The humanistic revolution in management: what distinguishes winners
Dmitry Trepolsky describes the problem of low employee involvement in the work process and lists 8 trends that help to increase the level of labor productivity in the company
Recent Gallup data points to an “epidemic” of indifference in organizations from virtually the entire world. Two out of three employees demonstrate a practically zero level of engagement, which (respectively) translates into low productivity. Thus, the vast majority of companies lose the battle for productivity, hopelessly behind the winners.
What distinguishes the best of the best from other companies? As a result of a special study, more than 100 winners in various regions of the world were identified. During conversations with founders, managers and employees, the authors tried to find out what the winners do in their daily activities not like other less successful players. As the researchers were convinced, all these “progressive organizations” have one thing in common: they get the heights of productivity through the mantra “humanity is the main thing.” Researchers also found eight trends that are characteristic of most winning companies.
Trend No. 1. Not profit, but goal and values
Progressive organizations focus not only on generating profits for shareholders. Their primary task is to create a working environment around a common goal and values. This is an extremely powerful “engine” of productivity, because in this way communities of like-minded people are united, bringing together workers, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. When people draw inspiration from work, it is much easier for them to overcome obstacles: bureaucracy, contradictions between separate divisions and their own ambitions.
Trend No. 2. Not a hierarchical pyramid, but a network of teams
Such organizations realize that the traditional “pyramid” is outdated and no longer fits into the business environment, which is shaken by the swiftness of change. The rooting of the command and administrative system does not allow you to act quickly and flexibly. Therefore, companies are looking for alternatives: most often transforming the pyramid into a flexible network of teams, each of which takes risks, making bets in the common game, and (accordingly) experiences the financial consequences of wins and losses. As a result, responsibility grows, an entrepreneurial spirit manifests itself, communications improve, flexibility and a desire to support each other appear.
Trend No. 3. Not an authoritarian leader, but a leader who is ready to provide assistance and support.
In almost all progressive organizations, the authors found the dominance of a support-oriented managerial style. The main role in it is played by strong leaders who support those who are closer to the “front line”. These leaders have a critical view of the established order of things, so they try to instill a similar way of thinking in the whole organization. Among other things, such leaders do everything possible to eliminate internal boundaries and never “throw words to the wind.” Embodying the essence of the mission and values of the company, they are a critical element of organizational culture. And the source of their authority is not a position, but (first of all) the ability to lead people by the power of their own example.
Trend No. 4. Not planning and forecasting, but experiments and adaptation
Progressive organizations abandoned the “fortune-telling”, which is often passed off as “accurate” forecasting. In all aspects of their activities – in the development of products, the search for an effective way to do the job and the optimal organizational structure – they rely on experiment. The creed of these companies can be formulated as follows: experimenting and experiencing failure is better than never to be mistaken.
Trend No. 5. Not rules and control, but freedom and trust
Progressive organizations are guided by the belief that employees are adults who can be trusted. No need to control every step of subordinates. After all, the highest productivity is achieved when employees have sufficient independence in their work and can decide for themselves where, when and with whom to work.
Trend No. 6. Not centralization, but dispersed decision-making process
This type of organization has a high level of decentralization. It is believed that operational workers are better than anyone else, they know the characteristics of customers and suppliers, as well as various technical nuances. Therefore, if a company wants to respond flexibly to the requirements and needs of consumers, it transfers the right to make the majority of operational decisions to those who work at the forefront of the business. At the same time, freedom of decision-making carries responsibility and accountability.
Trend No. 7. Not secrecy, but radical transparency
As a rule, in progressive organizations, openness is a “default” characteristic. They cultivate the attitude of “ask anything.” Almost everyone in the company has access to information of various contents (in particular, financial)