Disruption effects one sector after the other
It is said that wisdom comes with age. Does this also apply to organisations? Do they become wiser and smarter, the older they are? There are examples of old-fashioned companies. They constantly reinvent the wheel, such as IBM. But think of beverage producers like the Brand (since 1340), Bols and Grolsch. They have existed, and managed to survive, for a very long period of time. These types of organisations are an exception.
The disruption is currently large and effects one sector after the other In the 1920s, the average company age was 65 years. Now it is only 15 years (Yale University). Incidentally this research also indicates that in the top 10 of the oldest companies there are three beverage manufacturers.
Disintegration and disruption are the enemies of every organisation
Over the years, organisations are learning. But at some point a change takes place. The fire and determination of the early years fly by, and subsequently the opposite often becomes a reality: the older an organisation is, the more stupid and demented it becomes. Each system has the natural tendency to disintegrate when no timely adjustments and upgrades are being made. This is apart from the threat of disruption.
Organisations have to arm themselves with intelligence
Managers and management have to arm themselves against disintegration and disruption. This can be achieved with nimble and competent staff, proper data, upgrades, agility and an analytical business culture. Managers no longer make a difference. From day 1, all employees will have to proactively manage and work on the development of intelligence. In this article, we take a look at the most important habits of highly intelligent organisations from both a scientific and practical perspective (source: The intelligent organization, 3rd edition). These organisations are sensitive, smart, fast and therefore very successful. It would not be smart if we did not learn from it.
Profile of stupid organisations
Highly intelligent organisations thrive thanks to very stupid organisations. Without darkness there is no light. Unfortunately, there are still many stupid organisations. They are reactive, indifferent, negligent, short-sighted, irresponsible and they are particularly ineffective. The United Kingdom Consortium also investigated these ‘stupid businesses’. Here the same picture surfaces as above: these companies mainly want to make a lot of money quickly (short-sightedness), create expectations that are far too high, break promises very easily (irresponsible), are unfair, impersonal and robotic (indifferent) and ineffective.
What are the 7 habits of highly intelligent organisations?
From several scientific studies conducted, the following habits were consistently found among highly intelligent organisations. These are the 7 habits of highly intelligent organisations:
1. They consistently use (big) data for proactive actions
They are characterised by proactive behaviour and not only want to know what has happened (rearview mirror), and what is now visible (side windows) but are constantly looking into the future (wind shield). They consistently use (big) data for analysis and action as well as to figure out the reasons behind business affairs. Furthermore, they develop predictive and prescribing models. As a result they are always one step ahead of the competition. They do not depend on others but dominate in a pleasant manner and this makes them the best. (Read more about Analytics and Business Intelligence)
2. They know exactly where they want to go: all-round vision
They have developed a firm and powerful all-round vision and related strategy . They identify goals, key performance indicators and targets in line with their vision, strategy and mission. And more importantly: employees in the workplace also act on it accordingly. They begin with the end in mind and they know what they are here for. They are familiar with a long-term orientation, are determined and do not just downgrade their ambitions. They simultaneously have a discerning eye for detail in an ever changing world. Goals make them consistent and the management team is a real unit. They use data not only to determine their goals and strategy but also to test and adjust them (also see 4). (Read more about all-round vision & strategy)
3. They continuously discuss business matters: alignment
Highly intelligent organisations resemble extremely streamlined human machinery. There are no managers or teams available to make decisions that are not in line with the goals and strategy. Furthermore, they apply the principle of “comply or explain”. Everything that is relevant is reconciled with each other as perfectly as possible: organisation establishment, goals, data, processes, people and resources. Synthesis always follows analysis. Thus, energy will never be lost. The priorities are accurate and correct.
4. They talk to each other regarding positive and negative performance
Inside highly intelligent organisations there is always talk of a win-win, even though sometimes things do go wrong. Mistakes may be made. They have this concept that when no mistakes are being made, nothing new is being tried out. That is disastrous. From the philosophy of ‘experiments = learning’, they always talk to each other regarding positive and negative performance. They see feedback as the ‘breakfast of champions’. Our own research shows that feedback is the dominant factor driving up to successful organisations.
5. They know their customers through and through and keep them close
They are particularly focused on their customers and consistently apply this principle. They are very close to the customer, working closely with him (scrum) and focused on customer-orientation which is a high priority. Customers don’t get transferred around as self-directed teams serve the customers from start to finish. In order to improve the relationship and to increase the customer value.
6. They think and work in an agile way
Highly intelligent organisations are not only attentive but also provide continuous synergy with their customers and with each other. They work in an agile way Goals and targets are regularly examined and are immediately adjusted where relevant. Sometimes – if necessary – downgraded, but always in an upward direction. The adaptation of the goals and targets also always follows the organisational structure and is adjusted where necessary (also see 3). They have a mentality of never giving up. And that’s understandable because they truly understand the importance of agility and constantly see new opportunities.
7. They intentionally use data for improvements and innovation
They want to get better at it every day. They intentionally strive towards less mistakes and quality awareness and control is deeply embedded in the organisation. They ensure that data is as leading as possible in order to improve processes and develop new products (evidence based). In the meantime, an eighth habit has now been added: innovation. From effectiveness and efficiency to greatness.
Curious about how your organisation can become intelligent?
Intelligent organisations perform better across the board. They secure more profits, have more satisfied customers, manage their workforce better and are more successful with innovation. Please contact us without any obligation and our specialists will gladly tell you more about our approach on how to make your organisation permanently intelligent. You may of course also follow one of the courses and masterclasses from our Passionned Academy. Stay ahead of you colleagues and order the 3rd edition of our Business Intelligence Book ‘The Intelligent organization’.