Shared and meaningful project
In stormy weather, the crew on the boat – referring to all members of the organization – needs a compass to navigate, define and maintain direction and to ensure coherence of actions. The collective compass responds to the key questions of purpose (Why do we exist?), mission (What is our role?), ambition (What is our vision of success?), operational vision (Where do we go towards?) and behaviors (What behaviors do we value?). This compass must be meaningful to all members, therefore regularly revisited based on open and deep conversations.
Organic change, learning and innovation are key attributes in navigating a turbulent context. They are nurtured by a specific CLIMATE, an acronym for ’Collaboration, Learning, Innovation, Meaning, Trust, and Energy‘.
To vitalize this culture, formal and informal leaders are expected to play a different role or adopt a different posture. They should move from an expert position to one of a gardener, who seeds and nurtures the soil that the organization needs in order to flourish. Both personal agility and leadership are required for this cultural shift.
An organizational structure that enables people’s potential promotes teams to operate in a self-directed way. The teams are supported by high-quality standards and processes that allow flexibility in the allocation of resources. Furthermore, information is open by default and flows openly and freely, allowing people to connect easily in a network fashion. Additionally, each layer of the hierarchy clearly adds value to the organization and establishes a healthy dialogue between the levels.
Moving from a job-based to a skills-based architecture is also a great driver of people-centricity and agility. People are no longer ’locked‘ into jobs (e.g., IT engineer) but are seen as owning a portfolio of granular skills (e.g., coding languages, agile, negotiation, system-thinking, …). This provides more flexibility in resource allocation, as well as autonomy, and agency in their career development.
Practices are methods, tools, meetings, symbols, rituals, habits and routines. They are essential to connect concepts to reality. It is about moments where actors can brainstorm, share, align, decide, plan, improve, collaborate and learn.
Through practices and feedback from clients and colleagues, team members learn. In the right learning environment, they increasingly take ownership of growing their skills. Moreover, when considering skills rather than jobs, they have more opportunities to apply to various projects and contexts, thereby growing their skills as they try out new things and learn through real problems and direct feedback from peers.
These four ingredients lead to people-centricity since they are directly mapped with the four drivers of intrinsic motivation2, as represented in the schema below. As these motivational drivers are nourished, engagement increases, participation and human intelligence are unlocked, individuals and teams are driven and enabled to take initiative and form new connections, leading to learning and adaptation.