Posts by author: Jose Baldaia

Could the commitment to continually improving the performance of organizational processes be a path to excellence?

Perhaps! But we do not have to always choose among the best practices to adapt to our organization.

We can create something new! Doing better may also require an innovative mind and not just an always alert and proactive mind.

In our home, in the kitchen, usually the recipes we use can be delightfully traditional or surprisingly innovative and awesome. It all depends on the form (process), how we combine the elements and the quantities of those elements and on the times,  we dedicate to creation. Even so, sometimes we fail! But we also learn and improve our future action.

Among the models that organizations have at their disposal to embrace in their development is the EFQM Excellence Model. The fundamental concepts of excellence presented in this model can be the elements available and necessary to experience and create our working framework. To know:

– Leading with vision, inspiration and integrity;

– Sustaining outstanding results;

– Adding value for customers;

– Managing with agility;

– Succeeding through the people’s talents;

– Harnessing creativity and innovation;

– Developing organizational capability;

– Creating a sustainable future.

Today we are looking for a reconciliation between process-centered approaches and people-centered approaches to creating new and valuable things through interdisciplinary teams and collaborative methodologies.

Some people have a purpose for converging these two worlds, which can mean a new model created with the relevant points of each of them and where empathy plays a fundamental role.

Without empathizing, none of the above concepts can be truly developed.

To develop organizational capacity, it is necessary to listen to the organization’s employees, understand their wishes and needs, and design their work journey. In this way we are also building sustainable worlds.

To stimulate creativity and create value for customers, it is necessary to understand the needs not only of customers but also the favorable environments for the development of creative flows by the organization’s employees.

To manage with agility, we need to manage the talents and this is only done by wearing their shoes and walking their way.

Managing talent means creating purpose for commitment, recognizing the work of excellence and celebrating success.

It is good not to forget that any talent in an organization needs to develop:

“A posture (our perspective of the world and our role in it), the tools (the models we use to organize our world and our thinking) and the experiences (what built and developed our skills and sensibilities).” – Roger Martin – “The Design of Business”.

However, from the individual level to the group level goes a giant step, often facilitated by the understanding and acceptance of the different experiences and cultures that the teams in an organization incorporate.

Diversity and interdisciplinarity are concepts that appear linked to problem solving frequently and that deserve to be adopted early.

“Thanks to the Medici family and some others like them, sculptors, scientists, poets, philosophers, financiers, painters, and architects converged on the city of Florence. There, they met, learned from each other and break down barriers between disciplines and cultures. Together they forged a new world based on new ideas – what became known as the Renaissance. As a result, the city became the epicenter of the creative explosion, one of the most innovative eras in history.”- Frans Johansson, The Medici Effect

On the path to excellence, the success of an organization operating in multicultural environments depends on how leaders can integrate diverse cultures into their own leadership styles.

The evolutionary nature of our society, rich in diversity of cultural experiences, often raises questions about the relationship of people to each other and issues with the physical environments in which they are embedded.

To solve some of the problems that may arise in interrelationships and the integration of people in diverse environments, we must draw these relationships, and this involves paying attention to many different factors.

This diversity, which we see today in most places we know, has been ignored regarding its potential as a source of energy and creativity.

It is therefore important to emphasize that the complementarity that can exist between the members of an organization’s teams is essential for the promotion of ideas, continuous improvement and excellence.

 

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Problems are active and do not sit around waiting for solutions. Problems always cause a greater or lesser impact in a given environment.

How can something be considered a problem when we still cannot identify what is wrong or at least not as well as it should be identified?

We know that problems do not always have adequate solutions available and that unfavorable situations are not necessarily problems to be identified.

In an organization, it is relatively easy to see that people tend to expect others to find problems that they can solve, rather than taking the initiative to look for or anticipate problems.

One of the reasons why people avoid going looking for and finding problems is the ease with which these people can later discard them. They can always say that the problem is not theirs because that particular problem requires an embroidery of another specialty or because it goes beyond the limits of their functions or responsibility.

Does the size of a problem in an organization come from the impact of the solution we are looking for?

