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Assessing Org Intelligence

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Slides from interactive sessions at SCiO meeting (London, July 2012) and the Systems Thinking Summit (Cardiff, October 2012)

Slides from interactive sessions at SCiO meeting (London, July 2012) and the Systems Thinking Summit (Cardiff, October 2012)

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  • The collective intelligence of an organization can be improved by appropriate technologies used in appropriate ways to tackle the inherent complexity of modern business in a dynamic environment.  These technologies include business intelligence, event processing, knowledge management, process improvement and social networking.  Most large organizations use these technologies, but fail to join them together or use them effectively, so there is a huge missed opportunity here for IT.  Ultimately, the value that IT can bring to business is not just from automating clerical tasks and enabling large-scale global operational processes, but from enabling and supporting management processes such as coordination and innovation.  Organizational intelligence is a critical measure of the management capacity of an organization in a demanding competitive environment, and IT has a key role in improving organizational intelligence.  This talk will provide a roadmap for IT to make a strong contribution to business viability and survival.
  • The collective intelligence of an organization can be improved by appropriate technologies used in appropriate ways to tackle the inherent complexity of modern business in a dynamic environment.  These technologies include business intelligence, event processing, knowledge management, process improvement and social networking.  Most large organizations use these technologies, but fail to join them together or use them effectively, so there is a huge missed opportunity here for IT.  Ultimately, the value that IT can bring to business is not just from automating clerical tasks and enabling large-scale global operational processes, but from enabling and supporting management processes such as coordination and innovation.  Organizational intelligence is a critical measure of the management capacity of an organization in a demanding competitive environment, and IT has a key role in improving organizational intelligence.  This talk will provide a roadmap for IT to make a strong contribution to business viability and survival.
  • Transcript

