Organisational insights: the decade of speed and where we are heading
Over the last decade business cycles have started to move faster than ever before, but what we shouldn’t lose sight of is the value of detailed organisational insights.
We’ve experienced a decade of disruption that looks like it will continue unabated into the next. External and internal forces continue to affect the world of work but perhaps disruption is the new ‘business as usual’?
So what’s next? As we enter the 2020s the time to reflect, to evolve and to adjust ‘the plan’ has never been so critical.
It’s been said that the C-suite are turning more of their attention to those things where they can effect change – their internal forces of work – those that, if unlocked and used to generate positive company outcomes, could be the foundational elements to drive sustained business performance.
This dramatic shift in having to be able to adapt one’s core strategy every one or two years also has to be matched by an organisation’s ability to thrive under such conditions.
So why the urgency? Regardless of industry, geography or size, almost every company is feeling the strain and impact of workload, the need to get things done faster than ever before.
The productivity paradox suggests we’re doing more but producing less, which leads us to ask: why the extra work for what appears to be the same or less results?
The answer lies in ‘what we’re actually doing multiplied by how quickly we have to do it’. As a global workforce we do billions of hours of work every day, we send 100s of billions of messages, new technologies driven by consumerisation are now pervasive across companies to make us more efficient and productive. Being more productive doesn’t mean our teams are working on the right things, however – it doesn’t mean organisations are aligned.
The cost of partial insight
Decision making rarely exploits material organisational insights. This has a critical impact on three key areas of company decision making: strategy, organisational alignment, and cost (financial and human).
The result? Ineffective decision making, making crucial judgements on what to do, how to do it, when and with whom are being made without the necessary data to back it up.
Particularly in strategy, past business cycles included planning for the next four to five years. Software companies would often do one major release each year.
Times have changed
C-Suite strategic business cycles are now 18 months. This dramatic shift in having to be able to adapt one’s core strategy every one or two years also has to be matched by an organisation’s ability to thrive under such conditions. For a company to thrive and operate at speed, it must be able to not only absorb change but also generate it.
Gathering and generating organisational insights for board and C-suite decision makers help them take prompt and highly targeted action.
Organisational clock speed is necessary to compete both at a strategic level but also ‘lived’ at an organisational level. This ‘business cadence’ is here to stay and will make or break a company in the coming decade as agility becomes a critical characteristic to deliver sustained business performance.
Partial insights that inform what to do, based on data from across an organisation, has led to ineffective decision-making. With partial information, organisations are shifting their resources to planning, yet planning in the wrong areas.
The companies that are able to continuously generate rich organisational data and insights will keep their clock-speed up but also will lead to higher efficiency as they understand deeply what to work on, in what order, and who to ask to get it done.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A)
At a time of unparalleled uncertainty and market volatility the ability to design and successfully execute an M&A transaction is a crucial lever in an organisation’s strategic armoury.
M&A doesn’t always live up to the expectations of key stakeholders. Whilst financial and technology reengineering is integrated into post-merger planning, organisational reengineering is emerging as a key tenant of both strategy and execution focus.
Gathering critical board level insights as to the existing state of each party organisation across key attributes such as people, organisation, leadership, and technology, innovation and culture for example, and the patterns of interaction of each is becoming recognised as a missing element in M&A.
We believe that companies that deliver continuous organisational insights, strategise and align behind the strategies can increase their chances of higher returns.
Gathering and generating organisational insights for board and C-suite decision makers help them take prompt and highly targeted action - contextualised data analytics allows for effective decision making of what to do, how, and with whom.
By having the organisational insights from both buy and sell-side parties companies can identify where to focus efforts for improvement and hot spots of existing strengths, and continuously measure and track the success of your key initiatives.
Systemically embedding key strategic themes based on data drives organisational motivation, conviction, supports communication efforts whilst supporting timely and successful company integration and resulting change programmes.
What’s the outcome of these actions? Value creation and an aligned workforce across both parties.
We believe that companies that deliver continuous organisational insights, strategise and align behind the strategies can increase their chances of higher returns on transformational efforts and sustained business performance.
Interested in this topic? Read Strategic data: unlocking HR's secret weapon.
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Having founded Temporall, Thomas has led the business to develop a new category of software, organisational intelligence in the belief that continuous organisational data and analytical insights are critical enterprise assets. Temporall works with the C-Suite to help them make better informed decision making with a depth and frequency to meet...