If the problem is big does it mean that it affects a large universe of people?

It is good to remember that before we move to the construction of workable solutions in the scope of organizational innovation we must plunge with passion into the problem, identifying all its environment and accurately delimiting all its contours and details.

Finding problems means identifying the characteristics of the problem, including its location and the consequences of its existence. This means that we need to know whether all stakeholders within and outside the organization clearly and accurately understand the problem.

Identifying the root cause of a problem from the data identified by the analysis of qualitative and quantitative information is critical to ensuring that the real cause of the problem is understood. When that happens, we are on the right track.

To find the right path, we must look for problems to identify them and find creative solutions. If our attitude is proactive instead of reactive, we will naturally take the initiative to look for, or anticipate problems, changes, trends and opportunities for improvement and / or innovation.

One of the possible ways of approaching the organization is to ask the employees of the dedicated teams, for an undefined problem, to individually note the specific problems they are facing, and which are related to their initial challenge.

On the other hand, it is easy to recognize that in an organization we recognize employees who are constantly seeing problems everywhere and, despite appearing to be pessimistic behavior, this can be translated into an important and beneficial activity in identifying organizational problems of systems, processes, products or services.

What problems are we going to find?

Different people can be different angles of observation. Each angle can be a different perception and turn into different problems.

In a team it is always good to be able to create problems, to have proactive attitudes and to know how to appreciate different cognitive approaches between team employees or the organization.

When an organization manages to create synergies between problem makers and individuals with other acting preferences, every moment of a creative process benefit.

Defining the problem also requires a combined view of the problem resulting from the various perspectives as well as a long succession of questions about “why” the problem. In looking for the answers to our questions we should avoid all kinds of judgments in the definition of the problem.

It is also time to leave those beautiful forms of deductive reasoning based on past experiences and to make a breakthrough by laying the foundations for building a balance between what is achievable, what is desirable, and what is economically feasible.

Will the solutions we present to customers and users / consumers satisfy the need for a specific job well done?

Trying to know if a solution does not bring you another set of problems is a constant challenge. What are the consequences of our proposal?

Let us try to listen to what has not yet been said because it means anticipation and a place of innovation.

Knowing how to observe is as important as being watched! After all we and they are part of the same world!

 

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The culture of an organization represents a well-articulated set of beliefs, values, practices, attitudes and behaviors shared by all.

The culture of organizations takes time to build and to consolidate, and perhaps for this reason when we want to change it, if the culture is strong, we face a reasonable range of obstacles. A strong culture in an organization dispenses an excessive use of rules and is not based on the search for permission, otherwise it would be enough to change some rules if we wanted a meaningful change.

Because we see change at a really high speed, we easily realize that the culture of a generation, built over a certain period of time, evolves rapidly in its contours, even though the nuclear aspects remain stable.

But it is not only the speed at which the change in the environment takes place, which can jeopardize a strong culture, also, the generational and geographical diversity of the elements of a team, and even more of an organization, being a growing reality, compete for the construction of a new and richer culture.

In a space of a generation of work, it is easy to recognize the effects of social changes on the forms of production and in the needs of an organization’s employees.

So, building our own culture into a team has become a complex task, but, being consciously carried out and with respect for the differences of its elements, we have come to fruition.

There is also a factor of instability in the creation of a strong team culture, which we call the average longevity of the companies, giving rise to many episodes of short duration, for example, the low success rates of startups. Also, here arise natural phenomena of emergence of strong team cultures often nullified by the extinction of the businesses of the newborn organizations.

We also know that one of the major problems that organizations encounter in a change in company culture is the difficulty felt in building teams, that is, when change of culture implies more collaborative teamwork, resistance to change tends to increase.

So how can we facilitate the development of a team culture?

Strengthening positive attitudes. We know that bad attitudes are the fruit of experiences and events in the past, but the memories of these experiences can be reassessed giving rise to predispositions for constructive action.

In a teamwork environment, people understand, believe, and assume that planning, decisions, and actions perform better when done collaboratively.

