Principles

Organisational design pattern of progressive organisations - corner stones we believe in

Build Networks of Teams

People collaborate in network of teams within a people-centered culture operating in rapid learning and fast decision making cycles.

We know that this need to be enabled by technology, and a common purpose that co-creates value for all stakeholders.

In progressive organisations areas often are organized as multidisciplinary networks of 40 - 150 people. This units create customer value end to end. They are responsible for their own results and revenue. They are connected as needed to other networks to form networks of networks.

As today, technology and connectivity has increased our ability to self-organize, collaborating more easily across internal and external organizational boundaries. It is no longer necessarily true that coordinating through a manager is more effective than people self-organizing.

Working as a network allows to organize with many different kinds of connections, and increased autonomy. Autonomy is a main driver for motivation and creativity.

Progressive Organisations enable people to work easily with others who are best suited to the challenge ahead: across functions, divisions, levels of seniority, and even beyond the formal boundaries of the organization.

Performance management and decision rights are pushed to the edge of boundaries of this networks.

Practices

  • Try... Multidisciplinary Units
  • Try... Responsive Initiatives
  • Try... Agile Chapters (Communities of Practice)
  • Try... Agile Guilds (Communities of Interest)

Organize Around Challenges

Peoples active align around challenges they prefer working on: tasks they like; ones that fit their talents and strengths.

We know that doing what you are good at, increases motivation, engagement and impact.

Progressive organizations leverage this dynamic. They try to make use of the diverse talents present in the whole organization aligning them around the most critical problems/challenges to solve.

Employees in progressive organizations exhibit entrepreneurial drive, taking ownership of team goals, decisions, and performance. For example, people proactively identify and pursue opportunities to develop new initiatives, knowledge, and skills in their daily work.

Thereby people have the freedom to self-align around this challenges and choose their tasks and responsibilities. They decide where, when and with whom to work. They ‘sculpt’ their roles, energize new initiatives / teams based on their talents, strengths and interest.

They regularly evaluate the progress of initiatives and decide whether to ramp them up or shut them down, using standardized, fast resource-allocation processes to shift people, technology, and capital rapidly between initiatives, out of slowing businesses, and into areas of growth.

Thereby governance is done by everybody.

Practices

  • Try... Dynamic Initiatives & Roles
  • Try... Dynamic Governance
  • Try... Accelerated Feedback & Reviews

Experiment & Learn Continuously

People learn by a steady rhythm of rapid experimentation cycles.

We know that this is the key practices to get fast customer feedback and enables us to continuous adapt, improve and align.

Progressive organizations work in rapid cycles of thinking and doing that are closely aligned to their process of creativity and accomplishment.

Whether it deploys these as design thinking, lean operations, agile development, or other forms, this integration and continual rapid iteration of thinking, doing, and learning forms the organization’s ability to innovate and operate in an agile way.

People across the organization individually and proactively watch for changes in customer preferences and the external environment and act upon them.

They also collect feedback on internal collaboration and implement organisational improvements frequent.

Practices

  • Try... Rapid Experiments & Validated Learning
  • Try... Live Concept Tests
  • Try... Feedback Early & Planning Frequent
  • Try... Inspection & Adaption (aka Retrospectives)

A North Star

People can align around a clear "North Star"meaning, energy, passion and motivation.

Progressive organisations setting North Stars out of a mind set of abundance. That inspires creativity and the ability to see & catch opportunities. Abundance let them also see and explore more opportunities and possibilities to co-create value for all peers resulting in magnetic business models.

People across the organization are used to individually and proactively watch for changes in customer preferences and the external environment and act upon them. They regularly evaluate the progress of initiatives and decide whether to ramp them up or shut them down, using standardized, fast resource-allocation processes to shift people, technology, and capital rapidly between initiatives, out of slowing businesses, and into areas of opportunity and growth.

Practices

  • Try...Strategy Sprints (for find a "North Star" vision & mission)
  • Try... Purpose Statements
  • Try... Lean Strategy Development

Supportive Leadership

People are supported by leaders that embody the organizations mission and values.

We know that "walk the talk" is crucial for leaders in an progressive organization’s culture.

Progressive organization´s culture puts people at the center, which engages and empowers everyone in the organization.

In progressive organisations leader empower employees to take full ownership, confident they will drive the organization toward fulfilling its “North Star” as purpose and/or vision.

Leaders become visionaries, architects, and coaches; exploring new performance- and consequence-management approaches based on shared goals across and end-to-end work products, and measure business impact rather than activity.

Leaders are enablers of a constantly evolving environment and they embrace uncertainty letting teams try new things as the quickest and most productive in the market.

Therefore authority is no longer linked to rank or role, but rather to the ability to co-create positive impact.

Practices

  • Try...Working on the organisation (aka. Organisational Development)
  • Try... Agile/Lean Leadership (aka. Leadership of Teams)
  • Try... Coaching & Feedback (aka. Systemic Leadership)
  • Try... Conscious Leadership (aka. Self-Leadership)

Default to "open"

People can act responsive as information is easily accessible and open by default.

Progressive organizations tend to be highly decentralized networks of teams. Therefore employees need access to the latest information for speedy and accurate decision-making.

Progressive organizations thrive when they are ‘open by default’. This policy turns radical transparency into a valuable tool.

Practices

  • Try... Working in Public
  • Try... Working out Loud
  • Try... Pull Information Systems

Default to "yes"

People are given the authority to decide on what needs to be done - as long as they've sought the advice (not permission) of the colleagues who are affected.

We know that this enable rapid experimentation, learning and a trust based culture.

Progressive organizations act on the belief that employees are responsible adults who can be trusted. They don’t need extensive control. They perform best when given a high degree of autonomy on work and decision making. They can be trusted to do their job in the way they see fit.

Progressive organizations belief that people on the front line have the best understanding of customers, suppliers, and production. Therefore, front line employees should make the majority of the decisions.

With this freedom of decision making comes responsibility and accountability.

Practices

  • Try... Tension based Proposals
  • Try... Consent Decision Making & Integration
  • Try... Advice Process
  • Try... Tactical Meetings

A Stable Backbone

People have a sense of belonging, a overall structure, governance and culture that providing orientation, guidance and stability.

We know that people need a solid foundation, an anchor point that doesn’t change while a whole bunch of other things are changing constantly.

Progressive Organisations use stable set of governance structures, principles and processes to adapt to change and create or resolve dynamic initiatives.

The stability and transparency of this governance model makes change processes for people predictable and therefore more easy to follow, creating a feeling of stability. This models creates sets of shared goals and performance metrics, decision making procedures, role clarifications and capacity allocations.

Most of all, in progressive organisation people are part of stable, long lasting communities of practice with like mined peers. Places where they get support and recognition. These are centers of professional learning and growth and personal belonging.

Practices

  • Try...

Mind*set to balance

Responsiveness is continuous re-balancing the organisation - to quickly and efficiently reconfigure strategy, structure, processes, people, and technology toward value-creating and value-protecting opportunities.

Progressive organisations balancing explorative innovation with strategic execution, growth and stability.

They counterbalance tolerance for failure and a willingness to experiment with intolerance for incompetence & rigorous discipline, safety to speak up with brutal candor, high collaboration and autonomy with a a high level of individual accountability and nonhierarchical structure with strong leadership.