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Building Smarter
Organizations
Gordon Vala-Webb
SIKM Webinar
February 2018
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizatio...
“We are kept from our goal
not by obstacles
but by a clear path
to a lesser goal.”
Robert Brault
@BuildSmarterOrg www.Buil...
I have worked in range of organizations in
public, private and non-profit sections
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrg...
To survive, our organizations need different
capabilities
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 4
Old worl...
www.Dynamic Adaptation.com
#ChangeIsComing
• Flows – not knowledge Stocks
• Predictions / Bets – not Repeat
• Nurturing – ...
What is going on?
Some observations about our world
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 6
Observation: work has been getting “smarter”
Slide 7
Source: http://cdn.dupress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Screen-Shot...
Observation
• Unhappy, disengaged people
• Command-and-control
culture
• Surprising number of
psychopathic leaders
@BuildS...
VUCA-Digital world
cc: frogthroat - https://www.flickr.com/photos/22980078@N04
“The Specter of an Accidental China-U.S. Wa...
Observation: Organizations face an obsolescence
squeeze
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 10
https://w...
Observation: New things are a bet based on a
prediction about what is the signal
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrgan...
What is the solution?
Take the “Z” test
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 12
www.Dynamic Adaptation.com
Fundamental solution: faster flow of information,
ideas and decisions
http://www.squ.edu.om/Por...
Contrast
Zombies
organizations
Slow flow, looking
in and backwards
@BuildSmarterOrg
www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 1...
What is a zombie organization?
Take the “Z” test
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 15
Flow constrictions: the “Z” test (click here)
•Mindset
•Communication
•Decision-making
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarte...
“Z” test: Mindset
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 17
Mindset
True?
Leadership prefers slogans to rea...
“Z” test: Communication
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 18
Communication
True?
Too many emails and o...
“Z” test: Decision-making
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 19
Decision-making
True?
Coordinating work...
Mindset:
“We rarely learn from our
mistakes”
“Vulnerability is the
birthplace of innovation,
creativity, and change.”
Bren...
Communication:
“Too many emails”
Email by the numbers:
122 Number of emails a typical
worker receives every day
28% Averag...
One change, 125 different people, 700+ interactions
@BuildSmarterorg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 22
Gottfredson, ...
Poll:
What’s your “Z”
score?
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 23
7+ EMERGENCY!
4-6 Danger
1-3 Congrat...
What is a “smart” organization?
Situational awareness, rapid learning and maneuverability
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSma...
Being smart:
Situational awareness
To know where you are in a
VUCA world you need:
• Broad range of
information
• Fast sor...
Being smart:
Rapid learning
• Building and rebuilding
models to understand the
world
• Learning through
experimentation
• ...
Being smart:
Maneuverability
Applying what you have
learned is the key
• Silo-based, top-down,
incremental decision-
makin...
Flow constraints
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 28
Flow constraint: Command-and-control
culture (and disengagement)
Do as I say
Don’t think too
much
Don’t make
mistakes
Don’...
Flow constraint: Silos and zero-sum thinking
“In a healthy system,
information flows are
unimpeded by clots of
power or th...
Flow constraint: Email!
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 31
Memorandum to Secretary Walcott re: his s...
Mini-silos of disorganized emails you can’t find
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 32
Morrison, A., Pa...
Building smarter organizations
Open mindset, fast-flow communications, and accelerated decision-making
@BuildSmarterOrg ww...
Three keys
Open mindset
1
Fast-flow
communications
2
Accelerating
decision-making
3
@BuildSmarterOrg
www.BuildingSmarterOr...
1) Open mindset
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 35
Move to
connected-and-
contributing
Mass spontane...
Open mindset: zero-based thinking
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 36
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 37
. . . Pull what and when you need info
. . . Info and ideas are o...
Fast flow communication: Making work visible
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 38
95%
Non-luminous
3) Accelerating decision-making
Downward flow, within a silo, known
problems and opportunities
Cross-silo decision flow fo...
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 40
Accelerating decision-making: Spot the hot
areas
Accelerating decision making:
Decision management
•Open platform
•Decision managers
•Frameworks and methods
•Data sets
•Tr...
Changing thinking about change
@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 42
Shifting the equilibrium – polarity management
Slide 43@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com
Source: Kolle...
www.Dynamic Adaptation.com
“Those who
are hostile
attack like
partisans”
“There is nothing more difficult
to take in hand,...
Influence: feeling creatures that think
Slide 45
David Rock, “SCARF: a brain-based model for collaborating with and influe...
Targeted effort: three Cs (Dave Snowden)
Constraint
management
•Removing or
creating
Coupling /
connecting
•New
connection...
“Try or try not. There is only do not with no try."
Gordon Vala-Webb – Building Smarter Organizations 2016Slide 47
“Try or...
