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Winning in the Age of Bohonomics

Archive for the category “winning”

Changes, changes, changes …

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Eric Abrahamson (2000) noted in his famous Harvard Business Review –article that “To change successfully, organization should stop changing all the time.” Today we know that almost all organizations need dynamic stability and ability to change, but if there are too many changes there will be problems to manage all these changes. Often changes cannot be implemented without pain. However, an ideal change process should happen without pain.

One way to implement changes is to create modular elements of change. If change is too big, it creates a lot of stress and pain. Small change efforts that involve the reconfiguration of existing practices and business models are often the best practices of change. If we create big and massive change processes, risks are going to be bigger that planned massive change process is going to be a failure. If we can do this, change process will be organic change, not mechanic change.

To be ready for changes, we should develop change-able and learning organisations. One of the worst barriers against organic change is keen and even active refusal of learning. If we do not want to learn, all changes will be unsuccessful. Some beings are able to learn, some others are not able learn. If we want to develop change-able organisations, we must pay special attention to learning capacity of individual and social teams of organizations.

Professor Robert W. Rowden (2001) has recognized in his scientific article that there are three types of change: planned change, implementation-focused change and readiness-focused change. All these “change types” need a special attention. Sustainable, high performance depends on organisation´s ability to respond quickly and efficiently to changing circumstances in their decision environments, which are today networks, markets and crowds. Especially, our abilities and skills to make sense of changes, matter. Nowadays making sense is not easy. We must analyse a lot of data, information and knowledge. If we do not understand the nature of changes in critical networks, new markets and emerging crowds, we are out of success. Some other organisations, which do it better, will be more successful.

Today´s organizations operate in a challenging environment. In a more complex world, change has become the constant. Just add globalisation to technological shifts and multiply it by today´s volatile economic trends and the pace of change is breath-taking. Making sense of changes is today one of the biggest challenges in organisations and companies.

We should also understand that people are very interested why they need to change. Often people are very tired of changes, before planned changes. Generally speaking, the motivation of people depends on our sense making skill and abilities. If we cannot explain, in a good way, why changes are needed, we cannot motivate people to learn new things, change their habits and find better ways to work. Motivation is a key issue in change management process. If motivation level is low, change process is not going to be successful.

In change-able organizations a way of being is different. In this kind of organisation people are able to change fast, but also they are able to manage knowledge. For such learning organisations, typical characters are: constant readiness, continuous planning, improvised implementation and action learning. These characters require training and tutoring inside organisations. They do not emerge automatically in organizations.

People resist changes for many reasons. Sometimes they want to deny the needed changes. Sometimes people are anger and they blame managers and leaders. “Over my dead body” is one typical reaction to needed changes. “This is nothing new” is another reaction to changes. Sometimes people are simply confused. Then “I do not understand what is going on” is a typical reaction.

In classical Lewin´s study “Field Theory and Social Science”, he described the tendency by people to consolidate negative behaviours as “freezing”. This phenomena is still relevant for change management. Smart leaders can find ways to “unfreeze” by right messages, implementation activities and role models.

The organisational climate of change must be created every day in companies and organisations. Leaders of today need to manage implementation in ways that protect and grow business rather than destroy the very organisational skills and motivations which offer the potential for innovation and new business models. From this perspective we are living interesting times. Many organisations are not able to survive. Some others will find their ways from chaotic conditions.

Whether you are leader, manager or worker, we can ask: is your personal attitude right and mature enought to create optimal organisational climate of change?

Further reading

Abrahanson, E. (2000) Change without pain. Harvard Business Review, July-August 2000, 75-79.

Lewin, K. (1951) Field Theory in Social Science. London: Tavistock.

Rowden, R. (2001) The learning organization and strategic change. Society for the Advancement of Management Journal, 66(3), 11-16.

The Boho Bottom Line

Inarguably are we entering a new era where all kind of measuring based on the means of the industrial age are passé, and not only that. They can be pernicious as well. An old saying claims that you get what you measure and that is quite true – we have been measuring beans and coins and that is what we’ve got, lot’s of money somewhere marked with a minus and somewhere else with a plus. Funny thing is that actually the beans and coins game has ended up as a minus sum game as the global debt shambles is out of control.

Companies CSR efforts have not resulted in radical betterings partly perhaps because they are used merely as tools for PR.

In 1994 John Elkington suggested Triple Bottom Line approach where the companies bottom line should be expressed three dimensionally: people, planet & profit. The idea faded away with cost cutting being the main priority for businesses.

An interesting discussion about Shared Value is going on and leading us once again to discuss capitalism and it’s benefits and flaws. Prof Michael Porter presents a positive view while John Elkington is a bit dubious.

Why is the discussion of the bottom line and capitalism so important for the modern Bohemians and BohoBusinesses? We do not believe that money is going away as a tool for exchange. As Prof. Tom G. Palmer says: money is an tool for dignified exchange of products and services. As a creative worker I more than agree with Tom’s statement, bartering can be satisfactory for some time but in the long run it brings about dissonance between people. Well, and does not contribute to the society in form of taxes neither.

When thinking about the new solutions for businesses to contribute to the common global good we  cannot and should not forget the people’s and companies pursuit to win and by so means create profits that can be invested in new endeavors for development and better lives.

Therefore we see that the Bohemian way to look at sustainable business, BohoBusiness, is the win*win(+win). In this equation the partie’s create multiple wins and also cause beneficial impacts to third parties. In other words we are not denying the creation of wealth, profitable business and the thriving of individuals, teams and organizations but we suggest they along with their strategies and actions strive to find ways to contribute to the society and the planet as well, not only as individual companies but as a part of partnerships as well.

