Just as an ecosystem can describe a community of organisms and their physical environment it could also describe a corporate environment. A corporate ecosystem includes corporate culture, processes, and common way of working. On the other hand, a corporate culture cannot be decided, it is the sum of individual mindset and consequent behavior. The management’s view on people and the subsequent leadership is the foundation for the setup of the corporate culture and the workplace atmosphere. The workplace atmosphere can directly impact the effectiveness and the future performance of the company. A positive and engaging culture is crucial for satisfaction, employee retention and overall productivity.
To operate in a functional ecosystem the management must secure engagement, involvement, and diversity. In any context, nature or business, diversity is necessary for the ecosystem to function well. In a natural ecosystem, biodiversity makes it more stable as it provides resistance and resilience in case of disrupting events. In a corporate setting, it is other factors of diversity that convert into a business strength. A key factor in a corporate ecosystem is the understanding of true diversity being a strength – not an obstacle and implements processes and tools in organization that support that view.
Leadership is a company’s most important process. A common way of working in the organization creates security, drive, and support for cross-functional processes in the organization. At COD we support our clients to implement a new way of conducting leadership by involvement to get real commitment, participation, and efficiency. For the leadership and ecosystem process to perform well it is need of supportive tools.
Meetings are the arena for creating a common vision and making common decisions where both understanding, and participation are to be taken for granted. The basic idea of the COD meeting is to handle meetings in a proactive way that guarantees involvement, make them efficient, ensures understanding and contribution of all participants and enriches the culture. A meeting that follows the COD methodology follows a clear structure to create security by having a predictable meeting, and it makes all members of the team inlcuding their leaders understand the value of different perspectives.
The operative pressure and the daily work have a great tendency to take up all our attention and resources. To make sure that the actions agreed on are executed and all the proactive activities do not become victims of urgency it is important to set an infrastructure that ensures a successful path towards the solutions decided on in the meeting.
Decisions made in a team very seldom result in implementation. Despite the efforts made in the meeting, it is likely that the individual participants have a slightly different view of what exactly was decided upon and, most importantly, what the next step should be. In those cases, it is a privilege for leaders and coworkers to have the possibility to discuss next steps. In a COD meeting, the goal is to prioritize the suggestions that are the most likely to bring the solution forward. Due to the fact that the meeting has involved everyone by asking an open question, using their competencies, and creating a common understanding and acceptance, it is only natural that the co-workers involved want to contribute to the process. If that does not happen, it is not because of spite or laziness, but rather because they lack a clear, qualitative, and well-thought-out plan on how to go about things. COD coaching is an individual meeting designed to build on the foundations of the meeting’s results to plan the activities of each co-worker. The team can only be active if the people involved know what to do in the next step.
Another important part of a corporate ecosystem and the development of a new way of working need to have a clear common movement forward, that is developed by a company strategy. The strategy stimulates a framework for local adaptions need to implement. The co-workers’ understanding and acceptance is key to create the commitment required to start up activities that will make the company reach the strategic goal. It is of great importance that most of the energy is put into create activities instead of explaining the strategy. When we have involved people in their activities, support systems for cross-functional collaboration needs to be created to eliminate silo-thinking. By working accordingly to this new common way, the result is people will adapt new way of thinking and behaving, which will strengthen the corporate culture.