However, for team members to achieve a true level of collaboration, and because that almost always means change, it is necessary:

– That the members of the team feel themselves respected.

– That the members of the teams have openness to make adjustments in the articulation of different values, beliefs and customs that their members incorporate.

– That people understand why the change, whether strategy or procedures. We have to want to make the change.

The only way to make changes is to act as a united team and this is much easier when you have a good leader.

– Team members should be aware that sometimes organizational change requires the transfer of resources from one area to another.

Building a team culture therefore implies an assessment of the potential of all elements of the organization to facilitate the best possible mix of existing and / or integrated resources.

As Susan Peters puts it: “We define employee experience simply as seeing the world through the eyes of our employees, staying connected, and being aware of their major milestones. In the last year we have appointed a Head of Employee Experience and we are developing a strategy to create an employee experience which takes into account the physical environment our employees work in, the tools and technologies that enable their productivity, and learning to achieve their best at work. All of this is part of continuously evolving our HR capabilities.”

An assessment process allows you to understand some behavioral tendencies, needs and motivational factors, as well as skills or competencies. By assessing the strengths and weaknesses of team members, the organization is able to manage their talents and can easily manage energy, to develop team projects, with the speed and effectiveness desired.

The culture of a team grows when employees share common practices, but also when each influence the team through their unique attitudes and perceptions of the environment in which they are involved.

The culture of a team also goes through the widespread knowledge of the energy potential of that team.

The notion of team culture is especially relevant at a time when several generations coexist in teams and organizations.

Among the different and possible elements of a team there are significant differences of values, beliefs and tendencies, but there is a whole universe of common points that serve as glue in the construction of a winning team.

 

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The teams of an organization move around three distinct environments, that is, people, processes and tools.

Most of the time, people stop looking at themselves and others and care on focusing their activity on processes and their choices on tools.

It is an interesting playful activity that leads people to adopt new trends in methodologies and processes or to find the coolest tool in the digital world, but we rarely see people on social networks or sharing platforms asking how one can we “improve thinking” or how to increase team member satisfaction (in addition to some team building experiences that are not well suited to contexts).

It is true that occasionally we see someone suggest different attitudes or call attention to the need to collaborate (implies dialogue) and to revitalize communication. Revitalize not the process itself, but the attitude towards the interlocutor and other teams that depend on our work or that are part of the same organizational system of our team.

We rarely hear anyone cry out that it is important and a priority to define problems well and frame them or contextualize them before we go on to discover solutions or innovative creation (redundancy).

We rarely hear a voice say to stop choosing in the storefront, which they prepared especially for us, and start building our solutions that give a full response to our problems and needs.

It is not usual to see one or more people in a team using a medium (critical thinking) to assess and improve their ability to judge well the options that are put to them, or built, to deliberate on a particular subject (evaluating alternatives, weighing one against the other, in order to make it possible to choose between them).

It is very rare to see someone express a desire for more diversity in the teams or to wish more interdisciplinary teams to avoid the predominance of the more homogeneous teams in the basic training or in the cultural network, but which, although usually more efficient in the execution, lose quality in creative problem solving and in the development of innovative products and services.

An organization that wants to use creativity as a lever for business success must constantly be looking for people with an open mind to collaborate with representatives of the various disciplines within and outside the organization.

After all it is this ability that distinguishes multidisciplinary teams from interdisciplinary teams. In a multidisciplinary team, everyone seeks to defend their own specialty and their techniques of choice, which leads to long-term approaches and probably weak conclusions.

On the contrary, in an interdisciplinary team, there is a collective appropriation of ideas with the transparent exposition of the positive points of the different ideas and a co-responsibility in the development of actions. In addition, contact with others causes self-reflection and allows confrontation with divergent thoughts that promote the coherence of the concepts.

We all know at what speed information flows and how cunningly it can be built and outdated constantly. This speed and the way we organize the data, when we want to make decisions, naturally implies moments of high tension and, therefore, relaxing is not a solution.

The tension within the teams when different elements need to decide must be managed in a way that benefits the team and the organization as a whole.

