Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Contemporary business becomes more complex than ever, due to the velocity and variety of changes and interdependent business eco-system, there's often a gap between what leadership says it wants and the types of behaviors that their management processes actually encourage. Therefore, DIY –“Do It Yourself” culture should be promoting and permeating into future of true democratizing enterprise, from self-service leadership, to self-managing team, and self-service data and analytics, as every leader and her/his organization will be pondering:
- How can we be small and big at the same time, young and old, brave and wise, deep and broad?
- How can we move towards a management model which works more with and less against human nature?
- How can we qualify our thinking process to make decisions with the right data at the right time and at the right level?
- How can we practice the coherent set of leadership and management principles?
1. Self-Service Leadership
- Self-Service Leaders Convey Authenticity
Leaders behavior is shaped by how leaders perceive themselves, by their character, drives and vision. At today’s social era, it’s more effective for leaders to lead via self-reflection or “self service”, such as blog or communicate through multiple social channels, in order to deliver more cohesive message about authentic self and thought process in key decision making, to build up unique leadership signature
The self-service leadership will deliver one’s self-concept which is reflected in the choices we make, how to procure the products and service, the criteria when selecting vendors, the value we appreciate, what professions to pursue, and how to exercise leadership., etc.
The good leaders are also good communicators. They have empathy to understand different audiences, and communicate appropriately in the right forms to the right people at the right level; The media may glorify and vilify a leader overnight, the rumors may destroy leaders’ reputation once a while, but a self-service leader will have self-confidence to deliver the vision when they encounter resistance, but also have self-awareness, be cautious about too strong ego which may become arrogant and narcissistic.
- Consistency is paramount.
Self-service leaders may also lead via consistence, focus and sustainability. They express the cohesive messages about their leadership essentials and styles. DIY-self-service means open leadership, leaders enjoy sharing ideas, be open to new or creative ideas, always consider the other points of view, participate in and support group or team efforts, and work collaboratively with peers.
That said, self-service leaders eager to learn about self and others, willing to learn from feedback via social platform, also be interested in helping others think and experiment, embrace diversity, multiple sources and points of view, be resilient and flexible about changes and communicate it clearly.
- Underdog Leaders: Self-service is about using the right language of accountability
Many underdog talents also face all different kind of career ceilings, self-service is a better practice to use the language of positive self-promotion and accountability, it’s more about promoting fresh concept, updated knowledge, and unique value proposition, to break stereotypical leadership image in 20th century, and standout to be a strong influencer & thought leaders who can make the dent in the universe and advance humanity.
Self-service underdog leaders can build up reputation via open mindset, and relying on healthy discussion & facts and collective wisdom to point the way toward the right conclusion or decision, also become advocate of diversified viewpoint and cultivate more high-potential underdogs.
2. Self-Organizing Team, Self-Regulated Organization
- Self-Organizing Team Nurtures Creativity:
In 20th century’s command-control working environment, majority of employees are doing what they’ve been told, compliance is the key to survive; that’s why two third of employees do not feel engaged at work. Now, the business becomes more dynamic, innovation is the only light every organization is pursuing now, at 21st century, nobody comes to work for being managed reactively, what maters now is creativity, the talents desire to work at the environment where they feel fulfilled and successful. And all talents intend to be self-determining and autonomous.
- Agile –Self-Organizing Team Best Practice
Self-Organizing team such as Agile/Scrum engineering team focuses on delivering work via culture of “PULL”, such a team well suited to adapt to the rapidly changes and complex business dynamic base on the interconnected actions of competitors, customers, users, and follow three I principles: Incremental, Iterative and Improving, it’s more focus on outside-in, customer viewpoint, instead of traditional top-down, inside-out business hierarchy.
Self-organizing team does not mean chaos, it means to build the cornerstone of self-regulating business, it should encourage transparency, and it won’t happen in darkness, there’s approval needed in big changes, the team secures flexibility and room to act and perform, the practice need reflect the fairness of the holistic performance evaluation, where changes in assumptions can be taken into account.
3. Self-Service Data & Analytics
- Self-Service Data:
We are not only embracing DIY culture enhanced by the latest technology trends such as CoIT-Consumerization of IT, and Social computing tools, now, we also live at the era of Big Data. The next level of self-service is self service on the data, both for internal and external use. It is about opening data and mastering the data, in order to gain business insight about customers, employees and products/services.
It will be an imperative to be able to do self-service on the data, because modern enterprises need to be much more permeable than they are accustomed to be. Business functions can self-service the data to analyze and capture the means for improving business. Protecting the data appropriately is essential while allowing self-service. So IT will focus on security, availability, and reliability increasingly.
- Self-Service BI and Analytics
With self-service data, non-technical users with easy-to-use analytics tools can be empowered to generate insights found that proactively responding to constantly changing business need, which is also the predominant reason organizations are sharpening self-service capabilities.
From a macro perspective, it’s easy to identify the biggest long-term trend in business intelligence, the self-service analytics tools are providing more professionals with the better interface, visual capabilities to access, analyze, and share data on their own. Such light-weight analytics tools will encompass a smart business with culture of DIY & analytics.
DIY, is no long just a acronym or buzzword, it’s the mainstream culture in the future of business.