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Takeaways from Fourth Roundtable" Competitive Advantages and new Management models"




I want to start with greetings:

  • Many thanks to all the guests for this meaningful fourth roundtable!

  • And many Thanks to Richard Cruz for sponsoring and supporting this event!

The fourth roundtable aimed to discuss the roadblocks and challenges that prevent companies from becoming agile, undergoing digital transformation, or both. Guests had different reasons to attend, including learning new things, satisfying their curiosity, meeting new people, and getting different points of view.

Question: how can you motivate people teams to transform your company, and what are the issues?


Motivating People ( Main) The guests explored ways to motivate people and teams to transform their companies. They discussed the importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, distinguishing between motivation in BAU and during transformations, and introducing the company’s values and purposes for new hires.

Sub-topic: Values and Leadership

The role of leaders in setting values and communicating them effectively to employees was emphasised. Also, motivating people needs to pass through the company’s values and purposes and look forward to the best possible match with people’s values and purposes, having a healthy culture. It has also been recognised that thinking and working with scenarios and technology can help to mitigate these challenges and, on the contrary, get advantages of these opportunities once implemented for Business-as-Usual. ( I want to add what is called the normalisation period after the transformations)

Sub-topic: Hierarchical Levels

The discussion concerned whether hierarchical levels were necessary and how to reduce them. The guests agreed that hierarchical levels were essential for control and governance, including risk management, especially regarding cybersecurity. Still, they acknowledged that people needed to see career paths through the organisation. A matrix organisation with cross-functional teams was suggested to make decision-making more effective. One guest proposed a different angle for organisational structure, stating that a system is valid when it can benefit businesses and all stakeholders, including the community. Sub-topic: Technology and Culture

The guests discussed the role of technology in addressing challenges and leveraging opportunities. They acknowledged that technology alone cannot resolve cultural issues but can help with dynamic capabilities and skills-related learning. They also emphasised that relationships and collaboration were the core of making people work together and that creativity is a uniquely human trait. The view of AI was considered at a high level highlighting its potential benefits and risks.

Mock Board Meeting:



The guests agreed to engage in a ( not on the agenda) mock board meeting to decide whether to prioritise agility or digital transformation. They had different opinions, with some advocating for agility, others emphasising customer needs, and others highlighting the need to change how the organisation operates.

· 3 voted to start with digital transformation.

· 1 abstained from voting.

· 1 voted to start both transformations.

· 2 voted (me included) to start with agility.


The importance of considering different scenarios and learning to anticipate was also emphasised, something that can be close to agility. While Digital transformation must be focused on a rigorous and profound analysis of the evolving customer needs.

Conclusion

This interesting roundtable highlighted the complexity of roadblocks and challenges that prevent companies from becoming agile or undergoing digital transformation, or both:

  • motivating people

  • effectively transferring Values, Purposes from the top

  • reducing hierarchical levels to facilitate Cultural elements transferring while maintaining control and governance.

  • leveraging technology,

  • considering different organisational structures

Were all discussed as critical elements.


The human side related to the need for effective communication, collaboration, and anticipating change was clearly emphasised. The mock board meeting highlighted the importance of considering different perspectives and the difficulty of removing individual biases with the need to look at the external world more intensely.

A critical reflection on the ways to remove roadblocks.

Diverse perspectives from board members with different viewpoints may lead to more informed, all-around decisions. We also need to consider that board members will have fewer opportunities to conform to other groups’ opinions. Better problem-solving can be expected, as different perspectives can help produce better solutions through open and honest discussion. This could bring us to make the right decision(our discussions were open). Diversity of opinions can also stimulate the consideration of all stakeholders’ interests.

This is the new dogma for leaders who want to keep abreast of competition and move from survival, waiting for better times to doing something to thrive.

Considering the relevance of the topics discussed and the decision to make about a strategic approach, our mock-up board has also shown what could be an obstacle to unblocking status-quo situations. Different perspectives, as in our case, can create difficulties in reaching a consensus or satisfying everyone, with possible conflicts and tensions in the board, delaying and slowing a decision-making process (btw no conflicts in our case 😊)

 

I recognise that 75 minutes are insufficient to talk through all emerging sub-topics. Still, I am delighted that we reached the goal of pulling out direct and indirect possible roadblocks.

Following the recommendation of one of our guests above, we have been closer to the real world.


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