Traditions, established mores and long-held beliefs and practices should not be forgotten. However, in many instances, they should be discarded.
Technology, innovations and creativity represent the future. Significantly, the future has arrived.
The past should be recalled, reviewed, refined and yes, in some instances, revered. Then it should be put to bed, retired or archived.
The current charge, charter and challenge for all management teams are to establish, foster and provide support for a host of small, open, flexible and motivated teams to explore, discover, improve and introduce new products, services and processes.
Necessarily, the most appropriate team-members will be the individuals who do not seek or are bound by rules, structures and strictures.
By nature, they will need to be leaders (if not by title, certainly by character) who are prepared to set, implement and maintain new flexible rules. A healthy tolerance of risk and possible failure will be imperative. So too with a willingness to learn, as well as a predisposition to sharing, to celebrating and acknowledging the contributions of others. That is, a hive of activity in which everyone is contributing, being committed and understanding their roles to create...wealth, sales, satisfaction and development.
Cabals, in-groups and concepts like being in the tent rather than outside the tent have no place in the dynamic nature of the optimal fast-evolving entities. Job descriptions will be malleable and “territorialism” will rightly be deemed to be a thing of the past.
Hierarchal structures and centralised decision making cannot respond or make decisions fast enough to match the current rate of change in the needs and expectations of consumers and clients. As a consequence many businesses lag, become exposed, vulnerable and typically falter.
The nature and speed of change within the marketplace is typified by the transformation of “word-of-mouth” to “word-of-mouse”. The latter is an instant, comprehensive process which is difficult to measure, monitor, influence or control, let alone respond to.
Responses that are required to negotiate layers of an organisation, filters, blockages and egos are left in a shadow. That can be a dark lonely place to find oneself.
The good news is that now that the future has arrived bureaucracies will only be the subject of interest to business archaeologists. These quaint fossils and those who inhabit them will doubtless fight for their retention and will revel in the rules and inertia. Such entities and people will be the subject of rightful distain and will confront the removal of funding.
We will all be witness to “Take Two” of the concept of horizontal organizations, in which everyone is a manager, responsible for performance, client and customer satisfaction, continuous learning and constant evolution.
Image. “I am responsible for this and I will see it through to your satisfaction” will be the only utterance that external and internal customers will ever experience. Phrases like “It's not my department” and “I don't have the authority” will be disposed of, along with those incompetents and individuals who are reluctant to take on personal responsibility.
NO PLACE TO HIDE
The new dynamic organisation will by nature be lean and definitely not mean. There will be no fat. Nor will there be space for the uncommitted to hide. Transparency and real-time accountability will provide the feedback necessary to motivate and to provide clarion-clear assessments of performance and sub-optimal performance levels.
“A designer knows he has achieved perfection
not when there is nothing left to add, but when
there is nothing left to take away”
-Antoine De Saint-Exupery
No, one is not dreaming, experiencing an out-of-body phenomena or withdrawing from an encounter with some hallucinates. This is a wake-up call. It's a brand new day, possibly the birth of a new generation of businesses.
Support infrastructures will be psychological rather than physical or documented in countless procedure manuals, job descriptions and policy statements.
Business owners, managers and teammembers will be in a true union of endeavours, visions, beliefs, goals and action.
Refreshingly, there will be no explicit or implicit threats for the team-members to slow down and to work-to-rules. There will be no rules.