Most of the time these decisions are puzzling and challenge the combination of uncertainty, ambiguity, complexity, instability, and risk, and they also appeal to unique aspects of team experience as a cohesive group.

Often when we decide individually, we think about what will bring us the greatest benefits and eventually we are not aware of possible undesirable consequences for other people.

Thus, the best option is to work on the problem as a whole, paying attention to the diversity of factors and seeking to understand the complexity of causal relationships in the connections established in the organizational system.

 

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Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?

 

In many organizations, teams are the result of a gathering of people who will try to communicate and understand each other to produce something of value. Also, organizations often expect these teams to contribute to a greater good, which is to deliver value to their customers, being that they respond by making organizations earn some money.

Most of these people have passed through a well-structured selection process that has given them the passport to pursue an activity that will develop along with other people who have a similar range of skills. They may vary in gender, age, years of previous experience or even in the native language, but almost always have the same professional qualification seal (not the same as competence) and the same functional title. Diversity of skills in teams should require special attention to recruiters from organizations.

Once people are crowded together, sometimes with significant time intervals of entry, they are expected to begin to experience the work environment and allow for a period of adaptation. In some cases, they have a follow-up of integration in the organization, but after an initial contact they no longer relate to other teams and start trying to respond only to the requests of their internal clients.

In some cases, they may also have help in facilitating the development of business processes or mentoring, but there is often a lack of help in building a cohesive team with growth potential.

This is the scenario that we can glimpse in organizations that grow rapidly or in others already with some dimension. However, it is not only in mature organizations that building teams becomes a problem. With the outbreak of startups in the various possible scenarios of economic life, this problem of building effective and efficient teams (includes ability to adapt) has become more acute.

And why is that?

Because, on the one hand, there is a need to respect and benefit from factors such as inclusion and diversity and, on the other hand, there is a shortage of talent in the face of high demand from small organizations that are now being born and growing. This, of course, means that there is a lot of people mobility and therefore it is difficult to get teams to reach maturity, autonomy and excellence.

It is neither urgent nor important to solve the problem of building effective and efficient teams. It’s imperative!

Let’s face it! There are several reasons why we do not see many start-ups in the organizational world ranging from “ignoring customer feedback to not have the right team …”. There are still causes for failure the lack of passion or harmony on the part of its members, “disagreements between the co-founders, or between the start-up team and the investors” or “losing focus” on the project that they develop.

Solving the problem of team building necessarily must go through these aspects now referred in order to involve all team members in the efforts to adapt and fill identified gaps.

Empathic and constant communication with the market and with users and / or consumers should also be one of the objectives of any team in an organization, be it a micro or a multinational giant. The satisfaction of the needs and wants or desires of customers and users / consumers is fundamental to generate value and, therefore, to ensure the survival of teams and organizations.

Making the diversity of team skills a reality is an effort that should be required of all team members. Creativity and problem solving always go hand in hand, so the greater the range of points of view, the greater the number of relevant points available to build good solutions.

So how do you build a team that walks a line of learning not only with good practice but also with mistakes and that keeps the focus on excellence as it grows?

In addition to maintaining all the good features already mentioned (focus, diversity, people-centered, etc.), it is important that all team members consciously share a sense of individual, team and organizational purpose.

“A good organizational purpose requires the pursuit of greatness in service to others.” – Bryan Walker, Design Director of IDEO

Many of us have had the opportunity to reflect on the benefit of having a sense of purpose in our life and how it is critical to our well-being. It’s not important the age at wich this happens; the important thing is that it happens.

People’s lives become more harmonious and organizations deliver better results and better performance when the purpose that supports them is born in the interior and so is real.

Finding a purpose that can be a rallying cry for your team is one of the first steps in how to create transformational change in your organization. Why does your company exist beyond making money?”

 

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Teams are not only fundamental to the sustainable growth of small and medium-sized enterprises. Teams are also crucial in large companies where the required update speed is exponential in the changing environment of the markets.

The teams in the organizations are like rowing boats with helmsman so they should develop their activity in perfect synchronization, where the balance of the team is more important than the individual talent.

