Organisations are fundamentally human systems and their goals are achieved through human interaction, while the sustainability of their success is determined by how well their subsystems and processes are managed.
If human-system effects underpin organizational effectiveness, then human functioning at the levels of the individual, teams and the organization as a whole, determine the maturity of an organisation, which means its capacity to learn and grow in a sustainable manner.
So, measuring sustainable organisational effectiveness ultimately must go beyond an accounting of results and features, to a determination that is shaped by the members of the system. How sustainable the results and goals of the organisation are achieved and assess the personal, team and organisational value created.
Organisation Change & Development
We now accept that organisations must continuously change to survive, compete, and be successful. They must have processes, tools, skills and a culture which can manage and adapt to the need for change and ideally, take some degree of charge of that change. We also know that socio-economic change has speeded up and got quite complex, enabled by new technologies. We know that the level, pace and complexity of economic changes have outstripped the development of social capacity to manage that change. Yet, management must be both strategic and proactive in ensuring that an organization’s ability to handle such changes is developed and connected to the dynamism of the environment in which it operates.
We also know through research that major step function changes in organizations rarely achieve their objectives and that organisation change is fundamentally a phased process. However, effective organizations’ can accelerate continuous change and improvement.
Successful Organisation Interventions & Change
To understand how to create successful Organisation interventions and change, we must first face up to the reasons for such high failure rates for growth interventions and their consequences.
Until now, all approaches to growth and development could be captured by the following list of accounting based management, benchmarking, copycat, fad, 4-easy-steps, and 2-dimensional frameworks; while research shows that sustainable progress accruing from TQM, Lean, etc., relates to the degree to which they engage people and are far from full-system organizational solutions.
The consequences of this situation include financial loss, delay, and disillusionment with management. Using the Holignment model and frameworks address these issues:
1. Interventions and Growth strategies achieve optimal initial traction
2. Guidance through the phases scientifically takes all activities from lowest to highest levels
3. Interventions are executed in a systematic growth pattern through the phases, so that
a. Sustainability is maintained for Growth and Development
b. Regression effects from e.g., external shocks are minimised to a single level, so that
c. The system is re-enforced against catastrophic collapse in volatile environments
Holignment is about achieving Organizational Advantage and Sustainable Leadership
The Intelligent Organisation “Sometimes the Game Changer “
We often hear the term game changer applied to an organization’s product and/or service when what happens is that the originating organisation had a set of subsystems that followed many of the rules but they produced a disruptive product or service that caused the external parts of the system - the market - to be disrupted. The other participants in the market/community are immediately at a disadvantage and must be able to respond and adapt to this game-changer catalyst. This game changing effect occurs when organizational subsystems are operating at the Competitive Advantage level. Adapting to the catalyst’s effects requires functioning at the Competitive level.
The big questions for managers/leaders are: How do I combat inertia in my organisation and enable responsiveness to change? How well positioned am I to deal with change? and, What are the next steps/actions I can take to enhance my organization’s effectiveness in a complex, dynamic environment to take charge of at least some of that change?
We often hear the terms “The intelligent Organisation” or “The learning Organisation” but until now, there has been no effective model to describe, and measure “How intelligent? How well we learn?”, and how do we move forward? Holignment is the only full-system modeling of The Learning Organization.
So not only is diagnosis important for ensuring organizations take action at the right level so responsiveness can be maximized, but it’s also important in increasing its learning level and agility.
What are the options for Diagnosis & Selection of change interventions?
There are many potential alternative approaches and most have their benefits let us consider some of the options.
The OD Specialist Consultant: The usual approach will be some form of standard methodology, including a diagnostic phase. In many cases the form of the diagnostic will entail interviews or workshops aimed as much at getting the consultant up to speed before he/she/they can make a recommendation. The more sophisticated will perhaps have a structured survey which is either focused on people behavior, or if organization-focused is largely descriptive with no solid OD scientific basis.
The use of current Models available: Here we graphically compare some of the popular approaches & models, introducing the Holignment Organisation Maturity Index (HOMI) as a comparator.