Article: High performance organizations in the 21st century

Life @ Work

High performance organizations in the 21st century

Breaking down the strategy and priorities of a high performance organization in the 21st century.

In a VUCA world, organizations and institutions face a radically changing context for the workforce, the workplace, and the globalized world of enterprise in general. These shifts have modified the rules of operations for almost every organization. As a consequence, the way we understand cultural transformation and the tempo at which we need to evolve with agility are continuous challenges for leadership and management of organizations.

Similarly, the traditional concept of teamwork is changing. It’s becoming digital, more global, diverse, tech-savvy, and social media-proficient. At the same time, enterprise expectations and needs are evolving quicker than ever before. While some companies see this as a challenge, it should be viewed as an opportunity. An opportunity to rethink how we approach leadership, talent acquisition and retention and organizational structures. An opportunity to create relevant and appropriate systems, processes, and equipment that will continue to evolve and facilitate organizations to perform better in a consistent manner. 

Technology is also advancing exponentially than ever before. But enterprise productiveness has not kept pace with technological progress. Research data from different global sources show that productivity growth remains low despite the introduction of new technological know-how into the business environment. In fact, after the 2008 recession, growth in enterprise productivity stands at its lowest level since the early 1970s in many countries across the world. Paradoxically, organizations are being pushed into a reactive mode as a substitute than proactively re-engineering their business strategy and creating High Performance Organizations.

So, what does all this mean for the dynamically changing global business landscape?

Business and HR leaders can no longer continue to function with traditional and historical methods. They ought to now embody new approaches to reimagine their company’s culture, leadership, talent, and strategy transformation.

The 5 key strategic imperatives discussed in this article reflect the shifts in mindsets and behaviors that are required to lead, inspire, organize, motivate, manage the 21st-century High Performance Organization, especially during instances of dynamic and unpredictable change in an increasingly complex and ambiguous world

A Paradigm Shift from Traditional Leadership Hierarchies to Contemporary Peer Networks

Today, a new set of skills along with a shift in mindset is required for organizations to focus on career strategies, training and development, organizational ecosystems and inner peer networks. In the high-performance businesses of the present and future, management roles can no longer exist as in older traditional top-down hierarchies — it needs to exist through networks of well-trained and empowered employees that have the skills and resources to make the right decisions and execute. This creates a nimbler and more agile cultural environment, where better choices are made with better technologies and tools at a faster pace, thus paving for high performance.

Strategic Talent Acquisition 

The secret to successful strategic talent acquisition in high performing organizations is to align the organization’s recruitment and selection process policy with the company brand and robust talent acquisition strategies. Effective recruiters are permanently in talent acquisition mode, looking for potential future star performers as they go about their job. They know the company’s short and long term business strategy because they’re involved. They understand why employees stay at the company because they engage with top performers. They’re constantly scanning the horizon for top talent. They know where to find the type of people who’ll be a good fit, they engage openly with potential talent, and they’re always on the lookout for marketing opportunities to promote their brand.

Creating Unique Employee Experiences and Engagement Mechanisms for Results

Companies must think strategically when creating cultural experiences and engagement techniques for worker engagement. Employee engagement doesn't mean employee satisfaction. Many companies have "employee satisfaction" surveys and executives talk about "employee satisfaction", but the bar is set too low. A satisfied employee might show up for her daily 9-to-5 without complaint. But that same "satisfied" employee might not go the extra effort on her own, and she'll probably take the headhunter's call luring her away with a 10 percent increase in pay. Satisfied isn't enough. Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.

In high performing organizations, this emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and are passionate about their company. They don't work just for a paycheck, or just for the next promotion, but work on behalf of the organization's goals.

Relevant Performance Management and Rewards Systems

Performance management is on the brink of a huge change. The old systems of the past, where performance goals were set once a year and re-examined at the year-end review are losing their relevance. High performance Companies are recognizing that these systems generate a lot of work and aren’t tied to employee engagement and performance. Contemporary Performance management is a continuing process of communication between managers and employees, with the mutual goal of accomplishing the strategic goals of the company. It is the foundation for employee performance and engagement in high performance organizations, that motivate their employees to reach their maximum potential and boost their productivity and success.

Strategic Investment In 21st Century Leadership Development

In the 21st century, organizations need to shift from regular hierarchies to networks and teams. This transformation also results in a shift in the planning and execution of leadership development. High-performance organizations need to create cross-functional project-focused groups on an ongoing basis. They need to do this based on transparency, shared values and culture . Leaders need to move from the traditional and hierarchical “command and control” style to the cutting-edge framework of the 4 C Leader -communicator, coach, catalyst and connector and for this they need to be continuously trained and developed.

The above five  factors, if followed and executed diligently can certainly transform ordinary organization who are struggling to be relevant to High Performance Organizations who continue to thrive with passion and resilience. 


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Topics: Life @ Work, #GuestArticle

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