How an Adhocracy Stimulates Entrepreneurial Growth

Asia's Tech News Daily

Organizational design and management practices, i.e., people and how you intentionally organize them, arguably have more influence on your business than anything else. It determines virtually every type of interaction, plan, implementation and use of resources. Yet, there is often more than one way to skin a cat. In today’s rapidly shifting market environment, it’s wise to understand how leaders are experimenting and what kind of results they’re seeing.

For some businesses, an adhocracy can be an approach that provides a real edge.

Setting the stage for a collaborative analysis

How do you solve the conundrum of continuing your company’s growth trajectory through entrepreneurship and value generation? How do you keep an organization fresh, agile, innovative and in touch with clients’ needs as you grow?

Enter adhocracy. We got to know the concept, like many others, by reading about it in a book — in this case, Julian Birkinshaw’s Fast/Forward. The concept suggests that the model privileges action, where meritocracy privileges individual knowledge and bureaucracy privileges authority. In adhocracy, organizational structure is transient and based on market opportunities. Strategy is based on experimentation and management is based on decisive action and emotional conviction (a clear counterpoint to a data(only)-driven model). Could this model boost entrepreneurship in a company with thousands of people?

Intrigued by these concepts, our team worked hard to loosen our top-down structure. This meant that, rather than being locked into a rigid hierarchy or functional group, we kept everything transient. We built Growth Units (business units, with the word growth to emphasize the focus) with an end-to-end structure. Executive squads led each Growth Unit, with every executive, no matter at which level (SVP, VP, Director or Manager), being a partner in the Growth Unit. An entrepreneur who owns their destiny in business —  that is, they own their P&L, set their own target clients, go to market strategy and value prop and decide when to pivot. Nobody is looking up to somebody above, which speaks to three other fundamental aspects of adhocracy: speed is of the essence, management is light touch and governance is flexible. We gave both Growth Units and individuals the ability to act with autonomy within clear guardrails. What bound everyone together was an emotional commitment toward the opportunity in front of each of the Growth Units. We kept, of course, supporting structures, such as HR, marketing and F&A as horizontal structures that comprised what we called the Platform.

Adhocracy reoriented us toward helping clients accelerate their digital transformation, and we continued to grow with great success. At the same time, our success caught the eye of Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School and author of Fast/Forward. Birkinshaw had seen adhocracy work before, but he’d never seen it at the scale we had achieved. And like us, he wanted to understand the strengths and weaknesses of what we were doing. So much so that he invited us to be part of a case study.

Mistakes, learning and finally, balance

In the case study, Birkingshaw posed some fair questions: Had we gone too far? Was this the proper structure to grow fast, as we wanted? What are the right incentives to take risks? Were we creating too much complexity? Was the emphasis on market opportunities and client responsiveness distracting us from coherent positioning?

By the time of the case study, the transient aspect of the organizational structure — focusing on market opportunities to determine when to create or decommission Growth Units or moving execs between them, was being taken very seriously. We had created a new process called rebalance to do just that. But rebalancing was happening a bit too often, so much so that some execs brought up the feedback that our groups simply didn’t have the time to connect and build a sense of shared purpose. When we looked at some of the key elements of adhocracy — emotional conviction and cohesion within the Growth Units — we realized that we’d swung the pendulum too far.

It became clear to us that, even though we wanted to maintain the freedom we’d given our groups to work without bureaucratic hurdles, we needed a more long-term view for the Growth Units. We slowed the pace of rebalances and didn’t shake things up quite so often. People had time to commit and invest themselves emotionally. Our reward was a major jump in their enthusiasm. They clearly understood what our customers were dealing with on a deeper level and were much more engaged in finding solutions.

Seeing this was incredibly motivating. But when we looked at the behavior and attitude of the Growth Units more closely, we saw that we’d swung the pendulum a little too far again, this time in the opposite direction. The Growth Units had so much cohesion that it created a siloed effect, and we had a hard time moving executives between them when opportunities were really asking for it.

