The best work organization is using teams. We’ve known this for ages. Humans have been doing job specialization long before they even had a word for it. This is responsible for our success and for who we are, intimately. It explains the modern fascination with our deeply-seated sense of self. As well as the remarkable capacity we have to do work collaboratively.
We’re long past the discovery of job specialization. We’re likely quite past the traditional concept of organized work. This is an overview of the paradigm shift to new, more intelligent, organizations.
The “classical organization paradigm”
This segment is interesting if you like the theoretical side of things. Otherwise, scroll down to the intelligent organization of work.
Traditionally, an organization can mean one of two things. The first is a group of people organized for efficient work. An arrangement of parts, quite similarly to the mechanism of a timepiece. Which congregate to produce more than a random collection of outcomes. The second follows implicitly. The process, arranging, structuring of the activities. And the order by virtue of which you flow from inputs to outputs.
We may easily summarize the “classical paradigm”. Any organization is an oriented structure composed of people, interactions and interaction rules. They are aiming to convert resources into specific outputs.
The organization is a goal-oriented game composed of people, actions and rules. Bound to effectively transform inputs into outputs. We’re complicating this unnecessarily. Quite intuitively, we can understand organizations as social sets. They are formed for the purpose of measurable realization of a communality of goals.
The new conceptual framework for any organization
To put it another way, people come together to perform specialized work efficiently. The outputs of such work are more valuable than the outcomes of individual work. Inasmuch as the individual work is independent of any organization.
There’s great tradition and prestige in following this paradigm. It is comprehensive and it stands the trial of time. In fact, many organizations follow this conceptual framework.
Why? Because it defines roles in a predictable manner. Furthermore, it dictates a reasonable, linear model. One that assembles individual bits of work without delay. To this, add significant efforts to analyze and improve performance. And to cut costs and speed up processes. There are substantive works on the benefits of this system. And on how to audit it and improve it. Still, that’s not enough.
I say, out with the old. Out with the horribly convoluted, communication-boggling hierarchy. And in with the new. Bring forth the new paradigm. This enthusiastic, fresh and amazing approach that no longer pins the individual. That does not make people the least common denominator of the organization.
The intelligent organization of work
Teams are the smallest functional element in the structure of an intelligent organization. Of course, teams have finally come up as such. They are superior entities which outperform any individual. By eliminating overhead and introducing solutions for effective communications, teams are finally synergizing. First time ever for teams to be the smallest functional element.
1. Synergize teams, build individuals, improve your organization
Employee experience is a key factor for any organization. It’s the main discernible criterion for determining early success of new businesses. Now, more than ever, HR should cater for the employee experience.
By focusing on the employee experience, you create a flexible, vivid context. One in which individual talents and skills can come on top. Alongside the passion and drive to achieve results by working in teams. Teams that value individual assets. And care about how they blend together, how they synergize.
As a manager, you can enhance the employee experience. Merely encourage a sense of ownership and personal involvement with the final product. Nothing else gets people to invest themselves as much. Particularly to finding solutions.
Imagine your first day as an intern at some company. As you walk into the building, you find out you need to join a meeting. The CEO, Joan, Amanda from Accounting, and Steve from HR. Hence, your heart rate goes up a bit. But you’re in a for another surprise in this situation. You need to join a brainstorming session on a particular issue straightaway. You need to demonstrate calm and spontaneity. And, in the meantime, figure out how to connect your product with customers.
How much of that friendly meeting will make you feel like the project is your baby? What’s your answer to working here, on this project, forever. The answer is yes, and context is king.
2. Flatten hierarchies, empower the team, better your organization
Create a context in which your people are happy with themselves. And love to see that their contribution is an essential piece of the puzzle. This affects the team in surprising ways. To emphasize, people require less supervision in achieving common goals.
Teams are now cheetahs; they are fast and lean. They make quick and correct decisions. Moreover, they act on issues. And they react to urgent matters, without reservations. To be sure, teams plan, pivot, and reposition. All with a drive and passion that surpasses that of a main character in a bildungsroman.
But who will make all those decisions, isn’t this what managers do? Most often, team members in managing positions are the valuable, yet least relevant. At least when it comes to doing substantive work in their area.
Point is, you’re not missing on much if you simply allow teams to make decisions. In fact, you’re in for a treat. Teams can demonstrate reflexes that act much faster than the chain of management. That’s why special forces deploy tiny, independent units in combat areas. So long as it works, it’s great.
This also implies that you should align self-interest to business-interests. In short, see what equalizes matters. Between individual success, team success and organization success. What’s more, make it happen.
3. Have your organization capitalize on collaboration technologies
In short, collaboration technology helps you learn about your business. And substantially increase your productivity. It enables you to personalize the work experience of each team member.
For example, you can use it for ad-hoc online meetings. It’s where teams generate intelligent solutions. And feel driven to support throughout the lifecycle of that particular idea. You can organize work in ways that enable you to achieve anything.
It’s a holistic, dynamic, transactional approach to the organization of work.
Imagine going to a new school where everyone is friendly. Welcomes you and gets you up to speed with everything. Wouldn’t that be amazing? That experience is readily available today.