All Posts Tagged: Organizing

The five areas of the Future of Work

This post is an excerpt from part II: “MODELS

The future of work is characterized simultaneously by an adjusted and holistic approach. An adjusted approach, because the paradigm shift is a fundamental change to how we think and act in the workplace. A holistic approach, because the elements of the modern workplace interlock and affect each other

By applying the five guiding principles of the future in the modern workplace, we specifically get the five areas of future of work:

  • Purpose and direction
    Say goodbye to the classic three-year, detail-oriented strategy.
    Say hello to purpose and direction as a supplement, or even a replacement at times
  • Innovation as usual
    The new mantra is ‘challenge the status quo’. The consequence is ‘continuous innovation’ or ‘innovation as usual’.
    If you are not developing or changing your organization, you are going to be left behind.
    Innovation must be an everyday thought and mindset, and used on products, processes, AND leadership.
  • Viscous culture
    The culture must match the mindset. Freedom at work, inclusion, empowerment, trust, and engagement are in focus.
    We measure it via social capital and the organizational network analysis
  • Organizing for value
    Organizing is a verb, not a noun. It’s something we do – not something we are – in order to stay relevant to both employees and customers.
    We focus on what value we deliver to the customer, not on the product.
    We focus on the networked organization, and transforming from command-and-control to team-of-teams.
  • Responsive Leadership
    The responsive leadership consists of new roles and new behaviour.
    Most of all, it’s a balance between the old and new leadership styles.




Photo by Crew on Unsplash

The Responsive Leader’s role in self-organizing teams

This post is an excerpt from chapter 8: “Organizing for value”

The basic premise for engaging in new ways of organizing is to refocus the organizational energy.

The five guiding principles of future of work shows that the way groups evolve into collaborating teams is of immense importance for employees and customers:

  1. People first
  2. Purpose, meaning, sense-making, and value-creation
  3. Continuous innovation and experimentation
  4. An insatiable drive for results
  5. Everybody has the opportunity to take a lead.

The point is that you, as a leader, must be able to empower the team as much as needed, enabling them to self-organize and maybe even self-manage.

You have the responsibility for supporting the team in its ‘forming, storming, norming, and performing’ phases (Tuckman 1965), and for paying constant attention to the dynamics from personal development, shuffling resources, and on-boarding and off-boarding employees, as each of these interruptions requires new focus on team establishment and trust.

Amy C. Edmondson (Edmondson, 2012) uses a verification of team to describe what’s needed: “Teaming is something you do. It’s an activity.” This fits perfectly with the premise for this chapter: organizing is something you do.

A good way of doing this is to use situational leadership (Hersey and Blanchard, 1969) with the team, just as you would do with individual motivation. This team development must happen under strict and joint effort by the line managers and the management team.

The teams can evolve through several stages, touching upon aspects like self-organizing and self-management. The whole purpose of focusing on self-organizing, relationship, closeness, and engagement is to ensure employee wellbeing and engagement. This leads to adaptability and relevancy towards the customers, thereby increasing their loyalty. You play a vital role in this, ensuring that the team gets the right amount of direction, coaching, support, and delegation.

The more mature the team is, the less directive and supportive behaviour you need to apply. However, you can only stay in touch with the team members and the team development if you establish a feedback loop. That is, if you facilitate sessions of evaluation on individual and team level. This might happen on a weekly basis in the beginning, and after some months on monthly basis.

Situational leadership in teams is exactly that: situational.