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Redesigning the organization for today’s economy

A recession economy forces organizations to examine habits and organizational structure. Habits of greed, of paternalism, of incivility towards others in the workplace. To endure this recession well is to imagine and create new habits and values, efficient processes and innovative work structures. Organizations can not afford to waste anyone’s talents. The wealth is hidden in people, the greatest asset of any organization.

It is a time demanding innovation
It is a time to realign staff so they are invigorated, productivity is increased and the productivity has value to clients, customers and society.

Everyone needs and wants to contribute to a better organization, one with open communication and transparency, with massive creativity. People inherently want to provide value but they have to believe in what they’re doing and they have to be a part of the process. They need to discover and use their strengths. Value is in meaningful collaborative work and respectful relationships, living well with those in our workplaces.

It takes a true leader
to help the organization uncover its current values (not the ones written in organizational statements) and set goals that work in a new economy where pettiness, inflated egos and overconsumption simply don’t fit. That leader who can set a new organizational order and uncover talents would have these traits at minimum:

• Self-confidence—can listen attentively to others and consider their opinions, doesn’t feel threatened, doesn’t have to have the final word

• Curiosity—wants to know more, wants to learn, enjoys challenging others to see what they’ll imagine

• Eye for talent—observing, thinking about the potential in others that they may not realize

• Even temperament that invites collaboration---that can maneuver through the tantrums and the passions knowing that a group of people come up with better and more creative ideas and solutions than one person alone

• Ability to communicate effectively---in person, in emails, on the phone, in the midst of chaos and calm

Umair Haque in an Oct. 21 Harvard Business blog post, Why Traditional Recession Tactics Are Doomed To Fail This Time, writes
“Tomorrow's sources of advantage aren't like yesterday's. They're not built on being able to exploit, dominate, or coerce more strongly than others—they don't result from being harder, better, faster, stronger. They're about exactly the opposite: being softer, better able to fail, having the ability to be slower, gaining the capacity for tolerance and difference. Ultimately, they are about a true advantage—one that accrues not just to the corporation, at the expense of people, society, or the environment; but one that accrues to all.”

In another post, How to Build a Next-Gen Business Now, Haque writes
“Here are just a few of the most radical new organizational and management techniques today’s revolutionaries are already utilizing: open-source production, peer production, viral distribution, radical experimentation, connected consumption, and co-creation.” (He has links for each of these techniques.)

When the power, creativity and talents of people in an organization are unleashed…when there’s true civility and a bit of guidance……..organizations can be redefined for new production and value.

What do you think? What would you add?


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