Each member of the team must be aware of their responsibilities and actions, competing with their opponents abroad and collaborating internally with the members of the team, while giving space to the helmsman as an action advisor.

“An organization’s capacity to improve existing skills and learn new ones is the most defensible competitive advantage of all.” – Gary Hamel

Developing new skills and learning from mistakes improves team results. This means that members of a team or teams are working towards a common purpose and goals and in doing so, are sharing their different capacities by playing complementary and collaborative roles with each other.

A clear and compelling purpose is the glue that binds together a group of individuals. It is the foundation on which the collective “we” of a real team is built. Purpose plays this critical role because it is the source of the meaning and significance people seek in what they do. ”

Organizations tend to perform well when their employees work effectively as a team. This happens not only because synergy is created (the whole is greater than the sum of the parts), but also because working together a team can share individual perspectives, experiences and skills to solve problems that are not defined or poorly articulated, creating solutions that would be out of the reach of a single employee.

In addition to improving the performance of teams and organizations, effective teamwork also benefits individuals because it enables mutual support and constant learning, generating a sense of belonging and commitment.

Solving problems is a constant need within the teams of an organization. Understanding the users, consumers, or employees of an organization and questioning existing models often leads us to reformulate the problem and find new, richer and broader contexts.

For this, organizations need new skills and a new frame of mind that embraces empathy, integrative thinking, optimism, experimentation and collaboration. Empathy is a high-performance fuel that leads us to the realization of projects with passion and shared purpose with all who interact with the organization.

If we accept these statements as useful for thinking about problem solving in organizations, then in light of the Predictions about Data Science, Machine Learning, and AI for 2018, we will have to ask some questions:

How to create a common purpose in team members who are confronted with this problem?

“Prediction 1:  Both model production and data prep will become increasingly automated.  Larger data science operations will converge on a single platform (of many available).  Both of these trends are in response to the groundswell movement for efficiency and effectiveness.  In a nutshell allowing fewer data scientists to do the work of many… working in code is incompatible with the large organization’s need for quality, consistency, collaboration, speed, and ease of use. ”

How to integrate and develop new competencies to respond to the evolution of different business approaches?

“Prediction 2:  Data Science continues to develop specialties that mean the mythical ‘full stack’ data scientist will disappear…

Similarly, the needs of different industries have so diverged in their special applications of predictive analytics that industry experience is just as important as data science skill…. Whoever hires you is looking for these specific skills and experiences. ”

How to bridge the change of direction of functional content of many employees?

“Prediction 3:  Non-Data Scientists will perform a greater volume of fairly sophisticated analytics than data scientists… the reality is that advanced analytic platforms, blending platforms, and data viz platforms have simply become easier to use, specifically in response to the demands of this group of users. ”

How to prepare the teams of organizations for the evolution of Deep Learning?

“Prediction 4:  Deep learning is complicated and hard.  Not many data scientists are skilled in this area and that will hold back the application of AI until the deep learning platforms are significantly simplified and productized….

Prediction 5:  Despite the hype, penetration of AI and deep learning into the broader market will be relatively narrow and slower than you think.”

How to make employees aware of the possible harmful effects of misuse of AI?

“Prediction 6:  The public (and the government) will start to take a hard look at social and privacy implications of AI, both intended and unintended.

Since the purpose of an organization is the direction it intends to follow, supported by its values ​​and habits shared by its employees (culture), how can talent management teams keep the boat with a strong paddle and direction in the face of these predictions?

 

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Simplicity is the most fundamental accelerator of focused action. If you can simplify your working environment without diluting your core capabilities, you can significantly boost your speed, productivity and effectiveness. When enterprises consider their investments in data and analytics solutions, simplification is absolutely essential to help control costs and focus on achieving desired outcomes.”

Be good at dealing with clients especially when they are difficult, being willing to fail and learning from mistakes, wish and work on continuous improvement, being open and adapting to change, working on personal and group growth or managing well financial resources may be some of the characteristics of a successful SME when the environment where an organization is embedded is stable and well-known.

