Quality World!

I finally made it into Quality World. If you are interested to know more about how I see some trends making a difference to the world of performance management then have a look here.

Soapbox: Mike Chitty

We have now entered a new business age that requires us to ask new questions to cope with a range of new challenges:

  • how do we make partnerships and collaboration work for our benefit and that of our customers?
  • how do we develop the know-how that we need to keep our products and services at the cutting edge?
  • how do we influence across organisational boundaries to win the support of others in pursuit of our objectives?
  • how do we take account of intangible assets, information and knowledge flows, brand reputation and customer loyalty?
  • how do we build organisations that can make sense of this new world and continue to deliver value for all stakeholders?

Clearly there is no single solution for the precise way forward. However, for most, the new sense of direction will be characterised by a shift from focusing on linear mechanistic processes, functional units and organisational boundaries. There needs to be increased emphasis on understanding and developing dynamic relationships, networks and interdependencies.

One shift involves rethinking value to include both tangible and intangible value. Much new thinking about intangibles, intellectual capital and non-financial forms of value has developed in the last decade or two. An organisation that is competent in the effective use of scorecards and strategy to understand and develop the role of intangibles in performance is more likely to thrive in an uncertain future.

A second major shift is to recognise that effective business is increasingly dependent on networks of business relationships. The traditional view regards each enterprise as a lone competitor scrambling for a niche in its markets. These shifts in business thinking require changes in practice and focus at three fundamental levels:

  • the strategic level – the province of leadership
  • the tactical level of work groups and activity – the province of management
  • the individual level – where management and leadership provide the context for decision-making and motivation

Now we are seeing shifts in focus that represent a more dynamic and interconnected view that corresponds to insights from quantum physics, complexity theory, behavioural science, and living systems. Those of us working to improve organisational performance can play a powerful role in helping organisations to translate these new insights and what they mean for the way we do our work and how we manage organisations. The challenge is to identify the key questions, understand how emerging thinking can contribute to your business, what new tools and techniques you should choose to adopt and where the emphasis should be at strategic, tactical and individual levels.

  • to what extent does your organisation take account of the new realities of organisational performance – the need for effective relationships and the management of intangible assets?
  • how has the management and development of intangibles been taken into account in the way you measure and manage performance?
  • what is your organisation doing to build levels of trust and credibility with partners?
  • how do you harness the know-how relevant to your business and its strategy?
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