Friday 14 June 2019

Workplace operating structure is simple when your focus is on the success of other people

Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.

What is your value promise to each of the various stakeholder relationships and how well are you currently fulfilling these promises?

Many organisational structures are too complicated. Usually the problems are an outcome of command and control management where one or more individuals want to be involved in everything and can’t or won’t let go of decision-making.

I love the work of German author and advisor Niels Pflaeging.

Niels believes that every organisation has three structures, formal, informal and what he calls value creation structure. It’s this one that I’m particularly interested in for this post and podcast.

The keys to value creation for me are roles, relationships and what value is demanded, desired and felt deserved, and what is actually being delivered to people.

We have already touched on aspects of these in the podcasts of the past two weeks where we have explored role clarity statements and performance possibility plans.

Value like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

What are the key relationships in your workplaces?

Most likely there are 7 to carefully consider:

1. Employees with customers/clients.
2. Employees with other employees.
3. Employees with employers.
4. Employees with external suppliers.
5. Employees with other stakeholders.
6. Employees with communities in which your workplace operates.
7. Employers with such communities.

The action I highly recommend you take over the next 90 days is to answer this question

What is your value promise to each of these relationships and how well are you currently fulfilling these promises?

In Sparkenation 4 of my Remarkable Workplaces book pages 30 - 33 there’s a great starting place for you. You can download this book with my compliments here.

Value delivery is one of the components of remarkable workplaces that I explore in the book using this model:

To further help you to get started check out this great article by Stowe Boyd where he takes a look at the work of the world-renowned management theorist Gary Hamel and his collaborator Michele Zanini about their published magisterial analysis of the huge innovations at Haier over the past decade by 'renegade CEO' Zhang Ruimin.

To quote two paragraphs from this article

“For decades, most companies have worked diligently to optimize their operations. More recently, they’ve raced to digitize their business models. Important as this is, Haier has done something even more consequential: It has humanized its management model."

And CEO of Haier Zhang states:
“We want to encourage employees to become entrepreneurs because people are not a means to an end but an end in themselves. Our goal is to let everyone become their own CEO—to help everyone realize their potential.”

There are many organisations doing what Haier is and in their own best way.

I’d recommend the great book by Frederic Laloux, Reinventing Organisations for insights into many such organisations.

A key starting place is basing your operating structure on value delivery.

Workplace operating structure is simple when your focus is on the success of other people!

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

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