The Change is new normal and organizations need to deal with it. You hear this magic word - change - everywhere you go. Companies and individuals that work inside different businesses have to develop and execute the change. The change enables the employer to be ahead of the game. Every enterprise wants to have a leading position. In addition to grow and maintain its position as #1 in its vertical. But what does this actually mean? Is it just a mix of actions that nobody - or at least a single employee - does not understand? How do you measure the success of change?
What does change mean?
Often corporate strategy mentions change, and employees tend to think in a different way. For those who have been working in big enterprises, word change has sometimes negative vibes. Change brings cost cuttings and “programs” that will improve efficiency. In other words, a certain amount of employees will need to find a new employer. On the other hand, “change” introduces opportunities. An individual can learn and find a more suitable job function inside the company.
I have seen both. That said I do understand both worlds, but I am not quite sure if executors of the change(s) have always understood, what is the real goal behind the change process. The executors can easily justify the actions just by saying: this is what the management team decided. So we act based on it. Well, that was true back in the '90s but not anymore - and I am going to explain next, why I am a strong believer of team-based organization and why it will enable employees to give their best.
Traditional organizations familiar organisation structure, which means that management is on top and there are a different amount of layers underneath. There are typically 5-9 layers and in each layer. In addition, the organization has typically dedicated teams handling different operations. The amount of layers and teams depends on the size of the organization. Typically, the size of the team is 1+10, that is the manager and 10 employees. Again, the number of teams in each business unit or function will vary, but you can see anything between 2-5 teams under one manager.
The challenge organizations structured the way described above is that all the instructions will come from above, that is your level plus one (or more). So somebody, somewhere, decides early on, what the team 5-9 levels down need to accomplish during given fiscal. One might say that this is a good thing and for some it just might be, but to many others and especially to Millennials this will kill creativity and productivity.
Employees in modern companies do not want to be told what to do and when. Of course, you have to set certain limits, but the big picture is that the organization allows individuals to focus on what they are good at. And going further, employees are rewarded when they do their utmost and everybody gets it to fare share of the cake. This kind of organizations consists of teams, in which individual employees are naturally selected to one (or several) team(s). By doing this, companies make sure that employees do their best and this performs the best way as they know that team can make independent decisions.
It is exactly this possibility - freedom to make independent decisions in teams so the team decides, not the management somewhere in the corner room - that is the key driver in the modern organization. But be not mistaken, giving this kind of freedom also comes with great responsibility, so each member of the team have to agree on main goals (or KPIs) and fully understand them. And not only understand, but know how individuals daily work will contribute to these goals.
So to summarize, think carefully about what kind of organisational structure would make the most sense in your business model and plan for change. You might find a few ideas to this below.
Introducing new tools or executing true change
Do you recognise the following scenario: sales director of company X calls in a meeting saying I got the orders form executive board that we need to change sales business unit in order to be more efficient. How do we do this? A hand goes up in the room: let's buy new CRM. Well, too often this is what happens in traditional organizations. They try to improve a single business unit by investing in another new and fancy IT tool. But is this really the way to go? Will the new system, no matter how cool or sophisticated it solves the true problem? No. The fact that sales pipeline looks different after the new tool implementation project will not solve the root cause - on the controversial. If you try to implement old habits into a new tool, you might end up going backwards instead.
The new tool does not fix everything
So if selecting a new tool is not the way to go then what is? First, we need to understand what do we want to change and thus improve. Typically this has to do with processes and the fact that change does not only impact one single business unit - like sales mentioned in our example - it impacts the whole company. Changing the way company sells have a huge impact on delivery, development and support functions. This is because all business units need to be aligned, sales have to be able to impact how delivery and development is executed and vice versa.
Sales have to understand what motivates other functions and of course, other functions have to do the same, too. As the mutual understanding grows, business units can start to think, what are the common goals and KPIs they need to put in place in order to execute the change. As goals are mutually agreed, it is much easier to commit to those. The business unit can change and improve their processes when the mutual goals are found.
And once goals and processes are re-designed, you can think about the tools.
Gain more by reducing Noise
The business needs a dynamic solution in order to execute the change in the way of working. The solution itself needs to be flexible and information needs to flow seamlessly between every business unit. These units should be able to change the process on the fly. The solution has to be able to adapt to users requirements. If a single employee does not wish to receive information on, he or she can independently decide on that. The key thing about the solution in that most of the information inside the company is public. Only some information is not. Remember; for the use of teams executing independent decisions. Check out what is Knowledge Management.
This is why we made Hailer. Our solution can help organizations to allow the change - the new normal - to take place the way companies want. We can deliver a process driven solution that reduces emails (=noise) so that you are always up to date what is the status of your work. No more who said what and when - employees can see relevant information in one glimpse. Read our earlier blog post on structured communication.
Join us for the next generation of organizational change and enable constant improvement.