“No matter what your walk of life, no matter how big or small your enterprise, no matter whether it’s for profit or not for profit, no matter whether you’re CEO or a unit leader, the question stands, How does your flywheel turn?”
I am rereading a small piece of the business classic Good to Great by Jim Collins and one of its key principles is turning the flywheel. Some key quotes stood out to me as they apply this week to our work and our organizations.
First, from Robert Burgelman of Stanford: “The greatest danger in business and life lies not in outright failure but in achieving success without understanding why you were successful in the first place.” It is so important for civic leaders to understand where and why we are succeeding instead of merely focusing on where we are stagnant or falling behind.
The second quote is from Collins himself: “The flywheel, when properly conceived and executed, creates both continuity and change. On the one hand, you need to stay with a flywheel long enough to get its full compounding effect. On the other hand, to keep the flywheel spinning, you need to continually renew, and improve each and every component.” My takeaway is that while we may be pursuing the same goals, our tactics must evolve, adapt and even be disposed of if we are to continue to have success.
I hope your flywheel is turning this week!