Seeing these extremes, we set the goal of achieving harmony. To be successful, we could be neither too emotionally convicted nor too transient. The executive partners needed time to validate and evolve their own Growth Unit business strategy. Through experimentation, with their full dedication, and at the same time be minimally in tune with what was happening elsewhere. They recognized that we are one whole organization and other GUs might be in need of help (for instance, because they are growing faster than others).

To reach this new goal, we first made sure people understood that we were all on the same team and had the same vision. We encouraged them to share information so everybody could learn more quickly. Lastly, we required each Growth Unit to create two powerful stories each year and to rate other Growth Units on those stories, according to specific criteria. The idea was to give the Growth Units a chance to highlight their customer engagement, the problems they had and how they tried to solve those issues. We showcased the stories as a way to practice positive self-accountability. To learn and get exposed to the ideas, data, techniques, contributions and successes going on across the entire company.

Back when we started, all executives who were not in one of the Platform areas (IT, HR, F&A) were assigned to a Growth Unit, with one single exception: our CEO. That is another aspect in which we realized we had swung the pendulum a bit too far: we also needed a few executives who could serve and collaborate across units.

The rebalancing process continues to exist and has been improved over time. We started off with 12 Growth Units globally. We then changed what some of them looked like quite a bit, then created new ones, merged some and split others. More recently, we created the concept of alliances — groups of two or three Growth Units that share goals and a core set of customers that might be too large for one GU alone. Smaller Growth Units seemed to work better for us, which seemed consistent with the Dunbar number concept. So we set a guideline to keep each Growth Unit at 400 people or less.

Good growth never means you quit learning

How is adhocracy working for us? There’s a consensus that it fostered entrepreneurship, a better sense of ownership in everyone and it brought us more agility to identify and serve market needs. We grew more than 40 percent organically in 2020 — a result that, of course, cannot be attributed to adhocracy alone. But we were pleased with our success and grew more certain that we had made the right choice for our company. Adhocracy can truly allow entrepreneurship to flourish, even at a large scale — and we are currently more than 5,000 people. We were also cautious enough to take the reality check the case study had handed us — mistakes are easy to make, and it’s wise to view your organizational structure as a work in progress.

Of course, the most important thing is to find what works for your business. Maybe it’s an adhocracy; maybe it isn’t. Regardless of your organizational structure, it’s important to continually work on refining it. Make it your own, based on the unique needs of your company. Because when it comes to business and improving, the journey never stops.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Why Is The Airline Industry So Concerned With The 5G Network?

While AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) announced ambitious plans to deploy 5G services in the U.S., the airline industry has raised concerns about how this technology could ... Read more »

How to Be More Courageous in Life

Do you have a lot of fears in life? Are you struggling with the fear of failure, the fear of uncertainty and the fear of success? You don’t have to ... Read more »

An Inspiring Interview with Steve White, President, Special Counsel to the CEO of Comcast

Do you let circumstances define who you are, or do you take charge of your life no matter how challenging it is? I have the pleasure to interview Steve White, ... Read more »

Silver Jewellery Startup GIVA Raises $10 Million In Series A

Bengaluru-based silver jewellery startup GIVA, has raised  $10 million in its Series A funding led by Sixth Sense Ventures, A91 Partners and other marquee investors like India Quotient, Grand Anicut ... Read more »

Cloud Tailor Raises $1 Million In Pre-Series A

Cloud Tailor, a D2C platform that enables personalized women’s fashion, has raised $1.0 million in its pre-Series A round led by 35North Ventures and Mergerdomo. Pexels Two of Cloud Tailor’s ... Read more »

Big Tech Uses Data to the Detriment of Consumer Health, But We're Addicted. So What's the Solution?

