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Responsive Organizations: Leading from the Edges

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Ever wonder what enables some organizations to take advantage of external disruptions and opportunities while others make do with small, incremental, run-of-the-mill improvements?

We did too. RedThread Research recently completed a study on Responsive Organizations - those set up to quickly adapt. Not surprisingly, people play a big role. Organizations that respect employees and share authority, encourage continuous growth, and build cultures of trust, fare better than their less responsive counterparts.

Join Dani Johnson & Stacia Garr, cofounders of RedThread Research, as they present their findings on Responsive Organizations. Specifically, this discussion will include:

- A model for building responsive organizations
- 4 layers comprising responsive organizations
- Best ideas and examples from our leader roundtables

Published in: Business
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Responsive Organizations: Leading from the Edges

  1. 1. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Responsive Organizations Leading from the Edges Dani Johnson Cofounder, Principal Analyst RedThread Research Stacia Garr Cofounder, Principal Analyst RedThread Research
  2. 2. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved How we help: • Research • Advisory • Events / Education www.redthreadresearch.com What we do: We’re a human capital research and advisory firm focused on the practices and technologies of: • Learning & career • Performance • Employee experience • Diversity and inclusion • People analytics Stacia Garr Co-founder, Principal Analyst @staciagarr Dani Johnson Co-founder, Principal Analyst @danij2
  3. 3. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Today’s Discussion • What is Responsivity? • Model for Responsivity • Respect • Distributed Authority • Transparency & Growth • Trust
  4. 4. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Did you know that octopuses have 9 brains?
  5. 5. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved What’s Responsivity? The ability to determine trends in the operating environment effectively turning possible disruption into distinct organizational advantage.
  6. 6. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Who’s got it? 4 Examples:
  7. 7. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Characteristics of Responsivity Decentralized Structure Team-based Organization Continuous Development Open Communication Dispersed Decision-making Tools
  8. 8. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Why Responsivity matters: 52% 94% Low Responsivity High Responsivity Engagement 21% 95% Low Responsivity High Responsivity Meets or Exceeds Business Goals 21% 89% Low Responsivity High Responsivity Innovates Faster than the Competition
  9. 9. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved How do we develop it?
  10. 10. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved What is Respect? Organizations with high responsivity have respect for employees, their abilities, skills, and ideas
  11. 11. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved How do you build Respect?
  12. 12. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Respect by the numbers 3.25 4.53 Low Responsivity High Responsivity Respect Scores, High vs. Low Responsivity Organizations 27X Organizations with high Respect are 27X more likely to have high responsivity
  13. 13. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Respect: an example • Associates play an active role in choosing what they work on • Associates are actively encouraged to define their own career paths • Decisions are made based on knowledge, rather than seniority
  14. 14. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Respect: best advice Quick, concise Check ins. Ask: 1) How stressed are you? And 2) What help do you need? Leaders set the tone – orgs striving for an open, safe place need leaders to model the behavior. Normalize feedback sharing by using tools like retrospectives and postmortems. Equip managers to give good feedback with coaching or mentoring, data, and job helps Use modern-day suggestion boxes – a technology built to collect employee feedback or a slack channel
  15. 15. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved What is Distributed Authority? High responsivity organizations empower employees to make decisions affecting their work, aiding collaboration, and eliminating busywork
  16. 16. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved How do you build Distributed Authority?
  17. 17. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Distributed Authority by the numbers 21X Organizations with high Distributed Authority are 21X more likely to have high responsivity 3.06 4.46 Low Responsivity High Responsivity Distributed Authority – high vs. low responsivity organizations
  18. 18. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Distributed Authority: an example • Employees understand that the goal of the organization is good customer service • Employees also understand the limits within which they can provide that service ($2000)
  19. 19. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Distributed Authority: Best Advice Default to expertise, not seniority. Throw out the 9-5. Prioritize getting the work done vs. getting it done in the antiquated idea of a workday. Managers, make decisions with your teams. Involve them in as many decisions as possible. The decisions will get better. Make sure employees know the strategy, or big picture, and teach them how to make decisions based on it. Look for stumbling blocks – things that are keeping your employees from collaborating.
  20. 20. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved What is Transparency & Growth? High responsivity organizations develop a culture of information- sharing and continuous, growth, ensuring that employees have the tools necessary for development.
  21. 21. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved How do you build Transparency & Growth?
  22. 22. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Transparency & Growth by the numbers 22X Organizations with high Transparency & Growth scores are 22X more likely to have high responsivity 2.99 4.45 Low Responsivity High Responsivity Transparency & Growth - high vs. low responsivity organizations
  23. 23. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Transparency & Growth: an example • Company measures employees on whether they take smart risks, strive to be better, and share what they know with others • Every employee that doesn’t get a promotion understands exactly why • Those falling short get extra guidance through specific goals and a timeline
  24. 24. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Transparency & Growth: best advice Master the mention. Build a culture of feedback by not making it so heavy and formal. Mention things in passing. Quit operating off job descriptions. Use tasks and projects as opportunities for employees to develop new skills. Ask, ”What have you learned in the last six weeks, and how?” to determine how employees are really developing. Call out bad manager behavior; transparency is important. When managers are being vague or secretive, call it out!
  25. 25. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved What is Trust? High responsivity organizations have a “community”mindset, ensuring two- way communication, appreciation, and encouraging all to learn from mistakes.
  26. 26. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved How do you build Trust?
  27. 27. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Trust by the numbers 62X Organizations with high Trust are 62X more likely to have high responsivity 3.01 4.62 Low Responsivity High Responsivity Trust - high vs. low responsivity organizations
  28. 28. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Trust: an example • Created a policy, or formalized how they treat failure • Don’t ask “what if”, but treat the event as a learning experience • Identify ways to avoid the same failure in the future • Blame is never assigned and employees are not punished
  29. 29. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved Trust: best advice Hold F*ck up Nights, Failure Tours, and other celebrations of failure Break the echo chamber. Teach employees to trust the company and their instincts by asking them to look outside for good ideas. Develop community during COVID by setting up day camps and story time for co workers with kids. Agitate. Building community and trust means that new ideas are not verboten. Bring them in! Agitate! Ask questions!
  30. 30. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved So, to sum up:
  31. 31. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved You’ve seen the webinar; now read the report! Go to www.redthreadresearch.com to access the report in June
  32. 32. © 2020 RedThread Research. All Rights Reserved How we help: • Research • Advisory • Events / Education www.redthreadresearch.com What we do: We’re a human capital research and advisory firm focused on the practices and technologies of: • Learning & career • Performance • Employee experience • Diversity and inclusion • People analytics Stacia Garr Co-founder, Principal Analyst @staciagarr Dani Johnson Co-founder, Principal Analyst @danij2

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