Organizational Dynamics of Retention, Engagement, and Performance in the New World Order

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The new world presents a fantastic opportunity for Organizations to do exceedingly well in the 21st Century New World Order. Internet and communications technology are redefining value chain and business models. We are at a cusp of a significant transformation in the way we design and operationalize our organizations.

So, to start with, let us discuss what has changed. Work from home models and technological innovations across the supply chain, specifically at the input and customer interfacing stages, is undergoing a total transformation. The business value chain will increasingly rely on Technology, and the primary and secondary functions and processes will also see a significant adaptation of Technology. Analytics and the Internet of Things with 3D augmented reality will be the key drivers of the business value chain. Human & Technology collaboration shall be the new way of doing things. Continuous up-gradation of Technology for competitive advantage shall be the new norm.

For long, organizations that demonstrated business excellence took pride in their Core element of culture and a sense of purpose. They also focused on growth by setting audacious goals. The core will remain the key to excellence, but audacious goals will now be augmented through Design Thinking. No wonder Design Thinking is now emerging as a critical competence in organizations to drive innovation for growth. Fail early fail cheap is the norm in the Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous world.

We cannot, however, forget the people dimension. Ultimately humans will still be the drivers of technology and organization processes. Much of the value generated in the business value chain shall remain the critical contributions of the professionals. Creativity and Critical Thinking shall be the essence of human contribution to the business from now on. I must thus emphasize here that Design Thinking will have to be complemented by Creative Thinking and Critical Thinking.

The biggest challenge in the human dimension that organizations will now face is Ownership and Accountability. The entire concept of engagement at work will soon be driven by the intrinsic quest for self-motivation and personal mastery through competence development. Remote work models will demand very high-level result orientation through ownership & accountability, which was much compromised yet controllable in the Pre-COVID19 work methods. Maximum noise will arise here from now on as Technology based remote work methods evolve. While hiring, this must now be the critical facet of evaluation; else, the organization structure will face friction at all levels.

If we combine all the above facets of behaviors, we need an Entrepreneurial workforce to drive business processes with Leaders now taking the role of Mentors. Else your Leaders will be downgraded to frontline engagement factors with no room for development and strategic conversations.

So how do we retain this Entrepreneurial workforce? Study shows that the critical determinants of retention are:

  1. Sense of contribution at work.
  2. Collaborative relationships.
  3. Rewards & recognition.
  4. Learning at work.
  5. Brand connect at the micro-task environment, and mega-external environment.

Organizations with a sense of purpose will inspire employees with a sense of purpose and contribution. In the 21stCentury, a sense of purpose will evolve as a superior engagement factor for clients and other stakeholders. Afterall, COVID19 has commenced the inner journey for a lot of brands and professionals.

Informal networks were always the critical drivers for organization apart from the formal organizational relationships. Technology shall be the vital factor for enabling informal networks. Organizations must now leverage more on these informal networks through transparent feedback and feedforward mechanisms. Friendly collaboration boards and virtual rooms will have to find a place in organization space. Virtual tea-rooms will have to see the light of the day. Innovation will drive collaboration and a sense of purpose.

Rewards will become tangible because the intangible or intrinsic rewards will find gratification through the sense of purpose. Lean organizations help surface inefficiencies, which can be dealt with through technologies, and much of the profit share will enable retention. ESOPS will need accelerations if the entrepreneurial talent is to drive organizations.

Learning through innovation, critical thinking, and formal digital learning processes will need augmentation in organizational strategic view-point. Entrepreneurs build competitive advantage for themselves. They consistently hone their skills and competencies.  Knowledge will be power in the 21st Century. If employees can’t learn, they will leave.

Business excellence and corporate governance shall be the major forces for brand affinity. People, Planet & Profit model will see acceleration. If you wish to command new norm.loyalty, the 3P will be factors that must shape your business model. Since the loyalty factor will see a decline over the coming years as more and more entrepreneurial talent emerges, ethical brands shall see employee loyalty on the rise. Afterall, Technology brings transparency, and no one wants to be a part of the bad press. Technology will also demand borderless international models that people would love to work for. Economies of scale for enabling high returns on equity will only be possible through borderless business models.

So if I were to take the liberty of using the FIRO-B Psychometric Inventory, the following facets would be the determinants at the organization level.

  1. Inclusion: Must be a high network organization with formal and informal channels. People operating in silos will destroy the organization’s soul.
  2. Control: High degree of control through defined works-design and analytic measures. Innovation and Critical Thinking are determinants.
  3. Affection: Empathy would be the leadership definer as work from home brings its stresses. Warmth and competence will have to go hand in hand.

So, to sum up how people and organizations will look like in the new world order? For one, they will have to be organizations that will be tech-driven to deal with the uncertainties of supply chain and volatility of markets with a great human touch.

Beaurocratic organizations shall fail, and entrepreneurial culture will win.  The competency grids of the past are no longer valid. Entrepreneurial mindset, Critical Thinking, Design Thinking, Accountability, and Ownership shall be the key determinants. Technology with a human face across the supply chain shall craft future success.

20th Century Business Models have failed. No wonder so many businesses are going bust.

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