Liquid Organizations and the Impact of Being Adaptive
Board Member ∙ Senior Retail & FoodService Executive ∙ Global Operations & Logistics Expert ∙ International Experience ∙ Sales & Business Development
With the rapid growth of organizational management, the way companies are handling organizational structures is rapidly evolving. From a rigidly defined structure to becoming an ever-changing entity, the corporate world is transforming to adapt to the rapid rate of change in the modern era. A major facet of that comes forward in the form of Liquid Organizations.
Defined as a concept by the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman to define modernity as a variable of social change and adaptability. In the corporate context, liquid organizations are responsive to their environment to maximize their growth potential. They are a response of adaptation to the environment, to our new reality, allowing us to grow and contract easily, make quick decisions and take advantage of all internal talent, focusing on short-term results and medium-term strategy.
A central facet of this growth is centered around the rapid decision-making process with a short to medium term organizational focus.
Merits of Adopting Liquid Organizational Practices
The adoption of liquid organizational practices is rapidly coming forward as the solution to acting modern problems that pose a volatile and complex scenario to the organization. This ambiguous situation requires adaptive decision making that is centered around a central structured solution. This allows the decision-making to unique address every single acting situation.
Some of the aspects below highlight this structural transition.
– Operational Flexibility
– Increased Internal & External Collaboration
– Diversity of Equitable Contribution
– Shared Stakes in Organizational Growth
– Common Organizational Growth Objective
– Empowering Team Members
These unique traits are rapidly enabling global organizations to expand their functional capacity to cater to change. Aside from increasing adaptability, these measures are also enhancing cost efficiency by adding improved agility that is often typical of startups.
How Liquid Organizations Function
Liquid organizations are often based on flat structures that are organized around the project with collaborative initiatives from variable team members. The role of leaders in the context of the project often revolves around time-based on internal employee skillset and project requirements to maximize efficient workflow. The employee skill set is paired with digital tools to make way for the grouping of people with common movies and aligned business interests.
Digital support mechanisms are integral for multi-variable purposes, including communication, collaborative workflow, and decision making. Aside from these digital technologies, strong suits, human-end skills like active listening and iterative feedback are central to the workflow of liquid organizations. This collaborative effort opens doors to the assignment of responsibilities based on common goals. Client relationships are improved with increasing access to workflow information and collaborative communication.
This modern decision structure holds tremendous potential for internal customers based on multifold factors. One of the most compelling aspects comes in the form of recruitment benefits based on working in a dynamic environment with major opportunities present for development and professional growth.
It can be said that “A liquid worker is a digitized employee that focuses on objectives and flees from a traditional work culture that requires constant physical presence.”
For external customers, the potential to have rapid incorporation of opinions with accelerated market response prospects and increased cooperation all come forward as lucrative options that supplement quick development and implementation of innovative concepts.
Role of Culture in Transformations
It is important to understand the fact that change is an essential opportunity to grow so you can transition your organization into one that is capable of constantly evolving to the requirements of the environment around you. Adapting to this change is integral for your survival.
A major part of his transition comes in the form of creating a new story that aligns your organizational directives with the new liquid form of structure; this often comes in the form of letting go of your previous directions. This message needs to be communicated to every level of the company, so it is etched in their minds.
A central part of adopting change is the fact that everything requires constant review, and there is always room for improvement. But that improvement is centered around the role of people. Conveying the integral nature of the chain is an important part of the journey to help people become indispensable to the organization.
Even though it can feel like a challenging transition into becoming a Liquid Organization, here is how you can facilitate that journey.
Moving your Organization Towards Increased Liquidity
With the research and professional direction of today’s workflow increasingly point towards the benefits of the liquid organizational approach, companies are rapidly evaluating transforming their conventional structures to be more in line with the requirements of the modern era. Here is how you can streamline your transition into a liquid organization.
At the center of organizational transformation are four central variables that assist in the creation of a liquid organization.
· Raising awareness across all layers of management.
· Fostering the spirit of co-creativity with involvement from the entire company.
· Identifying facilitators of change as well as those reluctant to the changing process.
· Repetitive testing and adaptation based on the outcomes of testing in a learning-oriented environment.
Given the modern context of organizational management, it is important to adopt a model that reflects the requirements of today’s clients. The formulated structure formed is often supplemented with appropriate Human Resource policies that are a culmination of static structures with input from autonomous teams working across different layers in the network.
Understanding customer requirements is paramount to the implementation process by the identification of central customer pain points and requirements on an elaborate level.
It is important to consider that 100% liquidity-based transitions are still highly unfeasible, depending on the sector we look at, given the working structure of actual organizations. It is important to form hybrid structures that bring together insightful areas of liquid organization management with the conventional working structure to tap into the potential vested in this modern workflow.
With effective implementation, the results are bound to be transformative for organizations looking to streamline their growth to be in accordance with the modern consumer sphere.
Looking from the Outside In!
To have a clear perspective, pay close attention to what is happening outside and ask yourself two critical questions.
o What are my customers demanding from me?
o What do I need to do to give that to them?
By addressing these core questions, you will be able to get to the bottom of customer demands and unlock the right way forward for your company.
As Bruce Lee mentioned, to sum up Jeet Kune Do (a very transgressive combat method, without fixed postures, very practical and with an almost unlimited amount of resources to adapt to any circumstance), it is important having a flexible approach towards problem-solving that is based on the utilization of existing resources to adapt to any circumstance.
What in his own words meant “BE WATER, MY FRIEND”.
(Article first published in LinkedIn. Reproduced with the permission of the author.)