Be a SMART Organization

Yves Morieux and Peter Tollman, Senior Partners and Managing Directors of respectively the Washington and the Boston office of Boston Consulting Group (BCG), in their book “Smart Simplicity” make a distinction between complexity and complicatedness.
Complexity stems from the increasing, changing and often conflicting needs of the different stakeholders and evolving conditions of markets and technology. Complicatedness refers to the mushrooming of organizational mechanisms (systems, processes, procedures, rules and regulations) that companies adopt in an effort to dominate and control these. The more systems a
company introduces, the less it will be able to take advantage of complexity to create added value and innovate.

The reality is that in response to complexity, most organizations have developed
“complicatedness”.

The number of procedures, structures, performance appraisals and approval processes that organizations have adopted over the past fifteen years has increased dramatically.
The intention behind the proliferation of systems and processes is to ensure control and predictability, but the consequences are costly and the goal remains unrealistic. Excessive processes in fact increase bureaucracy and hinder performance, risk taking and innovation, when increasingly in the future the ability to earn and make a profit of any organization will be directly
related to their ability and ability to learn new things.

It is therefore no coincidence that today we hear more and more talk about the need to create ‘SMART’ organizations, able to operate effectively in complex contexts, in continuous evolution and in conditions of strong ambiguity.

The term SMART organization often refers to organizations guided by the collective knowledge of their people, interconnected, dynamically adaptive to the evolving context, able to interpret and adopt new forms and organizational practices. SMART organizations are driven by a shared purpose, principles and values, and have a focus on creating value for different stakeholders.
In these organizations, continuous learning and agility are essential characteristics. These aspects allow them to continually evolve and develop any skills required in the future to succeed. In these companies, learning becomes a lifestyle and a continuous process, rather than something that supports a specific part of a person’s career.

In designing AEquacy, the revolutionary organizational model that transcends hierarchy, we took into account these needs and identified some enabling aspects for the creation of a SMART context, then translated into four principles that apply to the redesign of the organization’s systems and processes:

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Radical simplicity, which consists in reducing bureaucracy to a minimum and freeing people from all tasks related to trying to predict and control: excessive planning, reporting, request for different levels of authorizations and the like. To adopt radical simplicity, it is crucial that all the organization's stakeholders, including investors and founders, shift their mindset from control to trust.

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Consent decision-making based, to accelerate decisions and make them more egalitarian. The constant application of this decision-making approach ensures that all members of a team feel heard, that the best decisions are made for the team and quickly and that the team remains strongly aligned after a decision has been made.

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free flow of information to all stakeholders. Transparency creates trust, loyalty of customers, responsibility and a sense of fairness among employees. Free sharing of information contributes to building a culture of accountability. It is expected that each
team will share the way in which the work is done, what policies it adopts for good governance and what the status of the projects it is working on – all in a very transparent way.

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Peer feedback loops, translated into a constant exchange of feedback and feedforward between colleagues from the same team or different teams. This strengthens people’s ability to develop and adapt to the changing conditions and challenges they encounter, and fosters the development of a culture of lifelong learning at organizational level. Making public all feedback can also increase individual responsibility and allow teams and the company to address any performance or behavior problem promptly.

In designing AEquacy, the revolutionary organizational model that transcends hierarchy, we took into account these needs and identified some enabling aspects for the creation of a SMART context, then translated into four principles that apply to the redesign of the organization’s systems and processes:

\

Radical simplicity, which consists in reducing bureaucracy to a minimum and freeing people from all tasks related to trying to predict and control: excessive planning, reporting, request for different levels of authorizations and the like. To adopt radical simplicity, it is crucial that all the organization's stakeholders, including investors and founders, shift their mindset from control to trust.

\

Consent decision-making based, to accelerate decisions and make them more egalitarian. The constant application of this decision-making approach ensures that all members of a team feel heard, that the best decisions are made for the team and quickly and that the team remains strongly aligned after a decision has been made.

\

free flow of information to all stakeholders. Transparency creates trust, loyalty of customers, responsibility and a sense of fairness among employees. Free sharing of information contributes to building a culture of accountability. It is expected that each
team will share the way in which the work is done, what policies it adopts for good governance and what the status of the projects it is working on – all in a very transparent way.

\

Peer feedback loops, translated into a constant exchange of feedback and feedforward between colleagues from the same team or different teams. This strengthens people’s ability to develop and adapt to the changing conditions and challenges they encounter, and fosters the development of a culture of lifelong learning at organizational level. Making public all feedback can also increase individual responsibility and allow teams and the company to address any performance or behavior problem promptly.