Enterprise 2.0: time to reconciliate Lean & Social Collaboration

Posted on: November 13, 2014 by

From Controlling to Empowering.

Embracing a new way to improve processes & lead people to create a truly collaborative and engaged organization

In a previous blog article (Atos zero email enterprise cultural change beyond social collaboration ) I explained how a number of fundamental shifts in corporate cultures are required to take advantage of Social Collaboration and the increasing need for a new management style.

Here is another key cultural change to be considered : “From Controlling to Empowering”

As information flows faster, the pace of change is accelerating. Job descriptions, organizational structures, budgets, and processes are becoming obsolete faster than they can be updated. Since 1975, the number of jobs requiring non-routine work has increased by 50%. These trends are leading to increased pressure to exchange bureaucracy for trust - empowering more of the workforce to act autonomously, instead of escalating to a central authority which creates bottlenecks and slows decision making. The need for rapid, autonomous decision-making changes the role of management from managing tasks to empowering individuals. The fastest response time occurs when a person learning new information can make informed decisions and act immediately, regardless of their position in the organisational chart

My former experience in assisting organisations and driving IT programs, helped me to notice the correlation between the generalisation of LEAN processes to improve performance and often a consistent downward motivation trend amongst the teams who have to apply them with direct impact on client satisfaction.

Collaborative leadership is the capacity to engage people and groups outside one’s formal control and inspire them to work toward common goals—despite differences in convictions, cultural values, and operating norms.

Most people understand intuitively that Collaborative leadership is the opposite of the old command-and-control model, but the differences with a consensus-based approachare more nuanced (read the table below)

Our Collaborative case studies demonstrate within Atos how with this combined Lean AND Collaborative leadership consensual approach we improve business value through Client Communities, improve Social Service Desk productivity, better integrate new colleagues, accelerate incident resolution, contextualize and accelerate knowledge sharing.

Just one example about how we improve business value through Client Communities

In the traditional previous environment; most of the information and collaboration with client was shared with a limited group of (sales & account) managers involved within dedicated process. Employees spending their daily work on this client, are not always informed and often their own precious client knowledge remains hidden, and the SLA was the only reference for discussion without consideration to the real customer’s needs.

In the Collaborative environment; Collaboration and communication takes place in the space you could call the “Team Client X space“ on blueKiwi. This way all colleagues involved can take responsibility to add value, unlock knowledge and info they have and start contributing to activities to add business value for our clients.

As a result of these open communities and new collaborative process: all people involved are on the same page, collaborate on delivering high quality together with motivated colleagues and increasing the customer satisfaction.

So beyond the "well-being at work” effect it's mostly another way to think about Lean process by capitalizing on open, transparent collaboration and leadership, that goes by phase; collecting feedbacks and listening to users, the search common sense and for continuous improvement of KPIs over the long term.

What is crystal-clear is that the Lean 2.0 could really deliver on its promises to increase productivity and customer satisfaction only if you implement an organization & leadership model favorable to collaboration & knowledge sharing. It goes through employee confidence restoration, the right to experiment, agile processes, not only quantitative evaluations and individual performance , etc ...

By adding "social" to Lean processes we not only improve the performances of our processes but at the same time improve people performance. Collaborative platform and business social solutions then become a key tool for team reengineering, crowd-innovation and continuous process improvement. It is in this context that we see the End to End Lean a natural ally of Collaboration

So to answer this (little) provocative blog title; “Yes” we see in organization that are generalizing Collaborative behaviors and tools, is indeed reconciliating Lean and Social Collaboration initiatives.

Moreover, the convergence between Social Collaboration and Lean is a great opportunity for top Managers to reflect on their company culture, but also to rethink the organization and especially the leadership style.

In this table,you’ll find some helpful distinctions between the 3 simplified leadership styles.

Leadership comparison model

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