Industrial Age Lag

is a dangerous and unsustainable competitive disadvantage


Industrial Age Lag is a dangerous and unsustainable competitive disadvantage. It slows innovation and transformation in great businesses whilst losing them their top talent.

In the Industrial Age, organisations were built as predictable machines. Our role in the machine was to show up at a location between certain times and predict what the boss wanted from us.

Delivering what the boss wanted made us and our families safe. Failure endangered our family’s wellbeing. Challenging the boss was high risk.

If you were very good at being right, you received extra status and financial reward. Now your job was to tell others how to do it right and to supervise their work.

We were carefully trained from our first day at school to be obedient; ready to fit into the Industrial Age ‘machine’. An age of parent/child relationships, of command and control.

We developed deeply engrained perceptions of how to stay safe. These perceptions make it feel dangerous to try to innovate, to transform, to engage differently with senior people.

Our thinking and emotions were literally ‘wired’ for Industrial Age rules of command and control, punish and reward.

Adaptable, fast, competitive Intelligence Age organisations are not built as machines. They are designed as agile organisms. Organisms in which each cell must be able to adapt to respond to the situation around it AND has the environment around it that supports and co-ordinates that adaptation.

Transitioning from The Industrial Age Machine to the Intelligence Age Organism requires us to quickly identify and remove areas of Industrial Age Lag in thinking, behaviours, management styles and systems that people think are keeping them safe.

This work is SYMMETRICAL

Any work solely with the managers and Exec will be met with ‘resistance’ by people who do not understand how to accept the, once dangerous, invitation to engage, adapt and challenge.

Any attempt to build engagement and energy solely in the people will soon be squashed by unaware managers or exec teams whose need to command and control will teach the people that it is unsafe to adapt and engage.


©Symmetry International 2021, All Rights Reserved

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.