The Responsive Organization Manifesto describes the disruptive factors impacting work today and the fundamental shifts organizations are making to take advantage of those changes. This document is not meant to be exhaustive or to convince people who may not already agree. It is only meant to catalyze those who do agree around a common starting point. Many business and thought leaders are already thinking deeply about these shifts. This document is a common framework around which like-minded people can connect and develop the deeper insights necessary to act. In the spirit of emergence and experimentation, this manifesto is meant to be a living document which will be updated as our understanding of these shifts and how to communicate them improves.
CESARE R. MAINARDI: Another day, another headline about a major company in trouble. When crisis strikes, leaders are often quick to blame things not in their control. They shouldn’t look elsewhere. They should look in the mirror.
Emeric Nectoux's insight:
There are five things companies and CEOs can do to help close this strategy-to-execution gap:
Commit to an identity. A truly differentiating identity is built on bespoke, difficult-to-build capabilities. If a company’s competitors can’t buy these capabilities off the shelf, it gives that company an unbeatable growth engine. Think about Apple. It wasn’t just the genius of Steve Jobs that created all that value, but the capability to develop a single digital system enabling consumers to easily manage media production, consumption and communication. If a leader chooses to be true to his or her company’s chosen identity day in and out, he or she can build an extraordinary company.
Translate the strategic into the everyday. Focus on building the handful of unique, cross-functional capabilities that actually deliver on strategy and drive profits. Leaders must roll up their sleeves and be close enough to the execution to become the architect and chief builder of the capabilities needed.
Put culture to work. Stop fighting a company’s culture and blaming it for undermining strategy. Start putting it to work instead. No culture is perfect. The key is to identify and leverage the parts that work in a company’s favor. A leader’s job is to help inspire every employee to help execute strategy. This requires consistently and constantly demonstrating, celebrating, and modeling the cultural traits that reinforce strategy.
Cut costs to grow stronger. Stop making the classic mistake of going lean everywhere. Start driving growth by cutting costs strategically. Most companies waste 20% to 40% of their budget on expense items that have nothing to do with their strategy. Instead, invest this money in unique capabilities and put it work to fuel success. CEOs should be sure to make clear and visible investments in their strategy. And they should invest their precious time and attention in the projects and capabilities that drive strategy — not on whatever fires happen to erupt on any given day.
Shape the future. Stop constantly reacting to market changes. Agility is overrated. It has unfortunately become code for throwing out strategy and chasing any opportunity one thinks might work. The best way to own the future is to be the one to shape it. Starbucks is a classic example. We thought we just wanted coffee. CEO Howard Schultz knew before we did that we wanted “a third place” beyond home and work to gather. Starbucks took the market in a completely new direction, and with 22,000 stores and counting it continues to dominate the “coffee and community” space it created. This is certainly a tall order, but a critical one for a leader. CEOs must lead the rallying cry to realign his or her industry around their company’s strengths and push the market in a direction where they can win.
In an era of fast change, disruptive tech, and too many priorities, what will the CIO really need to focus on this year to deliver combined technical and business leadership that will guide their organizations into the future?
How to develop and retain leaders who can guide your organization through times of fundamental change.
Emeric Nectoux's insight:
Most companies have leaders with the strong operational skills needed to maintain the status quo. But they are facing a critical deficit:
They lack people in positions of power with the know-how, experience, and confidence required to tackle what management scientists call “wicked problems.” Such problems can’t be solved by a single command, they have causes that seem incomprehensible and solutions that seem uncertain, and they often require companies to transform the way they do business. Every enterprise faces these kinds of challenges today.
Aujourd’hui, tout leader qui se respecte doit faire preuve d’empathie envers son équipe. Mais l’empathie se prescrit-elle ? Comment faire pour la développer ? Qu’apporte-t-elle au monde de l’entreprise ? Décryptage.
Leading without relying on authority is a higher evolutionary skill. It supports developing adult relationships based on mutual objectives and creates work environments grounded in respect for human dignity.
In her post: “How to Influence Without Authority”, Jesse Lyn Stoner offers useful guidance on the what she calls as “8 Portals of Influence”. Whether you lead backed by a formal authority or you lead without a title, these ideas should help you build influence.
Character – Your own character is your greatest source of influence.
Expertise – Do you have content knowledge and experience? Are you a thought leader?
Information – Do you have access to valuable information?
Connectedness – Do you form close relationships with people? Do they enjoy working with you?
Social intelligence – Do you offer insight into interpersonal issues that interfere with work and help facilitate resolution of issues? P
Network – Do you put the right people in touch with each other?
Collaboration – Do you seek win-win solutions, unify coalitions and build community?
