Academic journal article Manager

An Organisational Approach to Simultaneously Prove High Autonomy and High Alignment

Academic journal article Manager

An Organisational Approach to Simultaneously Prove High Autonomy and High Alignment

Article excerpt

1.Introduction and justification

In today's business world, which is driven by high dynamics and change, every organisation needs to prove great agility in order to survive and gain success on its market. Tire approaches to growth that have worked 20 or 10 years ago will currently bring just a very limited amount of the results they used tobring before, and this should be of no surprise to any organisation regardless of its size, domain and years of being on the market.

What are successful organisations? These are mainly those who have found a clear and relevant differentiator, bringing them the trust of their customers and placing them at the top of their choices, therefore outrunning competitors. Or at least, this is what business books a decade ago were teaching us. And it still is right - though when looking at this today, we should consider it from the perspective of the rapid pace of evolution currently defining the business environment - and see where this leads us.

When it comes to what 'their most important asset' is, many companies say it's their people. When it comes to what is it at the base of their competitive advantage, there aren't too many companies today that will answer the same thing. And still, since information is travelling so fast, when technology and know-how may equally be accessed by every player in the economy (assuming similar level of resources) - it becomes clear that the difference will sooner than we know be in the 'how', and no longer in the 'what'. And while the 'what' can easily be put in patterns and routines that are easy to execute and control, the 'how' is about living systems - 'alive' organisations that breathe the air of their environment and make meaningful informational exchanges with these. Therefore - it is about the people that make the businesses.

The ability to communicate in a meaningful manner with the environment isn't just the responsibility of one of the functions within the organisation - being it the market research or any other one. Exchanging information at key moments with the world outside, and processing it in a manner and at a speed that can bring an organization one step ahead of the competition can only be done if the entire living system functions as one, by improving flexibility of its processes. For an organisation to really act in an intelligent way means no other than to enable people to work in their most intelligent way: allow them to make their own decisions at their levels, feel confident to take action and move ahead with minimal supervision, and more important - to be willing and motivated to do it.

So the fact that today it is more difficult than ever for companies to maintain their market positions, translates into: it is more important than ever to make 'best use' of the human capital - that is, enable people to contribute in a manner that is beyond the old practices of roles which are fixed and tasks which are assigned in a one-way, top-down manner.

In the current global market, the power the clients hold is significantly rising and the diversity of their needs no longer knows limits. It is truly the Age of the Customer the one we have entered:

"While companies have always, to a greater or lesser extent, called themselves "customer-centric", this is different. This is not about "customer-centric" thinking or "the customer is always right." Instead, the new power of customers means that a focus on the customer now matters more than any other strategic imperative".

Therefore, being agile and flexible may be the only enabler of success on the long run. But what exactly would being flexible mean?

To answer this question, let's see what some of the strategies of the most customeroriented organizations should look like:

- Building real-time data systems that will improve customer intelligence;

- Offering contextualized experiences to customers, after having conducted specific behavior analysis;

- Engaging with the customer along the entire value creation cycle; improve focus on post-selling;

- Investing more in developing content rather than in efforts of advertising [also based on the article of David M. …

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