Many companies go through large transformation or OD programs that sets themselves up for growth. The dilemma faced most often by them is how to carry forward the learnings on a sustainable basis. While the transformation initiatives are underway, the leadership has to put in place formal mechanisms that would sustain the momentum and more importantly create impact.
In this fourth and concluding blog of the series, here are some instances that could give some pointers.
Healthcare/nursing services provider Buurtzorg has built a custom IT application that helps all self managing teams stay connected within the care giving community. The web platform is built to create a transparent working culture where teams can see each other’s performance, communicate and learn from each other, share their outcomes – good or bad – without any fear. Coupled with the IT platform was a huge investment to build a culture of self management that has helped the company grow globally, achieve 50% productivity gains and significantly increased employee retention.
Haier, the white goods manufacturer has an “intrapreneurship” model complete with advisors, coaches and investors that enables all their internal micro-enterprises to flourish financially. By doing this Haier has built a team culture that is always curious to do the next best thing for their customers and always willing to learn from failures
Buurtzorg, Haier and many others have also institutionalized certain practices. For e.g. every self managing team has a threshold in terms of size. If the team size goes beyond that threshold, it is split into two self-managing teams. Aggregator roles such as managers of managers are minimized or eliminated in the org structure. Some companies have hired life coaches as part of their workforce to help employees.
As narrated to me by the Chairman of a leading FMCG company, a significant amount of time and energy should be spent by the leadership team in ensuring they play the role of a “culture guardian” to help create visible impact. The culture guardians are the glue that hold the transformation programs together and help delivery impact.
Even in organizations that thrive with high levels of empowerment and individual accountability, senior leadership team would need to set the ball rolling and be seen visibly as practitioners of behaviors they want to be seen within the company.
Its been really exciting sharing these experiences across four blogs. Here’s a quick recap of this series:
1) Growth is exciting, but it also brings in complacency. In order to repeat successes, organizations tend to go for standardization and process controls. In this digital age, these could be risks to watch out for
2) To transform and put the company back on growth, you need brave leadership to let employees ideate and experiment, learn from failures and create a platform for employees to thrive
3) As management philosophies have dramatically changed from task management to outcome management, leaders would need to embrace empowerment, self management and transparency to govern rather than insist on compliance to organizational rules and policies
4) Business leaders should prioritize building an enterprise eco-system that would aid in creating impact and play the role of culture guardian for visible impact. Growth is a natural outcome when the organization shows learnability, agility and curiosity.
Thanks for your attention to this series. Please feel free to connect with me for any thoughts or comments.
Blog 1 of the series : https://www.effilor.com/post/taming-the-blue-whale
Blog 2 of the series : https://www.effilor.com/post/brave-leadership
Blog 3 of the series : https://www.effilor.com/post/workplace-democracy