In the win*win(+win) way we believe that the Bohobusinesses can take CSR, Shared Value and TBL into their strategies, tactics, operations and daily actions. The win*win(+win) provides also the artistic and innovative Bohemians an ethical scheme to look at their work also from the point of view of profits and on the other hand for the economics and material oriented a way to take the +win as a part of their paradigm.

Actually the +win is the key to great victories and profits in the more and more robotizing world. The deals between partners are often times such that they do not require broad and creative intelligence. Seeing the future, the planet and the needs of humanity on the other hand require such abilities to conceive that the robots are hardly getting there yet in some decades.

Besides, we are here to have fun, enjoy our lives, our families, to work with passion, to connect and cooperate with others. We all have unique talents and skills. It is our birthright to live up to our best selves. This is to win and with win*win(+win) we can multiply the joy and make life and business a co-thriving journey.

All set up for a win*win(+win) session at The Helsinki Music House.

The BohoCompany Takes (W)initiative

The future winners are those who take the initiave. Those who create winning opportunities and change the game to favor their own strengths and capacities. These are people and companies we call The Bohos. The Bohos are builders for a better world, better functioning communities and more effective systems.

From AdHoc to WinHoc

Amidst changes, new ways and means of work people and companies often find themselves acting adhoc. In other words they invest on forming teams to solve problems. Mending systems. Filling gaps. Dousing fires. They examine the past and make decisions based on history, not the future. Not the scenario and vision they said they so much believe in.

It is always as staggering to realize the chasm between the powerpoints and real life decisions. The fancy terms on a white board doesn’t seem to have much to do when the reason of the now resurrect the deeds of the past, the terms of yesterday and the good old strategies that used to help when the pecking order was more important than knowledge.

The ice cold truth thus is: best practice wont help you. Next practice can be out of date when you learn it. You need to create your own, authentic, inimitable winning practice.

“The ice cold truth is: best practice cannot help you. Next practice can be out of date when you learn it. You need to create your own, authentic, inimitable winning practice.”

There is no way you can trust the traditional strategic competence. Your strategy train may not visit the station where the opportunities are showing up and things are happening. The old idea about tactics might be out of date – unethical. You cannot justify your actions with company policy nor argue that the good purpose will hallow the means.

Forget about agility. Agility means lean and lean means production and production means industries which will be taken over by automats and robots. They are agile – if you program them to be. Core competencies? No way! The effectiveness of the industrial age is not for the humans of today. And definitely not for the Bohos creating the future. Learning, enthusiasm and the ability to find right people to the right places beat the core competents with flying colours.

The Bohos take winning initiatives, they build winning oppotunities and situations. They plant seeds for new victories. They act WinHoc and their guiding principal is win*win(+win). They take care that winning results are achieved for both parties and also for a third party – for those who need to be considered be it the environment, the poor, the weak, the less fortunate.

From Initiative To Victory

The WinHoc is a dynamic version of AdHoc. When the AdHoc emerges as a reaction to a perceived need, the WinHoc starts up voluntarily and on one’s own initiative. In a WinHoc you take a powerful initiative. An initiative where you see a great potential to win. A person or a company acting WinHoc builds situations that are beneficial for their strengths and capacities and the strive to thrive in those situations.

WinHoc is inventorship with courage to bring up something totally new into discussions, markets and to the development – without having an order to do so *). The valuebase  win*win(+win) guarantees that WinHoc is ethical. Win*win aims to multiple wins and profits between partners and (+) challenges to create winning effects there where those effects are needed. Win*win(+win) can turn every action, plan and communication into a world bettering project, if you just conceive the philosophy in a right way and turn it into an every day practice.

“Win*win(+win) can turn every action, plan and communication into a world bettering project.”

To wrap this post up: The Bohos act WinHoc. WinHoc is a strategic/tactical way of action based on:

  1. Powerful initiative
  2. Dynamic creation of opportunities and situations where the potential to win is ample
  3. Winning the situations with the values and principles of win*win(+win)

WinHoc is more than being proactive. WinHoc is about dynamic creation and co-creation. Bohos acting WinHoc constantly ask: “what do we want to create?” and “what is next?”.

Competition Is A Happy Place

Many think competition is a bad and an exhausting place. This should not be true. Competition is not bad nor good. It is what you make it. Competition should be a place to come together and measure skills in order to find ideas for learning and improvement. Competition is  a way to find the right people to the right places and to create winning results. Authentic winning results emanate good. Competition comprehended in a right way does not exhaust but invests on greatness, character and challenge. Exhaustion is born from the constant constraint of peak performance. In a winning BohoCompany it is accepted that  a peak performance is not always needed but for the most of the times a winning performance where you align the energy with task at hand is sufficient.

What could prevent WinHoc from succeeding? A wrong attitude. It is impossible to act WinHoc if you do not accept that creative capacities, skills, sharp opinions, powerful insights go before status and strongholds. You need a lot of courage if you want to be a Boho and co-create with other Bohos who refuse to lie doggo in the comfybox of the status quo but are true to their highest values and authentic selves.

It takes a lot of  courage to act WinHoc but if you want to create a beautiful future, it is necessary.

To act WinHoc is to plant a rose where the other’s cannot see the opportunity for beauty and growth.

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(*)”Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”  Albert Einstein

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