However, in an environment where interactions are more complex and unpredictable, it seems to be simplicity that can most captivate each of an organization’s employees and customers.

Build trust and empathy

Making decisions or making choices (not necessarily the same thing) becomes increasingly difficult in an environment where the unexpected circulates freely and where the best elaborate predictions fail to minimize this difficulty.

Where there is instability and speed in change, simplicity is called for, since it is the only way to make time more profitable and to create harmony in the daily life of all the stakeholders.

It seems reasonable to say that we want simple products, simple guidelines, and we want things to work quickly and easily the first time we use them, without much effort.

So, to be able to propose what people want, companies, in addition to listening to all interested parties, also need to design their products and services from research on the needs and wants of the customer.

This research is also a source of trust that is established with the market.

Get a different perspective

To achieve “simplicity”, it is often necessary a hard work.

It is probably easy to imagine many simple situations that we had in organizations and that became complicated because we did not reflect on the advantages of simplicity and, therefore, of more difficult resolution after this inattention.

When we look at a pallet, a container, or a Lego game, we find that all these objects represent simplicity. They are objects that represent something like economic accessibility, guarantee of great capacity of realization of the intention of the organization, capacity of agglomeration and, therefore, scale or facility of planning, the same as saying, predictability of outcomes.

In organizations, especially when teams are interdisciplinary, and diversity is present, if organizational behavior is simple, it should remain simple, that is, with predictable results, without increasing resources, with a good response capacity and easy reorganization I the face of change.

If, on the contrary, we try to manage the complexity of people or groups of people, we must seek to know where the main function or ignition is, to increase the capacity to perform or to manage conflicts resulting from the interaction of people and things.

Being aware of yourself

But just because I am able and this works, does not mean that I will have to add something new as if the novelty were needed. I must focus on people and realize that they do not have all the same knowledge or skills.

Before presenting products and services to consumers and users, we must build a sensible hierarchy of characteristics in our market proposal so that users are not distracted by features or functions they do not need or do not want. After all, most of the objects we use in everyday life are not (or should not be) games with a high degree of difficulty of execution or with strong additive characteristics.

Similarly, for people who collaborate in organizations, heavy and matrix hierarchies should not be built to simplify the observation of authority and facilitate communication flows.

“Simplicity and complexity need each other. The more complexity there is in the market, the more that something simpler stands out. And because technology will only continue to grow in complexity, there is a clear economic benefit to adopting a strategy of simplicity that will help set your product apart. “- John Maeda

 

 

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In organizations, new products, innovative services, efficient and effective processes, disruptive technologies, sustainable business models, etc., rarely happen by chance! All this must be thought and designed!

The discovery of surprising opportunities is not done solely by serendipity. This discovery of unique opportunities is almost always the result of a creative work and a consistent, oriented and people-centric search.

We know that it remains a major concern that business failure is often the true return of innovation efforts and investment. At the root of this failure may be bad ideas, insufficient numbers of good ideas, support for misconceptions, an overly optimistic business model or with serious shortcomings, a lack of execution capacity or a lack of leadership preparation and of employees for the present market.

The ability to use white spaces

Often, or almost always, this failure is linked to the leadership’s lack of visualization of “white spaces”, where, with the insertion of pertinent actions, it would be possible to provide relief in the battle against adversity.

A “white space” is a place where a leader of an organization can discover unique opportunities. When a leader of an organization manages to use this white space, in addition to all conventional and formal management activity, he is creating an order that, although invisible, will improve the readability of any proposed intent or action.

Using this white space means that you are not solely dependent on a set of people, representing only a certain volume of data for analysis.

It is good to remember that the data represent the past, which always leads us to what should be done and not to what can be done.

This search for “white spaces” can be used to identify entirely new markets or can only be used to map incremental innovation in products or services in our organization.

It is true that when we respond to the appeal of a white space, a dramatic feeling takes hold of us, which takes us away from the routine and prejudices of the leadership booklet, but which, on the other hand, can be transformed into passion and energy, as we visualize the path to success.

