M-commerce and business change
Looking at business change related to the use of new technology and mobile commerce, we are dealing with continuous change. According to Cummings and Worley, OD practitioners work with managers and key stakeholders to build a system that continually adapts. Dynamic strategy making addresses both the content (the what), of strategy formulation and the process (the how and who) of strategy implementation. Self-designing organizations have the capability to alter themselves fundamentally and continuously. Learning organizations are those with the ability to learn how to change and improve themselves constantly. Built-to -change organizations include strategizing processes, design elements, and managerial practices that support change as the primary driver of effectiveness (Cummings & Worley, 2014).
It is well-known that most companies still operate in a traditional way. The m-commerce field requires new business processes where content is focal. As a consequence, m-commerce companies need to shape themselves according to the specific advancements that are occurring in their domain of expertise. But how can the organisation be changed in order to achieve this goal? This article is divided into two main sections. The first section presents a framework which can be applied in order to understand the efficiency of a company’s performance. The second part focuses on adapting an m-commerce company to new challenges
I) Dynamic and effective work environment
For a company to be more productive in its performances, a dynamic environment is needed.
In order to establish the extent to which a company functions well, a certain framework to improve team dynamics needs to be considered.
Depending on the context and the size of the work team, the following questions may be presented to the whole group as a collective reflection, typically in a retrospective ritual (session to improve the way in which the team operates) or be asked beforehand in the form of individual interviews to allow everyone to express themselves fully and without outside influence before working as a team.
1. Clear and shared goals
It can be difficult to find meaning and commitment without knowing where you are going, for what and with which objective. The purpose of this component is to find answers to the following questions:
What do you achieve in the team? What is your task? Who do you do it for?
Why do you realize it? (The why)
What are your quantified objectives? How do you measure your results in correlation with these goals? How do you measure your success?
2. Defined roles and shared expectations
Difficult tasks often create overlapping areas in the teams or even worse, empty areas.
These questions can detect them:
Who does what in the team? Are the tasks well distributed to enable their realization?
What role is not clear? What is missing?
3. Clear communication flow and good information shared
In order to achieve their objectives, all teams share specific information such as: the amount of work done, internal documentation, communication with the rest of the company, information descending from the hierarchy etc. The challenge here is to review the information that the team deals with, to see what is missing, and remove the superfluous.
What information do you exchange for work? How? (When? In what form? With which tool (s)?)
What is in excess? What is missing?
4. An effective decision-making process
Like the accumulation of useless information, the accumulation of non-decisions leads to dysfunctions in the work place. The following questions then question the dynamics of discussions / decisions / actions in the team:
How do you make your decisions in the team?
Are they implemented? How?
5. Methods and mechanisms that deliver the desired results
If the tools and meeting approaches of a team are not effective, do not expect results that strengthen the collective! Nobody likes to waste time in useless actions. Nonetheless, nothing is really fixed. And there are many ways to improve. Here are some questions to determine where to do it:
How do you organize the work in the team? What tools do you use?
How do your meetings approach work?
How do you improve the way your team operates?
6. Self-confidence and confidence in others
It could be quite challenging to work on this aspect of the group dynamics as those presented previously are defective. Confidence will often emerge from fluid functioning in the previously mentioned areas. Here are the questions to investigate:
What is your level of confidence in the team? (Where would you rank on a scale of 1 to 10, and for what reasons?)
How are the "delicate" topics dealt with in the team? Are there taboo topics?
II) How to adapt your company to new challenges
To survive, companies must question their business model and redistribute power.
This is something that more and more people understand: we are not in crisis, but we are in the beginning of a major transformation.
On the side of large groups, recent exchanges with some of their leaders demonstrate their concern over five main threats:
- The emergence in the competitive field of new entrants who, equipped with an innovative business model, would jostle them in markets where they thought they had dominant and lasting positions.
- That of having a structure that has become too slow, too heavy, or too expensive to cope with current developments.
- That of missing the innovations products and services that could call into question their market shares and make the difference.
- That of no longer sufficiently attracting the younger generations of talents who frequently lose interest in large structures, because they are considered insufficiently providing meaning and pleasure at work.
- Conduct all these changes to come while preserving their stock market and avoid a social tsunami.
As it can be noticed, the room for maneuver is narrow. For their part, many mid-sized companies also feel that the rules of the game are changing and that, to last, they need to review some of their way of doing things while preserving their distinctive and competitive know-how. Finally, it seems to be emerging among all of these people that there is probably a significant waste of human energy within their teams and organizations, since talents and desires are insufficiently exploited and mobilized, or constrained by modes of operation and management that have become unsuitable.
A) Observations to make
For these companies, it seems that a consensus is emerging around some main ideas:
- That the centralized model has become too heavy and too slow. From traditionally mechanistic culture, organizational models must evolve towards a cellular and biological dimension.
- It is difficult in these central structures to keep a high level of commitment of the teams.
- That innovation is often local and favored by chance, and that it is vital to quickly detect and exploit it.
- It is notably easy in these centralized structures to miss out on a competing innovation, which was thought to be minor, and yet comes a few years later to hinder your development.
-That hierarchical and matrix organizations tend to dilute responsibility. It is not uncommon to meet leaders who are unclear who decides what, forcing them to refer to the highest hierarchical level for the arbitration they need, and effectively saturate the top of the pyramid hierarchical.
- That any structure tends in an often-unconscious way to favor its own interests over those of the company it is supposed to serve.
- That the political stakes are heavily consuming useless resources and are all the more important as the business is large.
- That the accumulation of intelligence and egos is often useful, but that it can sometimes curb or even make impossible the vital changes to be made to survive.
Do these findings mean that leaders and structures have become harmful? Certainly not. Nevertheless, profound transformations must be carried out by many companies, and quickly. And they are not simple. How, indeed, to motivate a "structure" to reform while this reform is the questioning even of its existence, its role and its prerogatives? In recent exchanges with the leaders of a major world bank, they expressed their difficulty in mobilizing their line of network directors on a necessary transformation, while the rate of attendance in agency had, because of the maturity of the Online banking service, decreased by more than 30% in two years. The threat of new practices, such as crown funding, or new entrants in the payments market does not seem to be a sufficient threat for these directors to bring about a change that is necessary and desired by the field teams who feel that they have to move to ensure the sustainability of their jobs.
B) The questions to ask
Before turning to some lines of thought, it may be helpful to ask a few questions that shed light on some of the challenges:
- Do we have the right number of lines of authority in our company?
- Are the rules of the game clear?
- Does the organization leave enough space for the operational teams so that they can fully and effectively exercise their profession?
- Is the power to decide where it should be?
- My central teams do not confiscate responsibilities that should be entrusted to the field. Are they limited to topics that add value to my ecosystem?
- Do trust, improvement and innovation sufficiently irrigate the entire company?
- How to be or become global while remaining alert, curious, coordinated, congruent, innovative and light?
- How to integrate original profiles, "free thinkers" in my teams by making sure that the structure accepts them?
- Are my teams really committed, motivated and involved in the development of the company?
- How to reintroduce a little uncertainty into my organizations to recreate the right level of appropriation and positive tension?
- How to put the responsibility closer to the field and give them the means to act on their daily lives?
- Does the position of my leaders and my managers favor the right to error, the progress, the initiative, the collective, the questioning?
The questions are many, of different dimensions, and challenge both the corporate culture, organization, management or processes.
C) The paths to consider
Observation of the company makes it possible to see two organizational systems emerging: