Today, we can’t understand an organization by only studying an organizational chart or process descriptions. Organizations are not steered from the top to the same extent as before. To implement a change and to increase the organization’s adaptability, we need to activate multiple self-steering, sometimes fluid groups to take a collective responsibility to direct the energy of the organization in the same direction.
Most of the work performed in an organization takes place in these so-called microsystems (sometimes formal teams on the organizational chart, but as often informal groups). It is only when we can mobilize and train them that we can achieve true and lasting change. It has also become clear that modern, lasting team development and management team development best take place in connection with a specific change instead of being carried out independently. We say it should be agenda driven and not taken out of context.
Your average microsystems normally perform surprisingly poorly
This is the case especially in connection with a change. They can, however, be quickly improved by investing in Collective Intelligence. Developing individuals in an organization has long been the focus of the manager. Modern research shows, however, that microsystems are a missing link in strategy execution. To be able to reach the full potential of your organization and the planned change, you need to take some fundamental steps analyzing both fixed, formal microsystems as well as the fluid and temporary ones and mobilizing them:
#1 Prioritize microsystems (make a heat map that is renewed continuously):
- Deciding: Which microsystems are we dependent on for relevant decisions connected to the change?
- Advising: Which microsystems are we dependent on for relevant advice?
- Receiving: Which microsystems need to be able to receive our results?
- Executing: Which microsystems need to do the work and behave differently to achieve desired results?
#2 Analyze Collective Intelligence in the prioritized microsystems (four abilities are assessed):
- Representation ability: The microsystem’s ability to create a common understanding of the shared task (the strategy) and how work is coordinated
- Reflection ability: The microsystem’s ability to reflect and learn from realized results and collaboration in order to improve future performance
- Integration ability: The microsystem’s ability to act as a cohesive team and pay attention to each other and the shared task
- Relation ability: The microsystem’s ability to create a positive and safe climate where the individuals trust each others’ knowledge and intentions
#3 Plan and carry through training:
Replace traditional leadership development and team building by designing and implementing an agenda driven, tailored training program for the microsystems that have the greatest development potential. The training of Collective Intelligence takes place integrated with the daily work and processes. This, more expedient, way of developing organizations is something Influence has been doing for a long time. In parallel, we have developed these unique capabilities together with our clients in the public sector.
#4 Follow up and embed:
systematic development of microsystems in your processes and structures (Governance, HR, project management, etc.) and delegate. Since Stratecution is a continuous movement, the development of microsystems needs to be institutionalized and a recurring item on the management’s agenda.