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  • Rafael Garcia-Parrado 9:00 am on January 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Moving Toward Organizational Transparency 

    Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

    More and more people are embarking on designing and structuring an open organization, as marked by today’s standards in the strategic direction of the company. The market is more demanding and the uncertainty that surrounds it has teetered its stability, so that organizations are forced to be much more flexible in its operation to meet the challenges they face.

    A great quantity of companies continue with an obsolete organizational model based on rigid systems centered in the improvement of processes in terms of immediate and short term profitability, making it impossible to leave the road set by the hierarchical superior.

    The competition entails searching for new ideas that allow innovation in organizations, thus these business structures must be permeable to external influences, allowing them to grasp knowledge.

    This search for knowledge must not be subordinate to a simple technological surveillance system. Rather the workers themselves must be connected to allow the free circulation of ideas, with the possibility of sharing and generating knowledge validated within the organization. Thus the benefits of internalization would apply to any project or task.

    The organizational challenge is to get internal talent connected and to align them with the company’s strategy. But no one said this would be easy, thus the company’s culture must be aligned with the business model, being the key human resources function to ensure that employer and employee move in the same direction. 

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  • Rafael Garcia-Parrado 9:00 am on November 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Collaboration Must Guide Companies 

    Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

    In today’s business concept, there is one very clear thing and that is what worked yesterday does not serve today. Especially when we are in a volatile market where there is a compelling need for rapid reconfiguration.

    The time for change has arrived. Therefore, the division of labor must be relegated to the dark side. It is true that specialization is necessary. But the urgent need for collaboration exists so that the addition of individuality triumphs.

    It is not just a question of collective productivity, but also the fact that employees are conscientious of what they are doing and for what purpose their work serves. Ensuring that all members of the company know their act of faith, so that all of their actions are aimed at getting the best possible results, leaving autonomy in their attainment in order to elevate their motivation. Terms such as collective intelligence take a key role in counteracting the uncertainty that may surround decision making.

    Enterprise Social Networks can be the ideal excuse to promote communication and in turn collective learning to constantly improve, endowing a social dimension to it.

    But these new organizational units encountered in knowledge-based companies are still vital in some cases to facilitate production, playing a key role in parallel processing where the same formal organizations emerge and grow a collaborative community that transforms previous organizational culture .

    Hence, the collaboration formula with more formal structure must last in order to guarantee the productive continuity, as well as the organizational order. Using historical learning in actions executed so that the entire organization learns and finally commencement to new ways of performing tasks can begin.

    The resulting equation is: Formal Structure + Collaborative Community = Facilitate decision-making

    This is to allow and guarantee flexibility in work teams.  To be able to establish quantitative indicators, measurable objectives where valuing the organization of the production unit. Achieving the new business model, the agile business of the 21st century.

    Rafael García (@rafagparrado) works as a consultant at Índize and has his own blog, which at Zyncro we highly recommend: La Factoría Humana.

    Do you want to transform your business and open it to collaboration? You need an enterprise communication tool that can help you with this tool. Download Zyncro’s whitepaper where we explain 10 reasons why your organization needs an Enterprise Social Network. And if you are already convinced, you can begin to try Zyncro for free.

     

     
  • Rafael Garcia-Parrado 9:00 am on July 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Organizational permeability as a source of innovation 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    There’s a lot of talk about the need to innovate in HR. The change required in Human Resources must enable in companies new ways of doing things to be implemented.

    Usually, open innovation models are referred to when making allusions to the company’s relationships with the exterior. An organization open to market or consumers’ concerns can revolve around the search for a better alternative in terms of competitiveness . This means that we have to understand the benefit that this permeability to the exterior represents, enabling innovation resulting from relationships to be incorporated.

    However, many companies see innovation from an endogenous model, making the acquisition of innovation somewhat expensive and slow, reducing its competitive potential. This is where their error lies, seeking to maintain the organizational structures of the past by limiting relationships to bureaucratic paperwork and rejecting the option to leverage openness as a channel for allowing new ideas or ways of doing things to seep in.

    Open and participative innovation is required, but it means organizations must understand the benefit of involving third parties with new ideas in their processes and the need to stimulate collective intelligence, promoting the figure of the intrapreneur who alone can favor the creation of value.

    This change towards permeable organizations that opt for forms of open innovation represents a challenge for HR. Its function will be to position themselves as facilitators who need to manage the organizational horizontal alignment, encourage change management towards new models, favor continuous learning, and permit autonomy in people’s work.

