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a blog by Chris Barrow

Reaching your ceiling of complexity

All growth happens in stages. And in each stage of growth, people hit a point where they can’t grow any further using their existing set of skills and knowledge. This is what I call The Ceiling of Complexity. And it happens time and time again, in every stage of growth.

Dan Sullivan - Strategic Coach

Almost a year ago, Boris announced lockdown 1.0 and, for many of us, it was necessary to pivot very quickly and redesign our businesses.

As each phase of the Covid experience has arrived, we have had to adapt to the changing circumstances rapidly:

  • Lockdown 1.0

  • Return to work

  • Lockdown 2.0 (the tiers)

  • Lockdown 3.0

When we look back this last year will perhaps be seen as one in which agility became more important than ever for survival - and we have proved to ourselves that "we can do it".

Before Covid, I frequently had to deal with reluctance to change within my client base and the wider dental community. The Adoption Cycle identified the innovators as a small minority of rebels.

Post-lockdown I wonder - are folks going to move backwards on The Adoption Cycle and resume their former place as early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards?

Or are many more of us going to learn from this that being innovative (a rebel) is more than OK - perhaps essential going forward?

I began with a quote from Dan Sullivan about the Ceiling of Complexity - what happens when you have maxxed out a particular way of working. You have nothing left to give and cannot grow any further.

There's a systematic approach to what to do next:

  1. Creative Destruction - knock it down flat and imagine it afresh, knowing what you know now, determining what you want more of and less of;

  2. Design - create the next version of your business model;

  3. Re-launch - tell your clients/patients/customers/community that this is how you are going to be doing things from now on;

  4. Recruit - sign up those who want to stay with you, say a pleasant good-bye to those who don't (leave the door open) and prospect for new members of your tribe;

  5. Deliver - make good on your promise to provide value.

Until such time as your reach your Ceiling of Complexity again - and then rinse and repeat.

Don't tell me that you cannot do that - you just spent a year doing it.

Don't stop doing it - that isn't status quo, it's stagnation.

p.s. I reached my Ceiling of Complexity on 1st March 2021 - I'm creatively destroying and redesigning my business as I write this.

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