Changing market conditions, the impact of technology, and the differing expectations of five generations in the workplace at once have contributed to a huge change in organisations across the world.
As a result, they’ve emerged flatter, agiler, and bound by a common purpose. Employee empowerment and collaboration is becoming the norm.
Here are the five crucial characteristics that define a new world organisation.
To attract and retain the right people, new world organisations are driven by a clear and unifying purpose. A purpose that engages not just employees, but also customers and stakeholders.
Organisations are asking themselves questions like: what makes us a desirable place to work? What is our philosophy? What contribution do we make to the wider world?
The emerging generations of workers in particular are attracted to an organisation because of the values and narratives they communicate and demonstrate. New world organisations understand this and place their purpose and values at the forefront of their organisational identity.
New world organisations respond rapidly to customer needs and market developments. Making use of data and flat decision-making structures, important calls can be made swiftly.
In turn, planning year-by-year is becoming a thing of the past. As the business environment becomes increasingly fluid and prone to overnight change, so too must the organisations that operate within it.
New world organisations also Move rapidly to execute their plans, accepting that failure is possible, adopting a “fail-fast-learn-fast” approach.
Old world leadership, defined by top-down hierarchies, is becoming increasingly ineffective and inefficient. Decisions aren't just made by one person anymore.
New world organisations have evolved into flatocracies and fluid teams, eradicating silo-based structures. This way, they can drive greater collaboration, openness and transparency.
Information-sharing, decision-making and development-modelling take place collaboratively, recognising that leadership can be found at all levels of the organisation. Leaders know their influencers and unofficial leaders.
New world organisations empower their people to make the right decisions in real-time, without the need for continuous guidance.
Employees are also empowered to seek out fresh, exciting experiences in the workplace, rather than simply chase a new job title. Career trajectories should no longer be perceived as moving upwards on a ladder. A more appropriate analogy for the new world of work might be to imagine a scrambling net, where employees can move up, down, and side to side to seek out sequential experiences within a fluid structure.
And finally, they’re also empowered to take the reins in self-governing project teams, rather than adhere to rigid hierarchies concerned with traditional reporting and authority.
Organisations in the new world of work are busy creating an ecosystem of relationships – not just within the organisation, but outside it too.
They’re also sure to embrace this ecosystem when it comes to their talent. They recognise that talent isn’t restricted to their balance sheet. Our research shows that, unlike their predecessors, 16 to 34 year-olds are far more open to the prospect of freelancing, contracting or portfolio careers.
Today, the new world organisation thinks of its workforce as not just those on its established headcount. It also includes the gig economy, freelance workers and even crowdsourcing environments.