    ICTs will play an important role in accelerating innovation through collective construction. This will require companies to optimize their communication channels with the external agents who participate in their processes. In this sense, Enterprise Social Networks as a facilitator of communication and team coordination are a major competitive advantage.

    Rafael García (@rafagparrado) works as a consultant at Índize and has his own blog, which at Zyncro we highly recommend: La Factoría Humana.


     
  • Rafael Garcia-Parrado 9:00 am on April 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    The professional facilitator in organizations 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Technological advances and growing competitiveness force companies to stay permanently up-to-date, so collaborative practices are becoming more valued as a more than profitable option.

    Here we can talk about practice communities that can enhance productivity in organizations thanks to an improvement in processes and empowering the employees who should assess, propose and solve in decision-making.

    Placing these work groups at the heart of any productive improvement involves giving them autonomy, with the result being the sum of the individual productivities and knowledge transfer.

    However a change of such dimensions in any organization used to functional or departmental structures can entail a number of problems in managing this complex change. To face it, and to ensure that projects don’t de-virtualize from their auto-da-fe, total integration is required and not just changing the structure of the departments.

    To respond to these limitations in organizations, professional facilitators or facilitator teams have emerged, which are responsible for developing strategic capacities for re-focusing the actions of the work group.

    These professionals seek to:

    • Drive innovation
    • Ensure strategic cohesion
    • De-bureaucratize the organization
    • Instill a new way of doing things (innovation requires a method)
    • Streamline the organizational change
    • Use social technologies to provide business openness

    These professionals can acquire a greater role in the classical structure, while they reduce their weight and importance. Through their interruption in the work methodology, they seek to generate wisdom across the board that enables the company to give an efficient response to the challenges.

    To sum up, I want to highlight the importance of people, as a high level of involvement and maturity is essential in order for the companies themselves to adapt to the rhythm and the quality of their employees, achieving greater flexibility and orientation on the outcome.

    Rafael García (@rafagparrado) works as a consultant at Índize and has his own blog, which at Zyncro we highly recommend: La Factoría Humana.

     
  • Rafael Garcia-Parrado 9:00 am on March 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    The need for cooperation in new companies 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    The continuous changes which organizations undergo due to technology advances have become a key trend that generates uncertainties regarding the function of HR in organizations. The function of HR is at a crucial situation as the backbone of the organization and a promoter of change. Market requirements, the wave of constant change, short-lived trends… are some of the reasons for new organizational structures that allow organizational adaptability in the new way of understanding relations in companies.

    The vision of HR as a static or hermetic department must become a thing of the past, transforming it into the first line of internal contact in companies, guiding employees towards opportunity, and supporting intra-entrepreneur figures to ensure the success of the change.

    Cooperation must be a shared pattern throughout the company and therefore requires employees’ involvement to favor a collective constructivism that improves efficiency. And to favor that cooperation, we need to facilitate decision-making and do away with hierarchical structures, because imposed hierarchy can prevent the conversion of ideas emerging from the heart of the organization. By removing this hierarchy, companies will be able to escape from the standardization and the bureaucratization of processes.

    But who said that drawing together all that knowledge was easy? Leading the change, being the organizational glue, requires HR having a method to ensure success. Let’s look at some aspects that need to be taken into account:

    • Organizational transparency, a suitable communication must be the shared pattern throughout the organization.
    • The use of tools 2.0 will enable reinvention in the new scenario, guaranteeing a sensitivity towards new trends and advances to bring organizations closer to the external customer.
    • Learning as a goal of the organization for constant improvement of the production processes, enabling a moldability that guarantees survival over time.
    • Transmission of the business strategy to the entire organization, which helps focus all activities towards achieving the main act of faith or raison d’etre of the organization.

    In short, companies become liquid to adapt to the new changing scenario that prevails in the market and to its requirements, and new organizational structures emerge. But despite the wave of constant change that invades business today, we need to remember that adapting the organization to change is not immediate, rather for large companies, a major investment of resources and time is required. But thanks to those necessary changes, collaboration will become a key base for companies and will enable them to assume the challenge of the new organizational capillarity required for success in the new scenario.

    Rafael García works as a consultant at the company Índize and writes his own blog, which at Zyncro we highly recommend: La Factoría Humana.