By virtue of this call, we are challenged as leaders to become aware of our environments (white and black spaces), both internal and external, and to rethink the forms of control as well as to assume an attitude of openness and collaboration.

Distinct but complementary focuses

Whether it’s a small organization or a large one (whatever the metrics used), a talented leader will always find three distinct focuses to lead.

By looking for the space to develop his talent as a leader, and therefore, when seeking to unravel the paths to his organization’s development, a leader at the helm of a team or group is always confronted with his market.

This means that its focus is on finding the gaps in the markets, in the products or in the services, that may represent opportunities to create business models (improvements to propose or empty spaces to fill).

Above all, this is an approach to the unknown or hidden through a people-centered process. Here too, the unarticulated needs of the organization’s customers may represent a gap to be filled.

Another focus, directed to the internal dimension of the organization, will not only allow to identify the organization’s capabilities to deal with new opportunities or face some threats, but also to identify the white spaces in the competencies of employees and leadership.

When we point the spotlight at ourselves, we must be aware that some of our deepest fears may possibly begin to emerge and we will, then have, to turn them into levers for success. People tend to try to show themselves competent even recognizing a lack of skills in some areas.

Finally, when we try to focus on the future, we enter the path of prospects in strategy. “In our view, prospective methodology is fundamental to provide and systematize future visions in the form of scenarios and thus provide the decision maker with the fundamental and possible future elements that are acceptable, reasonable or plausible depending on the decisions of the present …”

Our starting point

When talking about future or prospective, our starting point can vary greatly, from a more analytical profile to that of the dreamer or visionary.

It remains for us to identify what our starting point is, our white space, how we fill it in and where we want to go.

 

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Try to make a reflection on the organization where we work so much can bring us a smile as a burden of unhealthy anxiety. It all depends on our will to win and want to be part of a process of transformation!

For example, in an organization, “Creating the right environment for innovators can help a company prepare for the future while running its core business for current success”.

An organization is a system, part of a larger (also systemic) environment where it is embedded. The deeper knowledge of this system and its subsystems, inputs and outputs, can lead us to a better understanding of our role in this world and the purpose of the organization in which we collaborate.

Getting to know the organization better allows us to develop some skills for the future, many of them transversal to the business domain of different organizations, and thus becoming more comfortable with possible zones of discomfort and extreme adversity that may arise.

Being able to build the future and prevent damage with disastrous consequences for our life and for the organization is a competence we can only develop when our knowledge of organizational and environmental complexity is high.

Creating a healthy and motivating environment, where we can develop our abilities and skills, is increasingly the result of living and thinking in a network and also, as a result of these connections, of influencing and involving others in the search for the meaning of things.

In this sense, the future has already arrived and probably brings with it the return of the middle managers able to “manage people”, a task that top managers seem to have performed with little success in many cases. It is worth noting that this does not necessarily imply a vertical hierarchy given the complex nature of formal and informal networks. Influencing becomes the true purpose of leadership that will eventually stop pursuing “being itself, charismatic or authoritarian” to become a strong manager in communication, able to give constructive feedback, resolve conflicts and make individualized learning.

Networks, as we know, are global and for this reason the influence we can print unfolds throughout the world. By being able to connect the various generations that make up the organizational world we are also taking the fundamental steps towards effective and rewarding leadership for all stakeholders in the organization and its environment.

So, what does it matter?

It is important to work on the inclusion of all generations in the actions that need to be implemented or developed, rather than merely observing them.

It is important to develop flexibility as a way to motivate all members of the organization. The concepts of agility, disruption and digitization still remain valued in the language of leadership and in most of the collaborators.

It is important to embrace the concept of “machine learning” and a greater understanding of (AI) artificial intelligence, since they can allow better management of organizations.

It is important to promote a climate conducive to the development of curiosity. This enormous need to find answers to questions or problems is often the main lever of scientific activity or innovation.

It is important to understand that the younger generations believe in generosity and perseverance and that these values, being respected, create bonds and a sense of commitment to the purpose of organizations.

It is important to develop interdisciplinarity by provoking the intersection of different points of view that will give rise to innovative ideas and to the creation of value.

