The World, time & again, witnesses a crippling effect, Mahabharata, the World Wars, liberation from colonial rules and now The Pandemic. Each time, the human spirit of resilience remains intact but the context changes. From building brand new civilizations, products, technologies and policies we are now on the onset of building new muscles for an economy dominated by knowledge and service.
Reflect on any team sport, Cricket, Football, Hockey or Basketball. The rules of the games are surely different; however, the spirit and behaviors of all sportspersons are the same. We often observe them communicating, shouting robustly on the field to collaborate towards beating the competitor. This spirit of co-working comes from the trust that all are working for making the team win. Trust and collaboration in turn come from all the training and preparation done together to achieve the goal. But what’s most obvious on the field is - agility, the swifter the actions, the merrier are the chances of winning the competition!
So here are the basic five organizational spices:
Trust and Commitment
In the last two pandemic struck years, organizations, teams and individuals have faced enormous amounts of ambiguity. Ambiguity in terms of strategies, goals, performance, job security and what lies ahead. People have lost work and many big and small companies have either altered their operations or have shut down. In such an uncertain and volatile environment, re-laying the foundation of two-way trust is the first step towards re-building. This will not be a one time run, but a continuous relay race. Therefore, it is instrumental for organizations to bring in clarity and transparency with respect to strategies, policies, performance and the way ahead. This further can be fueled up by having frequent communication, feedback sessions & dialogues with the workforce. Such practices will reinstate clarity, instill cohesiveness and inclusivity, which is required to build commitment from within.
Technology has been the backbone of organizations during the pandemic and would continue to be so in the future as well. With minimum physical contacts and systems, technology and digitization will not only serve as life saviors but also accelerators in the game. Constant improvisation in organizational technologies is the key to a company’s success. Therefore, companies must not shy away from investing in it. Apart from bringing in standardization and helping organizations to operate remotely, technology will also serve as a magic wand for business. Companies should focus on their ability to gather data & convert it into insights using analytics and AI for analyzing trends, making predictions and making better business choices.
How do we define collaboration for our organization? Why is it required? And how do we ensure it functions? These are the questions that organizations should carefully investigate to build high performing synergies. To some it may look like a skill for operating remotely, however, going forward, co-creation and teamwork will become the building blocks of a workplace. With the objective to re-create and re-engineer businesses, CXOs, leaders and teams will have to operate closely to ensure long-time commercial success. Research shows that experts from unique and cross- functional perspectives can resolve challenges in a better manner as the group is able to see the problem statements from different angles and lenses.
Pandemic has been the greatest disruption in terms of market behavior. Changes in customer mindset and economic play has left no option for businesses but to re-think and innovate. Therefore, quick learning will keep the business going and growing. Thus, the onus on L&D function has increased with respect to being a business partner, identifying new needs and disseminating the programs timely in various formats; online, offline and bite sized.
While the above four dimensions would make the organization stronger from inside, we would also require a capability to compete with the market. No matter how effective collaboration is or how powerful the learning interventions are, if we are not able to delight our customers faster than the industry, we would not be able to reap the benefit of any co-creation. And therefore, agility becomes the need of the hour. How smoothly are we able to understand market needs and changes? How fast do we respond to market reactions? How accurately do we serve customers? Organizations must focus on building programs, culture and values around this dimension to ensure an agile work culture.
At REA India, transparency and two-way communications are one of our strongest bolsters. Our multiple touchpoints ensure business and people practices related clarity is percolated down and reactions along with feedback are worked upon. As we continue to operate in a hybrid environment, our focus on collaboration and innovation through digitization has taken the center stage. We have open platforms and mindsets for our people to suggest ideas, thereby encouraging an environment of inclusivity and involvement. Further, it will be our constant endeavour to re-imagine business through these five lenses to co-create success for our people, organization and our customers.