The sigmoid curve is derived from the sigmoid function, an algebraic formula that shows how every growth curve will eventually plateau unless you interrupt its cycle.
The paradox for us in business is that the optimal time to interrupt a growth curve is before it reaches its peak. This is difficult because we find it counterintuitive to change something when it seems to be working perfectly fine.
However, the ability to anticipate change and make it happen before performance begins to drop off is the key to maintaining momentum in our personal lives, our teams and our organisations.
The basic premise behind the sigmoid curve is that nothing grows forever in its current structure. Our definition of ‘structure’ relates to critical assumptions that are at the very core of important decisions we have to make. We base all changes, whether in our personal lives or in an organisation, on these critical assumptions.
Assumptions that are relevant for big changes we make in our business today tend to have a lifespan of approximately 18 months before they’re rendered precarious or invalid. And no surprise as globalisation brings markets and consumer trends closer together, the cycles of change are compressing into even shorter periods over the years to come.
This means that we should try to build capability in ourselves and our teams to anticipate the future and to be ready to proactively lead incremental, as well as transformative changes that are essential to sustain momentum and growth.