From the concrete experience: how to move from the organizational chart to the collaborative network?
As a preamble, I want to recall the need for the fundamentals for good collaboration in the company: the Values, Vision and Mission of the company are they well shared and maintained by all stakeholders?
In increasingly turbulent environments, the old pyramid organization has shown its limits. From now on, the meaning and the stake take precedence over the quantified objective, confidence over constraint, disorder over order, responsibility over obedience, the project over discipline and co-developed information and shared on controlled information.
Against the backdrop of the advent of a networked society, our era is marked by the convergence of four major ruptures :
– a technological breakthrough train a methodological break : digital technology and new forms of communication and dissemination of information have shattered the units of time, territory and function. This situation leads us to stop thinking in binary because of the permanent and fluctuating links of a complex thought.
– a sociological break: the quest for meaning, the idea of sharing, the desire for autonomy and even freedom drive individuals in turn as citizens, consumers and employees.
– a quantitative break with the advantage of the qualitative : due to ease of access to information, we have moved from a logic of mass production and distribution to a logic of solution, use and relevance for the individual. In other words, an economy of the intangible – the relation and the data for short – whose functioning is the opposite of that of the material economy.
The temptation could be to reverse the pyramid. Some did, like Zappos, and tried the Holacracy. They quickly revised their position – while retaining certain methods – in the face of the loss of efficiency that this organization generated. The system was becoming sclerosing with reduced productivity and a feeling of insecurity among employees.
Also, to have built and animated it within two companies, one of the solutions is to set up – with all the players – an ecosystem of interrelationships in which each one cultivates its contribution serving the vision and mission of the company.
The expert professions ensure the operation and its daily improvement, the management plays its role of facilitator.
The aim is to keep a network of recurring relationships alive, in other words RITES and RHYTHMS of meetings which aim to ensure operational excellence.
To be concrete, here are the key steps to build AND maintain independent, responsible and stimulating collaborations:
1. Agree on the contribution of each business expertise to achieve the company’s mission
2. Know to all the co-actors each of the business contributions: the value chain
3. Identify the everyone’s needs vis-à-vis other businesses so that everyone can guarantee their contribution (internal customer-supplier logic)
4. Define the RHYTHMS meetings necessary for streamline collaboration and decision-making processes : neither too much nor too little … and remain free to modify these rhythms at any time (no reunion)
5. Define these meetings as RITES : the actors concerned agree in advance on the expectations and objectives of each meeting until the (brief) timing, the necessary preparation and appoint the facilitator-decision-maker
6. Determine the satisfaction measures for each profession and ensure recurring communication to all
Once these steps have been constructed we should be able to identify a new flowchart that integrates no longer hierarchical links but functional links.
For projects, ad hoc by nature, the collaborative mode follows the same logic of internal customer-supplier relationships. The major difference lies in the format of the meetings – very brief – and their frequency: so-called “agile” methods are the most suitable. The SCRUM continues to prove itself.
This self-animated organization is a real source of efficiency for the company andflourishing for employees (1 + 1 = 3). The main trap turns out to be not to question these RITES and RHYTHMS over time. The evolution of environments, tools and team maturity leads to change in order to do better …
To do this, the MANAGEMENT must maintain the conditions for cultivate everyone’s involvement, clairvoyance and assertiveness, this is probably its major contribution. See article The Manager 3.0
“I managed 3 companies and lived the different life cycles of the company: creation, growth, recovery, transformation… On the strength of these experiences, I created Pepper Board to help managers to transform their business model and their managerial culture to implement it. Our approach is to engage teams in change construction and install a process ofcontinuous improvement.