Recently we’ve been fortunate to have two talented teams from two wonderful businesses put their energies to work within the walls of the Studio/E Clubhouse. Jacobs and Super Radiator Coils have made the commitment to not sit on their successes, but rather push themselves even harder when it matters most: when they’re healthy. Their CEO’s, Jackie Gibney and Rob Holt, respectively, are Studio/E members who’ve challenged their teams to gain the exploratory skills and practices they learned at the Studio, ensuring that these necessary elements of operational culture become woven into their companies. And we love what we’re seeing.
Think about it this way: as humans (actually all living things on planet Earth) we have an arc to our lives. We’re born, we spend a brief time as an infant, a toddler, a teenager, a young adult and then we hit our mature peak. Awesome, right? Damn right. But then the wrinkles arrive. Perhaps a gray hair or two shows up. You might find yourself in a new love affair…with Advil. And then you learn that gravity isn’t just a good idea, it’s a law. Yes, currently it’s just not possible to cheat aging and an ultimate exit from our mortal bonds.
But here’s something else we know: if you adopt important practices at that mature peak; practices that include maintaining those wonderful attributes of youth, you can often prolong the good times.
Organizations seem to have the same life arcs. At Studio/E, we see start-ups trying to make it to adulthood, we see mature outfits that are feeling their market power, and we also see some that have fallen in love with their adult self so much so they failed to invest in making sure they’re relevant for the long haul. Netflix vs. Blockbuster. Which one do you think took their success for granted and which one pushed themselves beyond being satisfied with what they were already doing so well?
Whereas for us humans, those anti-aging practices include things like diet and exercise. For organizations, we’d argue you can effectively substitute consistent learning and exploration as the way to keep you and your team running at a nimbler pace for a longer time. It’s not that you can’t pull yourself out of that arc on the downside, it’s just that it takes so much more energy. And ultimately, the number of possible pathways back to health become lessened as well.
Jacobs and SRC are being led by some wonderful explorers. Beyond just talented leaders at the top, we’ve seen their greater teams truly resonate to what it’s going to take to keep them young for the long-haul. It’s been an honor to play with them, and we look forward to watching them continue to thrive!