Archive for category Group Process
Organizations have internally addressed the problems they can tackle alone, and are now reaching beyond their organizational structure to address problems for which they have only partial control or impact. This means participating in inter-organization bodies with the mission to solve the problem by working collaboratively across partner organizations to create solutions.
Inter-organization problem solving creates huge problems for traditional managers and management theory.
Loss of Control
It is uncomfortable for organizations and managers to give up control and decision-making to inter-organizational bodies. Establishing business trust is THE essential element for real progress and support for the work of inter-organizational team’s to be successfully implemented.
Participation on inter-organizational teams requires that resources be offered up to the team, and people’s time is only the start. Resources go beyond meeting participation and include redirecting each participating organization’s resources to the effort: information and data sharing, re-prioritization of existing effort, communication, and changes to strategy are always part of the mix.
Decision-making and Governance
Determining decision-making models, beyond pure consensus is a new area in management theory. The key questions is: “If we can’t reach 100% consensus, then what level of agreement is necessary for you to support the solution if outvoted?”
Delegation of Authority to Representatives
Participation in inter-organizational teams requires delegation of authority to (often) lower level managers who will have the authority to commit the resources and name of the organization to a solution.
Complexity of Communication
Communicating decisions and progress back to the organization for work that is outside the organization’s structure is not a process that now exists. Until inter-organizational teams are formally viewed as part of the organization’s business model, they remain in a communication gray area with their work effort not well understood by the organization.
In this essay, Holly Green at Forbes discusses 10 roadblocks to innovation.
Organizational success is a wonderful thing. But it’s also a double-edged sword. As organizations experience success, their emphasis tends to shift to protecting and maintaining the status quo versus considering new opportunities and products. Unfortunately, clinging to what has worked in the past puts the brakes on innovation.
It also puts you out of touch with your customers’ changing needs — a dangerous circumstance in today’s highly volatile markets.
If you’re trying to innovate but not having success, see if any of these apply to your organization.
We could not agree more. As the pace of change accelerates these become more critical than ever to check these often. Read on.
A recent article in Fast Company says no, or probably not, or you decide… Great article and thought-provoking for those of us that gather ideas from smart people and help craft tangible business strategies.
In our strategy work, we use decision support tools that allow participants to give simultaneous and anonymous comments using many-to-many networked computers. This totally avoids the crowd-pleasing mentality that inhibits good ideas, as mentioned in the article. Often, WHO says something is more important than the content value of the idea itself. The “who said it” often shuts down the creativity of the group as much as critical challenges to ideas.
The jury is still out, and there are hundreds of studies that show better results for group process over individual ideas than those cited in the article below. We firmly believe that anonymous, technology-assisted group process produces far superior outcomes than produced by people working alone, particularly when the strategy or issue is complex. Effective group idea triggering consistently leads to superior strategies and solutions.
Reminds us of the old African proverb…. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.