Stop insisting in the rigidity of org charts… Thoughtful leadership, teamwork and collaboration are key to winning.
In his Megatrends 2020-2030, author Peter Fisk reported on five megatrends. He argues—as most pundits do—that the rapid advancement of technology, especially that of artificial intelligence and machine learning, is at the center of these megatrends. His Megatrend 3 – technological breakthrough, proposes that the pace of change is exponential, not linear, and that the extent and pace of technological change is likely to have wide-reaching implications across almost all industries. We are living the Exponential Era, that according to Thomas L. Friedman, began in 2007, launching an era of constant adaptation. Back in the 1990s, American Military coined the expression of VUCA world – a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment. Couldn’t be more appropriate in today’s Exponential Era.
VUCA.org suggests that Best Practice was yesterday, and that Best Thinking is what is in demand today and tomorrow.
What are the consequences for the formal businesses? How should organizations structure themselves in an age of extreme uncertainty, dynamism, complexity, and openness? Not easy to have a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. What seems to be evident though, is that we all must produce new solutions for new circumstances/problems.
What seems very obvious in organizations today is that their organizational structures are rapidly becoming more malleable and organic. It has profound consequences in terms of leadership, decision-making, teamwork and communication, to mention just a few. Scholars and practitioners are advocating for organizations where the individuals are more autonomous, with enhanced socio-emotional skills, with sharp critical-thinking skills, hyperconnected, creative, equipped with a myriad of tools (call them apps if you would), higher social and cultural expectations. Their roles and responsibilities are more fluid. Job Crafting would be the preferred method for proactively redesigning tasks, relationships, and perceptions of jobs, making them feel like “their jobs” vs. the company’s jobs.
Moreover, it is now clear that last century dynamics such as formal authority, vertical accountability and directed leadership and rigid and pyramidal organization structure are morphing into organic organizations. Highly adaptable, flexible, innovative, caring and more suitable for the VUCA environment in order to achieve sustainable competitive advantage.
Higher-performers would be those companies that can effectively and sustainably cope with the speed of changes, with a long-term orientation; management processes are integrated and the strategy, structure, processes and people are aligned throughout the organization; focusing on continuously improving and reinventing its core capabilities; and equally important, spending much effort on improving working conditions and development opportunities of its workforce.
Individuals are for any organization what the cell is for life: the basic unit. Along these lines, teams are the multicellular organism that execute. Teams are the social setting to perform and for organizational learning. Having said that, teamwork has become an indispensable component of business processes in most organizations. Individuals must get good at “teaming”—reaching out, getting up to speed, effectively collaborating, and thriving. The skill set involves interpersonal awareness, skillful inquiry, and an ability to teach others what you know. interpersonal skills that will draw out the fullest intelligence of the team.
In today’s VUCA environment, team effectiveness is driven more by emotional intelligence (EQ) and cultural intelligence (CQ) than IQ.
Leaders need to shift from holding a static view of teamwork to this dynamic one.