It is important to develop a mentality of experimentation and learning, as a result of reflection and critical thinking.

Summing up:

It is necessary that the development of the new leaders or managers is not the result of any training package, but of a learning journey, multidisciplinary and tailor-made.

Preparing or building a leadership involves assessing the strengths and behaviors of a candidate, facilitating the building of skills to fit their needs, being willing to implement learning and sharing in the real world, building a “model” for assessing their progression, and giving feedback transparent.

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Mindset is commonly described as the filter through which people give meaning to the world. Cognitive psychologists use the term mental map or cognitive schema to describe the concept of mentality as they address the question of how people make sense of the world in which they interact.

But defined in a simple way, mentality is a habitual mental attitude (a set of assumptions, methods or notations) or characteristic that determines how we are going to interpret and respond to certain situations.

Being a DT minded leader is having a mental attitude that begins by embracing empathy.

Being a leader means accepting risk and developing trust instead of promoting the efficiency of “everything as usual”.

Being a leader is also to sponsor collaboration and learning rather than being summed up to know his specialty.

To be leader is to know how to listen, even if truth hurts, instead of taking refuge in norms, procedures or time constraints.

Being an organization leader or being a leader in an organization is looking outside and inside the organization and understanding the culture and context of the problems of customers and employees.

Instead of looking inward looking for the ingredients that the organization has to create a product or service, leaders must first seek to know what their customers need and then identify how the organization can meet those needs.

When we put ourselves in the customer’s shoes, what aspects of their experience do you care to improve or which aspects do not yet have an answer?

We can easily see that technologies as well as competitive dynamics move rapidly in the organizational environment, so it is of the utmost importance that an organization’s leadership seeks to redesign customer experiences by widening, for example, the range of touch points in customer journey map or introducing new digital instruments.

But if it is precious that excellence is impregnated in the experience of the clients, it is also essential that the employee experience is felt by the leadership as another jewel that shines in the organizational universe.

Design thinking provides an excellent way for leadership to focus on the employee’s personal experience (understanding the problems) and to create processes, novel solutions and tools that directly contribute to employee satisfaction and to achieve better levels of productivity.

People-centered leadership means seeking to identify the needs (known, but not met, not articulated or hidden) of both the clients and the organization’s employees.

The definition of a problem can rarely be summed up in a reported or felt complaint.

On the contrary, by researching, observing and through direct contact with people, it is possible to identify problems that need to be solved and which, in turn, make it possible to gather useful information to improve or create products, services or even work processes and methodologies internal environment of the organization.

” Building to think instead of thinking about what to build ” – Tim Brown

Leadership that also facilitates experimentation/prototyping and builds on collaboration easily directs creative action to seek solutions in two strands, customers and collaborators (be they consumers or users). The success in the employees’ leadership, resulting from the resolution of their problems, has a direct impact on the resolution of customer problems due to the environment favorable to the commitment that is created.

Design thinking minded leaders within a creative process (problem definition, information search, idea generation and evaluation) should be facilitators, but also provocative, they must be conductive, but also motivators.

It must be a leadership that embraces ambiguity and builds prototypes of visions, products and services and even the magical experiences of its collaborators. Prototypes that will be tested and that will produce feedback of useful information to find the integrated solutions that satisfy the needs of all the interested parties (customer, suppliers, collaborators, etc.)

Notice: “You can prototype with anything.  You want to get an answer to your big question using the bare minimum of energy and expense possibly, but not at the expense of the fidelity of the results.  It’s not only about aluminum, foamcore, glue, and plywood.  A video of the human experience of your proposed design is a prototype.  Used correctly, an Excel spreadsheet is a wonderful prototyping tool.”

A leader embraces complexity because that is where the best answers come from.

It is therefore crucial for the leader to develop integrative thinking, that is, the ability to grasp two opposing ideas to create a solution that results from combining the most relevant points of each of those ideas.

A leader must be optimistic, but not overbearing, positive and must celebrates small successes.

It is not easy to find leaders of this nature! 🙂

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