    • 1. AssessingOrganizationalIntelligenceRichard Veryard SCiO July 2012 Systems Thinking Summit, October 2012
    • 2. What is Organizational Intelligence?One perspective on Present-day notions of„Organizational „organizationalIntelligence‟ is that it intelligence‟ bringmeasures the ability of together ideas fromthe organization to knowledgemanage complexity and management, decisionbe self-aware. sciences, Operational Research and Cybernetics, includingTwitter tag #orgintelligence the Viable System Model.
    • 3. Background We have been researching One of the key design the socio-technical enablers requirements is to build in a for effective feedback, set of feedback loops at collaboration and different tempi (time based intelligence, with practical and at different examples from large organizational levels) to organisations. support goal-directed behaviour and rich organizational learning.
    • 4. Example: Microsoft “Perhaps you have already “Exponential seen memos from me orimprovements in others here about the communications importance of the Internet. networks … the I have gone through several Internet is at the stages of increasing my viewforefront of this” of its importance.” Bill Gates “Tidal Wave” May 1995 “Now I assign the Internet the highest level of importance.”
    • 5. Microsoft ExampleKey Points General Implications Review of history  Any large organization Weak signals becoming faces a huge number of stronger challenges, both large and Gradual shift of opinion small. Pivotal shift in direction  Success of organization depends on achieving a Evolving strategies good enough response to Collective responsibility a good number of these.
    • 6. Session Objectives Detect and evaluate the UK Health Service systematic and dynamic  Whole organization feedback loops in some  Commissioning process notorious organizations and A political party of your choice ecosystems, based on their  Whole organization apparent behaviour and outcomes,  Campaigning Draw some conclusions  Policy-making about their organizational BBC, Roman Catholic Church intelligence, both current  Whole organization and potential.
    • 7. Symptoms Does the organization ignore changes in customer  Are important decisions delayed and deferred, and do behaviour or the external environment? Has the important issues remain unresolved? Do conflicting organization failed to “join the dots” or anticipate views result in stalemate? new customer requirements? Has this resulted in  Does the organization experience inconsistency or missed opportunities? instability in plans and decisions, processes and Does the organization ignore complaints and practices? Are things constantly being altered or concerns from field operations or junior staff (e.g. tinkered with? those in customer-facing roles)? Is there an  Does the organization repeat the same mistakes, over expectation that important ideas and insights will and over? Do you miss opportunities to learn from come mainly from those in senior or specialist roles? experience? Does the organization experience high levels of  Does management go around in circles, alternating information overload? Is the organization struggling between equally unsatisfactory states? to make sense of what is going on?  Is it hard to work out the effect of management Are new ideas rejected quickly without proper decisions, because of a lack of relevant data (such as consideration? Do people self-censor innovative historic performance metrics and benchmarks)? ideas?  Do people hesitate to share knowledge and know- Are important decisions taken too quickly, without how? enough information? Do people self-censor critical questions and concerns because of time pressure?
    • 8. Important note … One strategic success  But if a strategic error can doesn‟t show intelligence, be traced to some and one strategic failure fragmentation or doesn‟t show stupidity. incoherence or imbalance or wilful blindness or And one strategic error some other systemic flaw doesn‟t show that a in the decision-making formerly intelligent process, then we may organization has become regard this as evidence of unintelligent. stupidity.
    • 9. Six Capabilities Sense-Making Information Decision Gathering & Policy WIGO (what is going on) Knowledge Learning & Memory & Development Communication & Collaboration
    • 10. Perception and MonitoringWhat kinds of signal does the To what extent is broad informationorganization pay attention to? What gathering and intelligence seen askinds of signal is the organization liable meaningful and useful?to miss? How would you rate the breadth andHow would you rate the speed of diversity of sources and channels?detection and response to emergingevents?How would you rate the methods usedfor fact-finding? How reliable are thesemethods? How many false signals? Howmany missed signals?
    • 11. Sense-MakingWhat kinds of visions, models and Is sense-making (exploratory modeling)stories are generally used to make sense valued as an activity in its own right, orof what-is-going-on, or to interpret is it viewed with impatience?customer needs? What helps people believe and acceptHow are changes to models and stories some visions, stories and models rathertriggered? than others? Are traditional explanations trusted more than novel explanations?Are there agreed principles (doctrine) orimplicit assumptions (culture) governingthe development and use of models andstories?
    • 12. Decision-MakingHow sophisticated is decision-making How does politics affect the quality ofand problem-solving? Scope, range and decision-making? What is the decision-complexity of decisions making ethos – e.g. rationality versus intuition?How quickly or slowly are decisionsmade? What pushes the organization toreach a decision? Are decisions clear and transparent? Do decision-making structures provide clearDoes argument continue after the responsibility and accountability?decision is reached? Once something isdecided, how easy is it to reopen thedecision when new information or ideasemerge?
    • 13. KnowledgeWhat kinds of knowledge does the What kinds of knowledge are seen asorganization capture and share? strategically valuable to the organization? Do knowledge practices focus on the most valuable areas ofWhere does this knowledge come from? knowledge?What are the flows of knowledge intoand within the organization? How doesold knowledge get replaced with new How is organizational knowledgeknowledge? Is there an awareness of the verified, validated, tested and“shelf-life” of knowledge? maintained?How are knowledge flows controlledand exploited? Do these controls benefitindividuals (e.g. gatekeepers) or theorganization as a whole?
    • 14. Learning and DevelopmentWhat kinds of innovation is the How does the organization demonstrateorganization good at? What kinds of the value it places on learning andinnovation does the organization need development? How does theto improve at? organization balance risk and reward (individual and collective)?What triggers organizational learning? What is the relationship between organizational learning and trust?Does the organization have a fixedlearning style? Does the organizationinhibit certain kinds of innovation?
    • 15. Communication and CollaborationWhat do people talk about? How do Is open debate and discussion valuednew ideas get passed around? How are and appreciated?people generally expected to respond toinformation and ideas? How do peopleactually respond? Is communication of knowledge and intelligence driven by a doctrine of secrecy (“need to know”) or openness?What drives communication? Is there apreference for “push” or “pull”?Do the prevailing styles ofcommunication encourage or inhibitvigorous discussion and challenge?
    • 16. Assessment ApproachSimple RealisticDoes the organization For each capability, findpossess this capability? examples of strength and weaknessHow strong is this capabilityin this organization … Identify and explain pockets of high or low organizational intelligence.… and with what outcomes?
    • 17. Questions to discuss … How do we combine an  What kinds of system analytic approach does this analysis apply to? (assessing the components  Health Service as of org intelligence) with disorganized system-of- an holistic approach? systems  Political organizations as What is the contribution subsystems of larger of the leader to the political ecosystems intelligence of the enterprise-as-system?  Terry Leahy at Tesco  Bob Diamond at Barclays
    • 18. … and moreFuture Events Other Material and LinksOne-Day WorkshopNovember 22nd (Unicom) OrgIntelligence .BlogSpot.com
    • 19. Draft Publicationleanpub.com/orgintelligence/Discount is available forparticipants. Please ask forcoupon.

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