As was brilliantly chronicled in the 2020 Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, much of tech today uses data to tap into the human brain in a way that is detrimental to ... Read more »

Technology Startups Are Redefining Clean Energy

Humanity has changed rapidly this past decade. We carry cameras in our pockets, have the knowledge of the world at our fingertips, and are now entering the Metaverse. It’s clear ... Read more »

When You Work With A Strong Vision, Goals Become A Reality: Proved By This Young Entrepreneur Of Dubai

Most of the time, what we hear from people around us is how one needs to change lifestyle and inculcate great habits to create a more fulfilling life for oneself ... Read more »

How This 28-Year-Young Entrepreneur Reached Astounding Heights Of Success In Entrepreneurial World

There are many individuals who have broken the barriers and emerged as true winners in every sphere, especially the entrepreneurial realm, which has seen many enter into it and make ... Read more »

5 Easy Expense Decisions Entrepreneurs Can Make in 2022 to Increase their Impact

I love the energy of the new year. Ideas feel limitless, and possibility is everywhere. It’s an opportunity to make thoughtful tweaks in our personal and professional lives. The kind that ... Read more »

Why getting Congress to fund help for US children in poverty is so hard to do

The Build Back Better bill, the centerpiece of the Biden administration’s domestic policy, cleared the House of Representatives by a slender margin largely along party lines in November 2021. Mario ... Read more »

Agrowave Raises $2 Million In Pre-Series A

Agrowave, an agritech startup building a supply-driven farm-to-market mobility supply chain with focus on first-mile logistics and trades supply through an integrated network of mobile pickup stations, has raised $2 ... Read more »

Your Expert Opinion vs. the Customer's Wants

Behind the Review host and Yelp’s Small Business Expert, Emily Washcovick, shares a look at this week’s episode of the podcast. It’s okay to be particular about who’s touching your hair. For her first dye job, ... Read more »

Horrifying Video Shows Amazon Driver's Run-In With a Giant Bear in Driveway

Things could have ended bear-y badly for one Amazon delivery man in Upland, California. RingAmazon driver has run-in with bear One family in the rural town had been frequently getting ... Read more »

Decoding the Ethical Concerns With Respect To Technology

It was once said by Martina Navratilova that “Security used to be an inconvenience sometimes, but now it’s a necessity all the time.” The statement is indeed true. Humans at ... Read more »

Military Veterans Make Great Entrepreneurs, But Startups Aren't the Only Path to Success

We officially founded our non-profit organization VETtoCEO in 2013 and have been delivering an online entrepreneurship program specifically designed for military veterans since 2012. Our Entrepreneurship for Transitioning Warriors program ... Read more »

What to Consider When Making a Real Estate Move

Small business expansion is not an idea often explored until startups hit an inflection point in their business, usually tied to a growth event such as a new financing round ... Read more »

Man Awarded $9.4 Million After Being Served a Glass of Sanitizer Instead of Water at Cracker Barrel

At the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, sanitizer and cleaners quickly became coveted resources as suppliers and sellers tried to keep up with demand across the board. Education Images | ... Read more »

From Near Bankruptcy To 8 Figures: An Entrepreneurs Story Of Stocks, Online Business And Never Giving Up

Ahmed Alomari started out a small town kid from Michigan with big dreams of financial freedom. Handout In the last 7 years Ahmed or GMoney as he’s popularly known as ... Read more »

Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT) Dips More Than Broader Markets: What You Should Know

Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT) closed the most recent trading day at $123.40, moving -1.77% from the previous trading session. This change lagged the S&P 500’s 1.1% loss on the ... Read more »

Jeff Bezos Gets Roasted on Twitter, Compared to Evil Villain After Amazon Announces New 'Lord of the Rings' Show

Amazon’s Prime Video has long been teasing an original series based off of the fan-favorite Lord of the Rings series. Twitter via Jeff BezosTwitter via Jeff Bezos Though not much ... Read more »

Protect Your Business by Becoming a Cybersecurity Analyst

Cyber attacks on small businesses were on the rise in 2021, with 44 percent of small businesses reporting that they experienced a cyber attack. As such, cybersecurity is no longer just ... Read more »

Figaro's Pizza Inks Pact With FranGlobal To Expand In India

Figaro’s Italian Pizza has inked a deal with FranGlobal to open  hundreds of outlets throughout India over the next 25 years.  Pexels With this, Figaro’s Pizza, which is one of ... Read more »

