In the face of an obvious threat or opportunity, you can react with lightning speed. Whether it’s an immediate threat to your safety or a gold nugget you spot while hiking in a dry riverbed, you can instantaneously sense what’s going on, absorb the implications, think about your options, decide on one, and act.
These functions (sensing–absorbing–thinking–deciding-and-acting, or SATDA) are seamlessly integrated within your nervous system, so much so that they work together unconsciously, especially when the stakes are high. The same is not true, however, of the organizational nervous system.
Your organization doesn’t work nearly as fast. Responding to its major threats or seizing its big opportunities requires the activation of a diverse range of talent from in and around your organization – and those people are distributed, physically siloed, specialized, and speak different languages.
This is a universal truth. Your organization’s nervous system is fragmented. SATDA in your organization cannot progress quickly from stimulus to response, and it often fails to notice the stimulus in the first place.