Questions?
Gordon@BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com
www.buildingsmarterorganizations.com/
@BuildSmarterOrg
Available at boo...
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Building Smarter Organizations SIKM February 2018

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Flows – not knowledge Stocks
Predictions / Bets – not Repetition
Nurturing – not Managing
Being Smart – not a Zombie

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Building Smarter Organizations SIKM February 2018

  1. 1. Building Smarter Organizations Gordon Vala-Webb SIKM Webinar February 2018 @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com
  2. 2. “We are kept from our goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.” Robert Brault @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com
  3. 3. I have worked in range of organizations in public, private and non-profit sections @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 3 Brocksway Information Technology
  4. 4. To survive, our organizations need different capabilities @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 4 Old world VUCA – Digital world Grow big Grow adaptable Reliably repetitive Radically responsive Control Predict
  5. 5. www.Dynamic Adaptation.com #ChangeIsComing • Flows – not knowledge Stocks • Predictions / Bets – not Repeat • Nurturing – not Managing • Being Smart – not a Zombie @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com
  6. 6. What is going on? Some observations about our world @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 6
  7. 7. Observation: work has been getting “smarter” Slide 7 Source: http://cdn.dupress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Screen-Shot-2012-10-01-at-9.20.13-PM.png?2b7236 @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com
  8. 8. Observation • Unhappy, disengaged people • Command-and-control culture • Surprising number of psychopathic leaders @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 8
  9. 9. VUCA-Digital world cc: frogthroat - https://www.flickr.com/photos/22980078@N04 “The Specter of an Accidental China-U.S. War” “Sears tanked because the company failed to shift to digital.” Observation:
  10. 10. Observation: Organizations face an obsolescence squeeze @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 10 https://www.thoughtworks.com/insights/blog/why-lean-enterprise-transformation-hard
  11. 11. Observation: New things are a bet based on a prediction about what is the signal @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 11 Classifying Experimental Designs Source: https://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/expclass.php
  12. 12. What is the solution? Take the “Z” test @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 12
  13. 13. www.Dynamic Adaptation.com Fundamental solution: faster flow of information, ideas and decisions http://www.squ.edu.om/Portals/20/PDF/World%20Water%20Day%202011/Adrian%20Bejan_%20The%20Constructal%20Law%20of%20Design%20in%20Nature%20.pdf “For a finite-size system to persist in time (to live), it must evolve in such a way that it provides easier access to the imposed currents that flow through it.” Constructal law, Adrian Bejan 13@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com
  14. 14. Contrast Zombies organizations Slow flow, looking in and backwards @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 14 Smart organizations – Fast flow, looking out and forward
  15. 15. What is a zombie organization? Take the “Z” test @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 15
  16. 16. Flow constrictions: the “Z” test (click here) •Mindset •Communication •Decision-making @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 16
  17. 17. “Z” test: Mindset @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 17 Mindset True? Leadership prefers slogans to reality Most people here want to work somewhere else We rarely learn from our mistakes People do not trust each other much
  18. 18. “Z” test: Communication @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 18 Communication True? Too many emails and other internal communications People do not know what is going on across our organization It’s hard for people to get useful feedback on their ideas
  19. 19. “Z” test: Decision-making @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 19 Decision-making True? Coordinating work with people in other parts of the organization is hard Easy to get to a “No” decision - hard to get a “Yes” Meetings here are useless and unproductive
  20. 20. Mindset: “We rarely learn from our mistakes” “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” Brené Brown @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 20 Leadership By KetaDesign (http://www.ketadesign.ca/eaglephoto5.html)
  21. 21. Communication: “Too many emails” Email by the numbers: 122 Number of emails a typical worker receives every day 28% Average work week consumed by emails 77 # times per day people check their emails @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 21Rob Cottingham http://www.socialsignal.com/image/truly-multitasking https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/high-tech/our-insights/the-social-economy http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Email-Statistics-Report-2015-2019-Executive-Summary.pdf https://www.ics.uci.edu/~gmark/Home_page/Research_files/CHI%2016%20Email%20Duration.pdf
  22. 22. One change, 125 different people, 700+ interactions @BuildSmarterorg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 22 Gottfredson, M. (2012, June 28). “The focused company.” Bain & Company. Bain Brief. Retrieved from http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/the-focused-company.aspx Decision-making: “Easy to get a no”
  23. 23. Poll: What’s your “Z” score? @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 23 7+ EMERGENCY! 4-6 Danger 1-3 Congratulations
  24. 24. What is a “smart” organization? Situational awareness, rapid learning and maneuverability @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 24
