NEW GAME, NEW RULES: the New Performance Paradigm Era (and Intelligent Teams) has come.

We know that what happened in our world during the last 3 years was – indeed – completely unexpected and unpredictable. As it happens in crucial historical moments, we are facing what Japanese call “The Koan”, the needed “emptiness” that characterize the bridge between the Old and the emerging New.
Our “old” organizational rules just fell apart, while at the same time more flexible and smart distributed models – that in 2019 still belonged to the “Future of Work” conversation – are currently reshaping the way we think, we co-operate, we do business.

I personally think one of the most important shifts does not refer to the way we work – presential, fully remote or hybrid – but to the way we are organized to work, whatever “shape” it is.
In fact, the so-called “Agile transformation” was already on the rise before 2020, as a desperate call for different decision-making structures. As per 2023, the global metamorphosis is almost complete: whether planned or not, most of our organizations are operating like complex ecosystems – dealing with a complicated uncertain and hyper-digital world -, with not enough capacity to plan mid-terms strategies nor to fully connect “from the top” with their workforces.
The predictable side-effect? Old hierarchies, when not necessary to thrive, are simply dying.
And, of course, a general burn-out feeling of “fatigue” is pushing key people and key talent to leave.

From a systemic point of view, the business world requires, first of all, the awareness of a clear discontinuity from previous models. People have changed, so our organizations must change, too.

Now, if the possibility to “come back working as we were doing before” is just a dangerous illusion, under which leading principles could the new generation of successful organizations be built?

There are some key ingredients that seem to define the new rules:

  1. Embrace the uncertain is no option. It is just part of the new game for any company to survive in such a complex world. We need to be excellent in managing change management and cultural transformation to navigate the new contexts.
  2. Our organizations are constituted by ecosystems of teams that are operatively closer to key decisions. They are the new “cells” of performance, whose members need to be empowered to work at their full potential.
  3. Thus, understanding teams’ dynamics, by creating environments where our teams can take operative decision in real-time relying on trustable data at all levels… is simply a must.
  4. People well-being is not a “nice-to-have” or a simplistic marketing tool anymore. It is indeed fully correlated with performance, motivation and talent fidelization. There’s the need of “Having the pulse” of our people’s sentiment at any time to build “Healthy & Wealthy” Organizations.
  5. Innovation, while more important than ever, is in danger. It requires our companies to intentionally build collaborative cross-teams networks and new ways of collaborating, adapting flexibility in working shapes while pursuing the next level of business results.

We are clearly entering a new Performance Paradigm Era.

  • Now more than ever, emotional connection, human relations and mutual trust are the foundation of psychological safety.
  • Psychological safety drives motivation and performance.
  • Performance cannot be based on individual KPIs anymore and requires adopting new teams’ metrics that includes measuring Well-being, Common Goal and Alignment.
  • We need to be able to integrate technology and real-time data with people development, upskilling and cultural transformation.
  • A new culture based on a “measurable us” and a renewed sense of belonging – not depending on place, time and way of working – seems to be the solution to guarantee this leap forward and achieve new business results.

The complexity requires for any organization to define a first step toward its new culture in a clear direction, to embrace this new Performance Paradigm and truly boost our organizations’ and teams’ Collective Intelligence.

No time to lose. What will your first step be, tomorrow?

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