Outcome-driven teams: the power that outperforms hierarchy

Modern times require the revision of organization charts as well as a reshaping of the way of working into outcome-driven teams


The predictable and linear setting in which companies could afford to operate like an assembly line is long gone. Nowadays, corporations are forced to adapt to new scenarios with the highest possible degree of efficiency – combining the legacies of the past with the demands of the present. That is why its structure and decision making are two of the aspects that should be reviewed very closely, specially when it comes to outcome-driven teams.



Networks of outcome-driven teams


In leading companies, hierarchy is replaced by networks of teams. 


When it comes to mobilizing human capacity, networks outperform bureaucracies.

In this case, teams are made up of experts from different disciplines who share an outcome, defined as OKR. Also, they work together in sprints, short development cycles that can vary over time with a duration being set by the teams themselves. The outcome defines the why and what. During the sprints the teams learn the how.


This organizational system, based on organizing and synchronizing value creation to be adapted among different multidisciplinary teams, must be accompanied by a change of the way in which the organization learns and achieves its goals. 




Improved information systems


One of the keys for this change is to improve the information systems that allow everyone to be synchronized in real time. Democratizing data and access to information and knowledge is more essential today than ever before. 


But is it vital that knowledge and data flow in all directions? Of course it is, since communication and the cross-sectional exchange of learnings actually make innovation, discovery and delivery possible.


Without democratizing data and collective learning, an organization does not survive in today’s world.



Besides, this flow of learning and continuous adaptation should not be confused with disorder. It will be utterly detrimental to the functioning of the organization if information circulates in all directions in an uncontrolled and chaotic way.


Therefore, a radical transparency in defining, achieving and adjusting the OKR is crucial. Clear teams’ ownership and a common rhythm that we call Drumbeat are usually the missing links in this procedure. Asking about the need of a management is obsolete since 


When Agile values are lived, there is no need for a disciplinary head, because discipline is inherent in the flow of the collaboration. And the purpose to impact the outcome defined by the OKR.




AI-powered decision making with a human touch


With an eye on the immediate future, when listing other aspects that are becoming increasingly important for converting organizational behavior and many companies will get to know (and already know), we need to consider first the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in the daily decision making.


In this environment that was considered the future yesterday but today is an absolute reality, yet, the authors Kjell A. Nordstrom and Jonas Ridderstrale made this statement, even already a decade ago: 


“The society of abundance and knowledge is exploding. All people, companies and products are competing with each other. This is good if you are a customer. As an executive, start praying.”


Technology will make forecasts of the future and momentous suggestions for the decisions to be made. In this scenario, it is the critical analysis, the courage to question the biased side of each forecast that makes the difference. What problems does the decision you make solve? Are there any possible effects that we cannot predict now? What data are available today that might not have been considered in the forecast?


Bottom line: 

The future has never been set in stone. It will neither be defined by artificial intelligence. It will be shaped by the human capability to sense and adapt. 

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