what is going on around them within the company as well as how the customer is reacting to the service provided.
- Morale- the continuous increase in pressure turns the organization into a kind of prison where management finds itself playing the guards and the workers become the inmates.
The knee-jerk response to the limitations of the prevailing paradigm is to seek some utopia in which there is a complete absence of conflict and tension. Not only is this not desirable, it is impossible- since any movement requires a degree of tension. The challenge is in transmuting this from a negative destructive pressure to a create force- a dynamic tension. The objective of the new paradigm will be to maintain this tension not allowing it to dissipate into groupthink and consensus on the one hand or into a kind of directionless cacophony of dissonant voices on the other- each demanding to be heard but loath to listen to the other. (not very much different than a kindergarten class)
Shifting from one paradigm to another is not as simple as ascertaining where we are, identifying where we wish to go, and plotting the straightest course between the two points. Instead it requires us to go back and start from scratch. This translates to returning to the core principles from whence the present paradigm came, and then deriving an entirely new iteration attuned to the modern context. The two per-eminent principles, the two pillars so to speak, upon which this transitional approach is based are:
- Alignment- aligning all the activities of the organization with it core competitive edge (Edge).
- Flow- ensuring that all obstructions within the supply chain are minimized thereby maximizing the speed and ease of transnational flow