Funding – Do you have access to financial support?
The rate of change in the business world today is greater than our ability to respond. In a world that is often described as VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and ambiguous), there are major tectonic shifts that demand a new mindset of leadership.
“Factor in the HeartChange involves loss. Recognize when you ask people to change, you are asking them to give up something. People may recognize the change will benefit the organization long-term, but may still be reluctant to deal with the impact on them personally. Acknowledge the reluctance and allow employees to give voice to a feeling of loss.An employee may be the designer of a program that is being replaced. While they understand the need for the change – and may even agree with the recommended change – they may still feel disappointed that a program they worked hard to create is being replaced. Acknowledgment is key.”
Via Don Dea
With all the changes required to enable a disruptive organization, leaders can sometime get overwhelmed or confused on their role. Recently I had a discussion with a senior executive about how to lead such a disruptive transformation in an organization without creating resistance, ensuring that the whole organization from board members to executives are pulling on the same rope. Not an easy task but here is why I believe a simple 3 step focus can help you.
Every successful business in today’s market is undergoing some degree of digital transformation. With the advancing pace of technology, no business will remain unchanged.
Mobile platforms and increased connectivity are quickly altering long-standing business structures and changing roles and responsibilities. Begging the question, are you transforming along with your industry? If not, you risk being left behind.
Although there are many traits required to drive digital transformation, the following five traits should establish you as a leader in your organization – positioning yourself and your business as industry frontrunners:
Think Mindset, Not Skillset
Ignore Your Job Title
Use Your Brain
The digital transformation of your business might be intimidating, it’s a fact of modern life. By cultivating a proactive, adaptable mindset, taking initiative, and demonstrating commitment to your organization’s health, you can ensure you aren’t a casualty in your company’s transformation.
Since digital “makes everything new”—returned to the fundamentals of supply, demand, and market dynamics to clarify the sources of digital disruption and the conditions in which it occurs. We need to explore supply and demand across a continuum: the extent to which their underlying elements change. This approach helps reveal the two primary sources of digital transformation and disruption:
The first is the making of new markets, where supply and demand change less.
But in the second, the dynamics of hyperscaling platforms, the shifts are more profound (exhibit).
Leaders have a unique talent for rallying people together and getting them passionate about working towards something amazing. This is no easy task, being a good leader is very tough. So much to do,…
Via Rami Kantari
“Digital business changes customer propositions, business models, industry models, financial models, culture, regulation, talent and more. For that reason, digital cannot be owned and executed as a single departmental function.
An organization’s leadership must evolve to accompany digital transformation, according to Mark Raskino, vice president and Gartner Fellow.”
Yet, many companies still struggle to bring their top leaders along on the digital journey. It’s tempting to think of digital as distinct and separable into specialist enclaves. All organizations have a deep-seated bias toward perpetuating business as usual and repelling forces that try to change conventional and well-honed best practices.
Here’s how C-level roles must play together to win at digital:
Chief Executive Officer
Digital business change can quickly alter the fundamentals of the business, only the CEO can deal with these fondamentals, in conjunction with the board of directors, investors, executive team, customers and other major stakeholders.
Chief Financial Officer
The company’s CFO must adapt the financial model to the new cash flows that digital brings. Only the CFO can make these changes and judge how to time them.
Chief Information Officer
In the digitalisation team, the CIO have a brand new role compared to tradionnal organizations. More than ever, the CIO must be a business partner and be pro-active to allow the transformation journey. Based on his strong understanding and vision of the (coming) evolution of the Information technology, only the CIO can enable the company to put in place and execute the needed changes to succeed the digitalisation.
Anne Dwane, CBO at Chegg, has had to adapt a lot in her career as she's started and sold companies. Here's what she learned.
Emeric Nectoux's insight:
In this exclusive interview, Dwane explains how to adopt the most important learner mindsets — Gamer, Beginner, and Growth.
The Gamer Mindset, popularized by Jane McGonigal, Director of Games and Research at the Institute for the Future, challenges us to apply the courage and willpower — and also optimism and creativity — we have when playing fictional games to real world problems.
The Beginner’s Mindset is rooted in openness, being childlike and curious. You don’t have preconceptions about the way things are and are eager to explore new possibilities. It’s about asking “what if” and “why not”, and not being dismissive. It’s popular today to talk about reasoning from first principles versus reasoning from analogy.
The Growth Mindset empowers you to take risks by freeing you from associating failure with your self-worth. Carol Dweck of Stanford University pioneered this type of thinking, which posits that brains and talent aren’t fixed, but starting points. Abilities can be developed through dedication, hard work and confronting challenges.
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