The Dynamic Nature Of Social Media Has Fostered the Concept Of Blitzscaling

Businesses are getting more sophisticated as the decades pass. The traditional model of scaling an organization from one location to thousands of locations through large capital expenditures is being replaced ... Read more »

Autodesk (ADSK) Stock Moves -0.76%: What You Should Know

In the latest trading session, Autodesk (ADSK) closed at $252.41, marking a -0.76% move from the previous day. This change was narrower than the S&P 500’s 1.1% loss on the ... Read more »

How to Break Into the Creator Economy in a Digital Age

The way we consume entertainment and news has shifted tremendously within the past decade. Whereas once we relied solely on TVs or news outlets to consume information, now we tune ... Read more »

Securely Store Passwords, Payment Info, and More in One Place

For entrepreneurs, it’s crucial to stay organized. You’re running a business and you’re in charge of important decisions and accounts for both your business and employees. You can’t keep going ... Read more »

Lemonade (LMND) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

Lemonade (LMND) closed the most recent trading day at $31.60, moving +1.09% from the previous trading session. This move outpaced the S&P 500’s daily loss of 1.1%. Elsewhere, the Dow ... Read more »

Livent (LTHM) Dips More Than Broader Markets: What You Should Know

Livent (LTHM) closed the most recent trading day at $22.74, moving -1.6% from the previous trading session. This change lagged the S&P 500’s 1.1% loss on the day. Meanwhile, the ... Read more »

4 Things to Know About Online Reviews (and Why You Can't Afford to Ignore Them)

For many business owners, brand reviews on sites like Yelp, GMB and other review platforms may sometimes seem a little like background noise — unavoidable and always there, but also easy to ... Read more »

Searching for a Franchise for the First Time? Here are 6 Tips to Consider

With over 3,000 different franchise concepts to choose from, the intense search to find the perfect match for your goals, income potential and lifestyle can leave you chomping at the ... Read more »

Khelgully Raises INR 3.1 Crore In Seed Funding

Bangalore-based social e-sports RMG platform, Khelgully, has raised INR 3.1 crore in Seed funding round led by Titan Capital, along with prominent angel investors. Pexels  Khelgully operates on the real ... Read more »

How Newsletter Sponsorships Can Maximize Your Marketing

You want to maximize your marketing efforts and be where viewers are as a business. But very few are using the sponsored newsletter to grow their customer leads. Newsletter sponsorships ... Read more »

5 Marketing Strategies Business Owners Should Start in 2022

Though infinitely better than 2020, 2021 had its own unique challenges. With 2022 off to its start, it’s a chance to start fresh and do all the stuff we swore we’d ... Read more »

Danaos (DAC) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

Danaos (DAC) closed at $81.87 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.83% move from the prior day. This change outpaced the S&P 500’s 1.1% loss on the day. Meanwhile, ... Read more »

Endo International (ENDP) Stock Moves -0.9%: What You Should Know

Endo International (ENDP) closed the most recent trading day at $3.32, moving -0.9% from the previous trading session. This move was narrower than the S&P 500’s daily loss of 1.1%. ... Read more »

Starting a Successful Startup: A Founder's Journey

Building a million-dollar venture and startup from scratch isn’t easy. Rishabh Jain, founder and CEO of Shiftal, talks about how he gave life to his brainchild and what happened behind ... Read more »

How Feeling Excluded as a Child Drove this Entrepreneur to Start Her Own Company

I remember having classmates over for a playdate once in elementary school. My friend walked by my parents’ room and peeked in. “What are those funny looking dolls? Why are there ... Read more »

How to Meet Customers At Their Pain Points

It’s long been said that customers don’t make purchases for the “features and benefits” of what a product or service has to offer. Rather, they purchase when they truly feel ... Read more »

Garmin (GRMN) Expands Smartwatch Portfolio With epix Launch

In a bid to bolster the adventure watch portfolio, Garmin GRMN has introduced a premium multisport smartwatch, epix.The watch features a bright AMOLED display and offers up to 16 days ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic