For many people in the Netherlands, today is the year’s first official working day. Personally, I just returned from two weeks of celebrating the holidays in Austria, a traditional get-together with a large part of the family. The group of present family members varies every year, and so do the group dynamics. The core values however, seem to remain the same. One of the most important elements is the extra attention that we give each other, and the time spent on group activities. A recurrent highlight of those two weeks is always the joint preparation of the traditional Dutch New Year’s Eve treat ‘oliebollen’ on the balcony.
Interestingly, society displays a similar longing for connecting. I for one observe a renewed longing for personal contact, locally organized activities in neighbourhoods, and increasing urbanisation. People want to connect to other people. Sure, we spend increasing amounts of time on our smartphones, but there is something very social about sharing leisure photographs. The desire to share and connect is as old as time.
Organizations show the same tendency in the way they are structured. Young people have grown accustomed to teamwork, and value it in their jobs. They put less emphasis on title and salary, and more on what they can contribute to a multidisciplinary team. Working together, setting goals together, and celebrating success together is very important t to these younger generations. This is in line with the move towards more autonomy and self-organization, as is the case within Agile teams.
The effects of this shift are enormous. For instance, the traditional, controlling type of leadership is slowly leaving stage. People and organizations begin to reject the manager that judges and steers from the top of the pyramid. Contemporary leadership is much more enabling and originates from within the team. The multidisciplinary structure allows each team member to be in the lead on their own unique and specific area of expertise. In a world where everything revolves around capabilities and collaboration, there can be more than one leader.
For Anderson MacGyver, this is no different. Both in our own, internal organization as well as in the ones we assist with their digital transformation: the key focus is creating optimal combinations of people, and their interpersonal exchange. Teams cannot be too small nor too large and must contain a complete set of capabilities. Together, the members focus on practical goals and tangible results and ideally the team’s responsibility is end-to-end. This way, they can pursue their mission in a bottom-up, self-steering, continuously adapting manner. As for society, a neighbourhood, or family – an organization’s strength lies in collaboration. Which happens to be enjoyable and fun.
That gets me back to where we started: the beginning of a new year, filled with new challenges and possibilities after a period of relaxation and attention for the ones closest to me. The modern organization cherishes and facilitates a similar family vibe; a pleasant working environment full of opportunities for personal and professional knowledge sharing, supported by all technologies that enable this.
In the digital era, there is no need to face challenges alone. 2018 is open for collaboration on a personal, societal, and professional level. As Anderson MacGyver, we’d love to show you the way.