Is Your Organization Keeping Pace or Just Marking Time?

We can learn valuable lessons by observing nature and the way it functions. Take migrating geese, for example. During seasonal changes when geese migrate, they offer insight into how our organizations need to work at keeping pace in our time of rapid change.

Migrating geese instinctively cooperate in team participation by flying in “V” formation. This greatly increases flying range due to the updraft created by the birds flying in front of each other. They fly smarter this way.

The migrating geese practice rotating leadership. When the lead gooses tires, another goose assumes the role of leader. This helps keep up pace and speed, and ensures the best from the cooperative effort.

The geese behind the leader encourage each other by honking. If a goose gets sick or is wounded, a fellow goose will fall out of formation and stay with the ill goose until it is healthy again or dies. The supporting goose will then return to the original formation or seeks another. We see in this instinctive commitment and participation.

There should be little argument about the fact we are into a major migration in the way we organize, manage and work. We know we are into a major, major change not unlike the industrial revolution, only this time it is due to the emergence of digital technology and is going on a global basis. So the question arises: “is my organization keeping pace with all the changes we face, or is it just marking time focusing on today’s needs only?” Are members being encouraged to make changes necessary to fly smarter and faster to help the organization continue to be successful? Or, is the organization and it members responding to this time of change with paralysis and fear trying to make it through with outlook and skills that were much more appropriate for the time we are growing out of?

There are ten key considerations to assess in the organization to see whether the organization’s migration is keeping pace. These are outlined below for reference and application. There may be other areas to consider, as well. Readers are invited to expand the list that follows, as well as to prioritize the ten key considerations for actions that need to be taken one’s own organization.

Key considerations:

-The organization needs to be driven by a vision/direction that guides all the players throughout the enterprise. Far too many organizations still seem be dwelling solely on the narrow view of today’s orders, necessities and outputs, with little push from the core values and direction that will sustain the organization in the long run. If this continues to happen, the organization and its members set themselves up to be broadsided by the fog in the night we are traveling though. The question: is our direction clear to everyone and is it driven by as set of core organizational values that guide work and decisions and position us to be successful in the future?

-Today’s working institution (profit, non-profit, product or service providing) needs to be living in real time. It needs to be strategizing in real time, be capable of functioning in real time, be capable of making decisions in real time, be capable of mid-course corrections in real time, and, of course, responding to the market in real time. Gone are the days of incremental plans and action based on an extension of what was yesterday to what is today. The question: Is our organization capable of turning on a dime from conception to after delivery of whatever it is we do, and are our people willing and capable and supportive of that?

-Today’s successful organization will structure itself, manage itself and define its work based on customer need and expectation. It is the marketplace that determines this, not the internal experts. Survival will not come from what is designed by engineers, but only from what is designed gluten free food hong kongwith input that reflects customer need and expectation. When the organization serves a global market, it needs to know what the customers in different parts of the world need and expect. The question: Are we driven by our customer input and our ability to meet and even exceed customer needs and expectations?

-The enterprise focuses on its important processes. Today’s organization is process focused, not task focused. Players must not only be concerned about the work they do in their functional silos, but about how that ties together across the organization, as well. The organization needs to be concerned not only with present process improvement, but process innovation as well, to keep the organization on the cutting edge and steps ahead of the competition. How can we do what we do faster, cheaper, with better quality output, with less effort and materials, more effective implementation of technology, etc? The question: How driven is the organization by major process focus, those processes that provide the moments of truth and breakpoints in our success as tied to customer need and expectation?

-Has the organization begun to put much more emphasis on quality and added value and much less emphasis on quotas. In addition, does the organization measure everybody’s success by these quality and value adding standards, rather than continuing to preach quality and paying for time or output made rather than for quality output that adds to the bottom line. Members help each other in this matter by understanding who internal customers are in the quality realm, and how to set them up to be successful. The question: Have we fully adapted the quality culture as compared to the quantity culture, and that includes instituting support systems ( e.g. pay for value-adding performance) that orient us to be successful in the quality culture?

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