Transitions: External Threats with Open Organizations

Transitions: External Threats with Open Organizations

We’re transitioning from a world of “walled garden” organizations to those that are open to their environment. In this episode, David and Justin discuss that while this comes with tremendous advantages in innovation and growth, it also comes with security risks from outside threats. Here are the notes from the show:

  • “Better together” can be a scary phrase when it comes to protecting your organization from outside threats
    • While some of the topics we discuss can be somewhat heretical to the traditional way of doing things, the topic of protecting your organization from outside threats may be the most intimidating
    • As leaders we often think we need to create a walled garden, fortress, or tornado shelter – these are our metaphors
    • The problem is that we know that innovation, creativity, and shaping a new future don’t happen in a tornado shelter – they happen outside of it – but that’s where the wild things are as well
  • How should you handle external threats in an interconnected world?
    • We all understand what a catastrophe technical shut downs can be, or even other catastrophic events in the market place that become life and death events.
    • How can we best protect our organizations from these type of events in an interconnected world? Martin Reeves, the author of the book: “Your Strategy needs a Strategy” worked on the principles that would help mitigate or prevent these types of events in this interconnected world.
    • The transition we are talking about is the transition from an organization moving from a closed system, basically isolated from all other organizations, customers, or vendors,etc. to an open system, where the interconnectedness connects the organization interrelate with many stakeholders all the time.
    • With this open, interconnectedness comes the very real and urgent problem of the need for security and a defensive system to survives various kinds of organizational threatening events.
  • Threats come in many forms – technical threats as well as competitive
    • Systems connect via APIs (Application Program Interfaces) and allow us to do wonderful things; but also open up the door to vulnerabilities
    • Philosophically, for us to be able to choose good, evil is also a possibility
  • Human immune system is a good model for how to handle external threats
    • Simon Levin’s work on the topic is instructive
    • Complex adaptive systems that interconnected businesses are today use identical principles to survive life and death threats that they face everyday in the ecosystem of business today
    • Parallel’s with the Lean/Agile movement we see today
  • 6 Principles
    • Heterogeneity
    • Modularity
    • Redundancy
    • Complete Adaptability
    • Prudence
    • Embedded
  • Romans 12:2

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