Ten Top Tips for Transformation
Prediction : At least 50% of all organisations around today will be dead or bought-out by the end of this decade.
This is the Decade of Transformation – so how do we ensure our organisations survive and thrive in the transformational times ahead?
Transformation towards the firm of the future requires DEDICATION
D for Diversity:
Diversity is a necessary condition for business to thrive in volatile times: where economies of scale are balanced by economies of scope; where globalisation interweaves with localisation; where embracing individuality goes hand-in-hand with maintaining the integrity of the team, organisation and wider business ecosystem. Differences are not normalised away but celebrated for what they can contribute to a redesigning for resilience. Shift from mono-cultural, singular, mass-orientated approaches to encouraging and incorporating diversity across the business.
E for Emergence:
The ‘new norm’ of turbulence in business requires a shift in conventional management thinking from over-reliance on top-down, hierarchical, risk-based approaches to managing within complexity. Managing within complexity juggles and combines varying styles and techniques. It encourages bottom-up emergence to flourish; establishing an all-pervasive values-led work ethic while guiding and coaching. Emergence has a self-generating quality, where individual parts of an ecosystem interact to provide an emergent order (an unfolding of events that are self-fuelled by the actions and interactions of the parts).
D for Decentralised:
As our linear, hierarchical, reductionist approach to business shifts to more networked, emergent ways of engaging and empowering ourselves and organisations, we find the centralised, stove-pipe, top-down approaches to organisational governance and process design give way to more decentralised, semi-autonomous, interconnected, locally-attuned ways of governing and behaving: less bureaucracy more empowerment.
I for Innovation:
Increased market volatility brings with it the need to create, develop and adapt new products and services under time-pressured conditions. In short, innovation is a critical success factor for the future – organisations able to innovate effectively, time and again shall win out over organisations that struggle to adapt. The firm of the future creates the conditions conducive for creativity by building a culture that facilitates, unlocks and supports people’s creative potential; an organisation that encourages people to overcome fears and inhibitions, where the work dynamic is of constant evolution, where failure is not criticised but embraced for what it is – an opportunity to learn, adapt and evolve.
C for Collaboration:
We are witnessing a shift in mentality and behaviour from the past approach of “dog eat dog” competition between businesses, business units, and employees to the future approach of collaboration across multi-functional teams, departments, organisations and business ecosystems: interconnectedness rather than separateness, collaboration rather than competition. Collaboration encourages the transcending of traditional boundaries and artificial separations in business; it interconnects to encourage sharing, co-creativity, a sense of belonging and an increased willingness to embrace change.
A for Authenticity:
Effective personal and organisational transformation is about being authentic, and true to your values and value; the authentic self and the authentic organisation go hand in hand. Those that learn to follow their true path shall be able to adapt and transform themselves and so the organisations and communities within which they operate. Those that remain incomplete and false (not rising to their true nature) will find it increasingly difficult to get away with benefiting themselves at the expense of others. Re-connecting with our authentic human nature and the natural world around us is one of the most joyous and yet pivotal actions we can undertake on our individual and collective journey towards sustainable living, working, doing and being.
T for Trust:
Being able to trust the people, organisational culture and stakeholder community you operate in becomes an important ingredient for success. The transformation towards a firm of the future requires embracing new ways beyond existing comfort zones while working with others in collaborative and emergent approaches. Courage and co-creation need trust to thrive.
I for Intuition:
The rational mind struggles to cope with the increasing complexity and volatility we find in business often leading to increased stress and reduced performance, but intuition can cope quite effortlessly. Re-connecting with our intuition by creating silence and space for our minds to re-balance both left and right brain hemispheres is fundamental for realising transformational change (in business and beyond). An important part of re-connecting is the need for reflection to continually deepen our intuition, and then using intuition to act with intention (taking responsibility for our choices and actions as well as those of our organisations).
O for Openness:
The more we open up to our environment, the more we tune in to the interconnected nature of business life, sensing and responding in the most optimal way. Likewise, the more we recognise the need for openness in our approaches to ways of operating the more we can positively adapt; shifting from closed-source to open-source approaches, for instance. Sharing knowledge freely is often contrary to our prevalent business mind-set; allowing oneself and organisation to be more open to sharing freely is an important part of the transformational journey.
N for Nature:
A firm of the future is a business inspired by nature. Nature is a deep source of inspiration. Connecting with nature can bring benefits of improved creativity, serenity, centeredness and well-being. Operating in harmony with nature is what true sustainable business is all about – not just seeking to ‘do less bad’ but creating the conditions conducive for life through holistic business value – this is good business sense. The transformational journey is about being inspired by nature, being connected to nature and being in harmony with nature, then by its very nature the organisation and leader has achieved a redesigning for resilience.
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