  25. 25. Being smart: Situational awareness To know where you are in a VUCA world you need: • Broad range of information • Fast sorting between signal and the noise • Precedents don’t help @BuildSmarterorg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 25
  26. 26. Being smart: Rapid learning • Building and rebuilding models to understand the world • Learning through experimentation • Practicing unlearning @BuildSmarterorg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 26
  27. 27. Being smart: Maneuverability Applying what you have learned is the key • Silo-based, top-down, incremental decision- making is SLOW • Pushed-down, cross- silo, decision-making with everyone engaged is critical @BuildSmarterorg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 27
  28. 28. Flow constraints @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 28
  29. 29. Flow constraint: Command-and-control culture (and disengagement) Do as I say Don’t think too much Don’t make mistakes Don’t be too different @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 29
  30. 30. Flow constraint: Silos and zero-sum thinking “In a healthy system, information flows are unimpeded by clots of power or the sclerosis of hierarchy.” Philip Slater, The Chrysalis Effect Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nasser_al- Din_Shah_Louvre_MAO776-Edit.jpg @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com
  31. 31. Flow constraint: Email! @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 31 Memorandum to Secretary Walcott re: his son Stuart’s grave site; as found in “Evolution of the Memo, 1849-2011.” (2011, November 17). Smithsonian Institute Archives. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/SIArchives/evolution-of-the-memo Closed Connects few-to-few Random info structure
  32. 32. Mini-silos of disorganized emails you can’t find @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 32 Morrison, A., Parker, B. (2011). “The collaboration paradox: More social information helps the workforce find what it’s looking for.” PwC Technology Forecast. Issue 3. Retrieved from https://www.pwc.com/us/en/technology-forecast/2011/issue3/assets/transforming-collaboration-with-social-tools.pdf Emailed Knowledge
  33. 33. Building smarter organizations Open mindset, fast-flow communications, and accelerated decision-making @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 33
  34. 34. Three keys Open mindset 1 Fast-flow communications 2 Accelerating decision-making 3 @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 34
  35. 35. 1) Open mindset @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 35 Move to connected-and- contributing Mass spontaneous alignment Vulnerability is encouraged
  36. 36. Open mindset: zero-based thinking @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 36
  37. 37. @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 37 . . . Pull what and when you need info . . . Info and ideas are openly available . . . Working together in a document . . . Info has structure and context Source: http://www.pwc.com.ar/es_AR/ar/publicaciones-por-industria/assets/transforming-collaboration-with-social-tools.pdf 2) Fast flow communication: Enterprise networking platform
  38. 38. Fast flow communication: Making work visible @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 38 95% Non-luminous
  39. 39. 3) Accelerating decision-making Downward flow, within a silo, known problems and opportunities Cross-silo decision flow for novel problems and opportunities Conversa- tionalists Testers Core team @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 39 Source: Fishbrne, T. (n.d). “Helping GrowthCloud Communicate Ways To Grow With Their Clients.” Image. Retrieved from https://marketoonist.com/campaigns/all/growthcloud “How Employees Shaped Strategy at the New York Public Library” Bruce A. Strong and Mary Lee Kennedy HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW, DECEMBER 5, 2016 Source: https://hbr.org/2016/12/how-employees-shaped-strategy-at-the-new-york-public-library
  40. 40. @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 40 Accelerating decision-making: Spot the hot areas
  41. 41. Accelerating decision making: Decision management •Open platform •Decision managers •Frameworks and methods •Data sets •Training and coaching •Fast-flow communications
  42. 42. Changing thinking about change @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 42
  43. 43. Shifting the equilibrium – polarity management Slide 43@BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com Source: Koller, R. (n.d.). Oversimplifying Change Management. Blog post. Retrieved from http://www.howtochangemanagement.com/2012/12/oversimplifying-change-management.html
  44. 44. www.Dynamic Adaptation.com “Those who are hostile attack like partisans” “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order” Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince @BuildSmarterorg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 44
  45. 45. Influence: feeling creatures that think Slide 45 David Rock, “SCARF: a brain-based model for collaborating with and influencing others”; NeuroLeadership Journal, 2008 https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/thurs_georgia_9_10_915_covello.pdf Relative importance Error response Choosing Friend / foe Unfairness = threat @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com
  46. 46. Targeted effort: three Cs (Dave Snowden) Constraint management •Removing or creating Coupling / connecting •New connections Catalysts •Creating attractors 46 “The difficult tasks of the world must be handled through the simple tasks” Tao Te Ching @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com
  47. 47. “Try or try not. There is only do not with no try." Gordon Vala-Webb – Building Smarter Organizations 2016Slide 47 “Try or try not. There is only do not with no try."
  48. 48. Questions? Gordon@BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com www.buildingsmarterorganizations.com/ @BuildSmarterOrg Available at bookstores and Amazon @BuildSmarterOrg www.BuildingSmarterOrganizations.com 48

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