     

     
  • Rafael Garcia-Parrado 9:00 am on January 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Organizational capillarity: a new challenge 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Many companies are interested in and progressively introducing collaborative processes into their business dynamic. Not for nothing is it said that we are immersed in the collaboration era, and this is why it’s interesting to establish an ecosystem for generating new knowledge. This is where capillarity is particularly relevant to the organizational momentum.

    As I’ve said on numerous occasions, the main challenge for organizations is adapting their business model and achieving the active construction of knowledge; to do this companies should pursue the increase of their collaborative coefficient. But, careful! Not only should we look within the organization, but open it up to the outside.

    Collaborative work pursues better productivity through collective intelligence, for which efficient communication must exist in the organization. This is where there is often confusion, because there is the belief that communication is a result of a good working environment, which is true the majority of the time, but not enough. Autonomy in people’s work should be encouraged looking to motivate their learning ability and entrepreneurial attitude as a background to innovation.

    When an organization is open, listens and allows interaction with the environment, it creates a series of business benefits:

    • Internal source of innovation
    • More autonomy
    • Improvement to the organizational climate
    • More productivity
    • Improvement to the monitoring of the environment

    In current times, uncertainty is an inherent characteristic of companies, which is why they must adapt to survive. Thanks to organizational capillarity, knowledge flows, providing the company with sources that allow contents to be updated. To this end, adequate space needs to be created for applying a methodology that allows interaction between collaborators, enabling the capture of knowledge that is useful for the business’s activity.

    It has always been said that information is power. Information, together with this adaptation to new times, will allow better dynamics and the creation of a structure that improves decision making, thanks to the increase in value of these interactions, therefore improving the organization’s monitoring system.

    Organizational capillarity refers to permeability, knowing how to listen to the environment in order to suitably adapt to change, such as the detection of new trends, that allows markets to be approached to discover consumer behavior. In short, for the change to be detected and the response facilitated.

    Individual talent is a basic requirement, but it is not enough in times when success belongs to collectivity.

    To sum up, the objective is to be a network company, which requires transparency, something that isn’t always easy, because it implies overcoming hierarchical structures and the reluctance of people to contribute.

    As Alfons Cornella says “Knowledge should be the nervous system of the whole company” :)

    Rafael García works as a consultant for Índize and has his own blog which we at Zyncro recommend: La Factoría Humana.


     
  • Rafael Garcia-Parrado 9:00 am on September 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    The importance of the right environment 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Currently we are witnessing a series of structural changes that have a strategic consequence for organizations. While competitive advantages were traditionally yielded from assets owned by the company, nowadays it is knowledge that helps improve results.

    These days companies are organized in such a way to encourage business practices that generate and protect the company’s knowledge. For this reason, self-managed teams use collective intelligence as their modus operandi with the goal of the group’s ideas and conversations having an impact on the business results. Working together as a team is more productive than working as individuals.

    There are many advantages to working as a team: greater productivity, better quality, customer satisfaction, job satisfaction, and even greater organizational commitment.

    Knowledge generated in groups comes from the individual contributions of each member, meaning this knowledge is aveguarded from imitation by the competition. By creating numerous variables, competitor companies are unable to identify the source generating the competitive advantage, destabilizing this system of surveillance.

    In any case, although it may seem the miracle cure for improving productivity, collaboration does not always positively affect performance, as some individuals may present resistance to sharing their knowledge, something which essentially ends up deteriorating the group’s performance overall.

    It is at this point that the working environment comes into play. One of the greatest premises of economics is to achieve a goal beyond mere individual achievements, where work spaces are shared by people with different, complementary experiences, providing a multi-disciplinary training that covers multiple new areas from non-expert perspectives in order to obtain innovative solutions.

    To reiterate, no one individual can perform all these activities alone and generate improvements or innovations.

    Among the negative aspects of collaboration, there is opportunism, the so-called “stowaway” effect. An individual can corrupt other members into thinking that it is more profitable to reduce their performance, as they can still benefit from the system whether they have contributed or not, which would, without a doubt, destabilize the group’s entire operation.

    To conclude, we need to highlight the importance of the working environment as a key aspect within the group in order to encourage the sharing of knowledge and to work towards a common project, as it is a determining factor in internal collaboration among group members. Nor can we forget that ICTs cannot achieve the desired collaboration alone, but must act as a additional resource, since although they may be a necessary condition in some cases, they are not sufficient in themselves.

    Rafael García works as a consultant at Índize and has his own blog in Spanish,
    which at Zyncro we highly recommend: La Factoría Humana.

