In an ever-changing world,
there is no room for gears.
Until now, the company-machine has dominated the landscape of organizational models.
Companies cut from a single mold, organized like machines, rigid in their processes, in need of control and protection from impact. Employees are assigned specific tasks from above and have to move in a predetermined way to make the system work.
But today companies and people are inevitably exposed to constant disturbances.
In the last few decades, there have been attempts to adapt organizational models, but businesses still do not have the right tools to generate rapid and effective solutions. As a result, the talents are seeking greater freedom of expression and the new generations appear increasingly alienated from the workplace.
We are on the cusp of a historic transformation in which small adjustments do not remove the need for change.
The whole paradigm needs to be transformed.
The vision of the company-machine gives way more and more to a vision of a company that is a living organism. Animated by its own purpose and capable of interacting with the stimuli of the external environment, improving itself. Careful to cultivate internal relationships and to nurture the unique and original contribution of each individual, because it is only through the evolution of people that it can achieve its evolutionary purpose.
The shift from the paradigm of the machine to that of the living organism is precisely what enables companies to become antifragile.
A machine, however robust, can at best withstand the stresses and strains (of the market, of competition) but only a living system is able to exploit stresses to improve its performance by evolving and thriving. The immune system needs to be attacked in order to learn how to defend itself.
The antifragile approach.
The change from the machine paradigm to the living organism paradigm is precisely what allows companies to become antifragile.
Expose yourself to volatility and uncertainty
Excessive protection from stressors ends up creating weakness and fragility that can be fatal at critical moments.
Build a modular, layered structure
Antifragility requires a structure where the fragility of modules or layers allows the rest of the system to gain antifragility from learning.
Trial and error with short feedback cycles
Look for asymmetric options
Select non-linear options that allow you to limit your losses but not constrain your wins.
Adopt the "Barbell Strategy"
Working on the extremes: on the one hand many options with low risk and limited returns, on the other hand, a few options with limited risk but potentially unlimited returns.
Certainty and stability allow us to become very lean and essential, but fragile, while uncertainty requires having reserves to be used at the right time.
Skin in the game
An antidote to prevent that decision-makers do not bear the negative consequences of their actions.
Adopt the "Via Negativa"
The most robust knowledge comes from subtraction (what did not work) rather than addition (what worked but might not work in the future). The fragility of the system is reduced by subtracting the non-functional and harmful elements (things or people).
— THE ANTIFRAGILE QUESTIONS