Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Hybrid Organization

"There is no one right organization structure... Rather the task ... is to select the right organization for the task and mission at hand." -Peter Drucker.

With the fast pace of change and emerging digital technologies such as social, mobile and cloud, companies large or small are brainstorming the next generation of organizational design, how to take advantage of the new digital tools, how to improve productivity and enforce creativity & collaboration cross-enterprise ecosystem?

Hierarchical structures will be transcended to the interconnected or networked structure: Look at all the elements, including the human element, as an integrated system and functions as an organic living thing... 'individual' work and 'group' work cannot be done as a segregated form but within a 'framework' of an entire business ecosystems which include systems, processes, policies, culture, work climates, customers, supply-side chain, society, laws, etc., an integration of across global business, social and political systems...

The balance of a physical and virtual world: The challenge will continue to be: 'How to achieve a balance between 'virtual worlds' and 'the human connection.' Hybrid nature of organization well mixes the virtual social platform with the physical functional structure to enforce cross-functional collaboration and dot-connecting innovation. The impact of digital/social technology is right on- that the future of the organization will become more ‘virtual’ and that virtual organizational design expertise will become more important in the coming years. But deep human connection may still be important, and the connection is not only just about physical touch but more importantly as an emotional connection. While technology provides new frontiers for work systems, there are also challenges with issues of human 'connectivity.' What is intended to bring us closer together may leave us feeling further apart?

Organizational democracy: Organizational democracy will begin to become a fundamental management practice to update the hierarchical command-control systems. The organizational design needs to well reflect leadership competency; that democratic processes will overtake hierarchical control, and that culture will become a more fundamental organizational asset through the impact of digital/social technology. The key is to improve business agility and enhance cohesive business capabilities. Functions that need the agility and customer intimacy can be decentralized and perhaps even embedded in business processes. Functions that are common to the enterprise or commodity services can be centralized to derive scale benefits. That said, the lower you go on the technology stack the more it makes sense to centralize. The functions closest to the business are best federated. Where the line crosses is driven by the complexity of the business model.

It’s a hybrid, networked, or extended modern working environment: The emergent organizational models will integrate with social process models (both structured and unstructured social processes). Chaos theories and the complex adaptive system will integrate with developmental processes... It’s a hybrid, networked, extended modern working environment, the digital computing technology enables the more seamless virtual platform, enhance the physical organization structure, empower workforce sharing the thoughts and ideas, engage customers and partners to voice the concerns and feedback, and encourage the broader conversation and interaction within its business eco-system and social value chain. But the supportive leadership has always been the basic premise of the organizational models. It's a matter of getting senior leadership to buy into the practice, This is a strong point of costs reduction and optimization of the technologies; in other words, provide economies of all kind of resources (material and human) that goes straight to ROI.

The challenge is to have a harmonized vision about overall business capabilities and maturities in an organization and build a customized structure to enforce open communication and collaboration. A hybrid organizational structure can bring greater awareness of the intricacies and the systemic value of organizational systems, processes, people dynamics, technology, resource allocation, supply-side variables, market variables, economies of scale, etc. People are the focal point of any organizational design, the purpose of the tailored hybrid organization is on the deliverable quality, to improve business productivity, agility, to delight customers and engage employees, to encourage innovation and optimization as well.


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