     

     
  • Rafael Garcia-Parrado 9:00 am on July 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    The dilemmas of learning 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Creating new ideas, implementing and updating information systems, controlling technological applications, designing environments and processes are just some of the day-to-day challenges that businesses face.

    All of these challenges have a common denominator, knowledge, which should be integrated in the organization as a source for creating value and competitiveness, helping to differentiate from the rest.

    A fundamental aspect for increasing this knowledge is organizational learning and talent management. In a fluid society such as that of today, adapting to continuous change is essential, and this is where the organization and its employees must stay in touch with reality. Avoiding egocentrism in the organization is a requirement for lasting over time, although sometimes this is no guarantee of success.

    In short, looking around and learning from competitors and collaborators is extremely important and allows the survival of organizations thanks to improvements in their competitiveness.

    These are just some of the consequences of organizational learning in businesses:

    • Learning not only to drive quality, but also as a requirement to create and increase it.
    • Innovation requires a high capacity for effective learning. It also depends on the organizational knowledge base. The more solid this base is, the easier it is to internalize change.
    • Above all, both innovation and learning are processes associated with the individual. This reinforces the idea that improvements in the organization occur with the best people for each situation, strengthening the importance of resident organizational talent.
    • Surroundings influence learning, changes occurring in the markets must be contemplated, not as threats, but as opportunities to learn and improve.
    • Knowledge and learning management should allow the organization to react faster to change, anticipating itself in its culture. Therefore, the importance of a suitable working climate stands out, as do monitoring systems that allow the automation of changes produced.
    • Learning technology influences the way of distributing knowledge and allows new forms of thinking, and of how to process the work, to be developed, with the objective of facilitating employees with it for the generation of new ideas.

    Intelligent organizations sacrifice part of today’s performance to achieve a better performance tomorrow.

    A suitable management of efficient learning will have positive repercussions in the organization, favoring flexibility and openness when faced with change and unexpected events that may occur, because ‘change is the only constant‘. To do this human resources policies should favor both internal and external collaboration that benefits the management of talent together with continuous learning.

    Rafael García works as a consultant for Índize and has his own blog which Zyncro recommends: La Factoría Humana.

     

     
  • Rafael Garcia-Parrado 9:00 am on June 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    The new organizational architecture 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Editor’s note: This week we’re lucky to welcome another ZyncroBlog contributor! Rafael García holds a degree in Labor Sciences and a Master’s degree in Business Management. Currently he is undertaking a Master’s degree in Economics and Business Organization. He also works as a consultant in the company Índize and has his own blog, which at Zyncro we recommend you check out: La Factoría Humana. Welcome to the Zyncrommunity, Rafael!

    Currently we are experiencing a change in the organizational paradigm that has predominated in recent years, where productivity and hierarchy went hand in hand.

    One of the characteristics of globalization and a clearly Western ailment is the speed. Companies are undergoing a period of uncertainty that requires a fast response to adapt to new market conditions and consumer demands.

    To meet these challenges, undoubtedly mobilizing talent will be a key factor, which will have a bearing on organizations’ competitiveness.

    The raw material of organizations is knowledge, allowing them to survive over time. Knowledge is a lasting competitive advantage. It needs to be fed through a collective process where employees must contribute their know-how.

    Organizations need to install a horizontal structure where collaboration is paramount, provided by the right communication among employees. Nowadays, the many technological advances favor collaboration and communication despite the scattered offices and people. All this together with greater employee empowerment enables organizational development, thanks to the creation of a framework for action in organizations.

    Managing talent in organizations is essential in finding those people who meet companies’ requirements, aligning individual goals with organizational ones. Encouraging a collaborative environment will help decision-making as well as innovation, seen as something useful that favors a change in mentality. This systematic search for knowledge ensures a constant update, which improves the organization’s positioning in the market.

    Technological advances will help us to create and establish a framework for collaboration, as well as a network of contributors who will help us to stay abreast of the changes happening by establishing a system to monitor these changes that enables and helps decision-making. And more importantly, it will make companies convert into learning systems: creating, acquiring and transmitting knowledge to improve their competitive position.

    However, the autonomy that this new organizational paradigm seeks to provide, where all employees have decision-making power, on some occasions may be counterproductive, as the lack of filters may cause mediocrity in the actions performed. Hence, it is important to establish some type of filter to ensure the means selected are suitable and are of quality.

    In short, collaboration becomes a key cornerstone and organizations need to oscillate in search for competitive improvement that will enable them to survive in the market.

     

     
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