Leg 3. From Cape Town to Melbourne (VI). Competitive advantage as a result of Resources and Capabilities.
Have a beautiful day. I would like to share with you what I believe should be the model for the future organization. Yesterday I mentioned to you about the “satellite organization”. And I thought of naming it as such because I was thinking about the moon as the cause of high tides in the ocean. The moon is the only natural satellite that moves around our Earth planet. And she is causing waves.
It occurred to me to call the future organization as a “satellite organization” because of what the moon does. What does the moon in relation to the planet earth?. The moon orbits the Earth at an average speed of 2,300 miles an hour (3,700 kilometers an hour). The moon’s gravitational pull on the Earth is the main cause of the rise and fall of ocean tides. The moon’s gravitational pull causes two bulges of water on the Earth’s oceans—one where ocean waters face the moon and the pull is strongest, and one where ocean waters face away from the moon and the pull is weakest. Both bulges cause high tides. These are high tides we see in the ocean. The tides we see at the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018 images.
At nights, every time we turn our heads up to the sky, sometimes we can see the moon, sometimes we don´t see her. “Some nights when we look up at the moon, it is full and bright; sometimes it is just a sliver of silvery light”. But she continues doing her job, even if we don´t see her. And we all in the planet (rich or poor) see the same moon. Our beautiful moon, the natural satellite always shines for all and she is always causing ocean tides. As the moon orbits Earth, it cycles through distinct phases. These changes in appearance are the phases of the moon. The Moon has phases because it orbits Earth, which causes the portion we see illuminated to change. “The Moon takes 27.3 days to orbit Earth, but the lunar phase cycle (from new Moon to new Moon) is 29.5 days. The Moon spends the extra 2.2 days “catching up” because Earth travels about 45 million miles around the Sun during the time the Moon completes one orbit around Earth”.
We all know the moon is doing the job even if we don´t see her. She is just traveling when we don´t see her. But someone from the other side of the world can see her fully. The organization of the future will be as our natural pretty moon satellite.
I found my inspiration for today´s theme in three things: (1) A drawing from the page 21 of 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report; (2) The Spanish phrase “no pasa nada”. When someone makes a mistake, and we say “No pasa nada”, that means we are being solidary with that person´s mistake. We express a forgiveness attitude and share a deep understanding of the failure. And (3) The moon orbit with the Earth, as I explained previously.
“Deloitte stated that in today´s digital world of work has shaken the foundation of the organizational structure, shifting from the traditional functional hierarchy to one we call a “network of teams.” This new model of work is forcing us to change job roles and job descriptions; rethink careers and internal mobility; emphasize skills and learning as keys to performance; redesign how we set goals and reward people, and change the role of leaders”. The workplace, the workforce, and the teamwork. Motivated by my three sources of inspirations, and some of the findings from Deloitte, this is what I think it should be a “satellite organization”.
If you wish to download the last presentation slide PDF Format click here: Eliescalante Leg 3 Competitive Adv as a result of org cap and resources.
The “satellite organization” perspective can be explained in five dimensions:
- Flexible Location: Locally and worldwide. There is a huge space to work full-time or part-time or for hours inside the office or remotely (from home or your favorite coffee shop). There are opportunities for external advisors, and people who will be digitally connected from many countries or affiliated company networks. There is even a space for “contributors” who will help occasionally and be paid accordingly.
- Orbit Result Driven organization: Teamwork will be organized in order to fulfill a project in a cycle or an orbit (a period of time). Team members will learn every day by repeating until reaching excellence (the satellite moon orbits around the Earth every month and it doesn´t stop to do it every month). Teams are not scared of failures because it is part of a repeating exercise. Each orbit period is designed to be a bit complex every time. Each orbit phase is defined to be a bit difficult for different projects. Each project is an orbit period to be accomplished.
- Learning and Development Continuum: Each team is on duty to learn every day. To unlearn what is not right, and re-learn from similar past experiences globally (either from competitors or substitutes in the present or past) in order to evolve and reduce the risks of failure. It is possible to learn from outsiders, internal people in other satellite offices, It is possible to learn from other companies mistakes. Each crew member has a goal to learn something new every day (either theoretically or from teams or the office peers or outsiders)
- Team satellites: Network of multidisciplinary teams working together and connected through digital platforms. It is possible that one team member can participate in one or more several projects at the same time. The teams will be organized by projects of the same nature from different regions, and there will be several orbits of several level projects grouped according to the type of capabilities (cross-functional, broad functional, activity operational related only, specialized, single tasks).
- Teaching others for success is quotidian: Each team member has to teach, to share what they know in order to build new talent. Once the project is finished after several orbit cycles, each team member can move to other projects and leave a legacy of knowledge behind.
In a “satellite organization”, organizational capabilities are built naturally. It has to happen, otherwise, we will not conclude projects. And it requires the efforts of various individuals to be integrated with one another using the resources available capital equipment, technology, knowledge from past experiences, and other new digital resources. But how does this integration occur?
Productive activity within an organization involves coordinated actions undertaken by teams of people engaged in a series of productive tasks. With the digital platforms, we can be transparent and refer to the sequence of actions through which a specific task is performed. Since transparency is set, there is no fear of failure in each member of the team. The acceptance of learning cycles keep people motivated to overcome punishment. The satellite organizations encourage innovation, creativity, and will (the desire) to realize activities and share at different levels, not only success stories but also failures.
Professor Grant has written: “A key feature of most processes performed by an organization is their routinized nature. Routinization is an essential step in translating directions and operating practices into capabilities—only by becoming routine do processes become efficient and reliable”. With the “satellite organization” the routinization is just the beginning. For example: when I started to build financial models 18 years ago, I had no idea I could evolve to do them with simplicity. My team leader at that time was very strict. And working with him inspired me some kind of fear. I was afraid to show him I did not know certain things and I did not ask because of fear of being seen as an idiot. I felt if I did a mistake, I was going to be seen as “stupid or ignorant” and it will affect performance review. And this feeling of inadequacy made me afraid of trying more, or being innovative. I was afraid of making mistakes, when the reality I should have been encouraged to make them. That was the only way to learn and do it right in the next ” financial project”. At that time I had to convince myself that I was not a fool, we are all work in progress, we all are learning. There were models I did well from scratch and other financial models which were a disaster. With time, I won expertise in financial modeling over the years. But still, I am learning. Nowadays, I exactly know where to review when helping financial analysts, because I did the same mistakes many years ago, but I never forget I am learning with them too. The only way to learn is by learning from mistakes, through innovative repetition which then gives us expertise, security, and inspiration to be creative. In order to evolve every time we are engaged in a project within a multidisciplinary team, we have to remind ourselves we are building our own capabilities, which are fundamental building blocks of what we do for the firms, what does the firm do, and at the end how the firms differentiate themselves from the rest of their industry market. This “satellite organization model” helps everyone to learn and to evolve by projects. Each organizational capability from each team-member and resources are integrated fully. Digital platforms help for communication and transparency. People are continually learning and moving forward. Just to learn to design our organizations better will give us the “best” competitive advantage for the future. A future of sharing and evolving to become more humans and re-learn to compete with ethical rules in place.
Thank you for reading me. If you think I am wrong with my “satellite organization” model, “no pasa nada”. Next time I will do it better. But I believe by heart we have to make a shift in our organizational structures in order to build better organizational capabilities through digital tools. On my next post, we will continue with next theme: Framework for Analyzing Resources and Capabilities. Cheers for all of you.
Disclaimer: All the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos posted unless otherwise stated.
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