Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How to Build an Organization of Future

The future of organization has amazing digital traits such as customer-centricity, empathy, and participation.

The future is already here, the digital is the age of customer-centricity; the age of empathy, the age of collaboration; the age of co-creating and the age of people, but either strategically or tactically, how to build such an organization of future?

Emphasize on participation, relationships, communicationAn organization of today or the future needs to be organized in such a way that it is a part of the modern world. In other words, it cannot be organized using the outdated, mechanistic, Newtonian paradigm that resulted in bureaucracies. Instead, today's digital companies need to be organized in keeping with the quantum world,  they need to emphasize participation, relationships, communication, and realize that they will need to renew themselves periodically to cope effectively with change and have a fluid structure that responds effectively to their function at the moment. Most will likely be quite small and networked with similarly sized and structured companies on as needed basis. The persistence and resilience summarized in the great statement, "Don’t rest until you’ve done everything you can do to make your organization as resilient, inventive, inspiring, and accountable as it can be. 

Advocate the mantra of continuous improvement. There should always, at every turn be a taste of better days, of continual improvement of retrospective action planning. Incremental milestones, hallway discussions, lunchroom chats are all relevant sources of creative ideas and places where discussion about that better future can be nurtured. It does not need to be only during strategic discussions or during transformation change initiatives, everywhere, anytime is a reasonable time to innovate and challenge. Modern management is responsible for enabling this collaborative, innovative, agile environment. Nurturing dissent and consideration rather than relentless drive to achieve a single metric is the only way to move forward.

Develop the culture of agility and adaptability. The concept of faster change—being agile and rapidly adaptable so the constant buffeting from disruptive forces can be challenged or accommodated to the enterprise’s advantage—is the goal of many business operations. Yet, changing an organization’s culture is not so easily done because traditions are closely held as norms, values, and beliefs. In addition, the nature of organizational structure—the hierarchy—can slow the process of review and adaptation. The easiest way, therefore, to make change happen is by developing a culture that is self-empowered and is able to continually evaluate its methods and operations in light of customer needs, functional deficiencies, and market forces to bring about new realities and efficiency.

Ensure you have staff teams and managers who are flexible, innovative and have vision. A business can't change if the staff is resistant to innovation. In order to ensure your teams are "flexible, innovative and have vision", you need to follow the same principles of leadership that are known to engage employees. You need to measure employee engagement so that you can identify either the pockets of resistance or systemic issues that need to be resolved so you don't waste valuable resources and market timing on a failed launch. There is no way to be ready for the future if the people aspect of the issue is not considered and dealt with properly. Some humble comments are: 
-Ensuring a bond and culture within the company. 
-Valuing employees, seeing them as a capital instead of head counts or qualified labor force. 
-Finding a vision/mantra reflecting the objectives and soul of the company. This should be a collaborative process. Not a top down statement. 
-Valuing contribution from within, in the form of critiques. Rewarding those who care. 

Self-empowered employees and teams catalyze the changes: By having an empowered workforce that is able to respond to changing conditions, using its own initiative can truly make a business nimble. These are people who have the organizational knowledge, have built relationships, and have established their credibility. Because of their insider know-how, they will be the ones to see the need for change—often first to realize the threats and appreciate the opportunities—and have the passion for making things happen. They know that satisfied customers are the foundation for building the enterprise’s reputation. These individuals are not a group of outsiders who will need to do a study, uncover a solution, then convince others that something must be done, and in the end force new ideas upon work units using cajoling or the threat of dire consequences.  People who are empowered, intrinsically motivated, and self-confident because they are well trained and supported, will beat the pants off others who have been compelled and coaxed to do what needs to be done. Empowerment, in this case, builds a culture that willingly confronts issues and makes changes because people know and understand that fulfilled customers are returning customers and that their own lives are enriched because they are the ones who make it happen. 

By leveraging the latest digital technology trends such as social or mobile, building an organization of future is not too far way. In addition, to the best of our ability, business leaders try to predict and plan for the future applying a range of techniques, but some things remain at any given point in time such as being able to critically think through all the chaos and confusion around us sometimes and make the relevant decisions given available information, the ultimate goal of business either today or future is to achieve high-performance result and lead high-level business maturity. 


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