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7 Things Organizations Need in the 21st Century

Updated on December 31, 2014
Jamaica | Source

#4: Measurement Analysis and Knowledge:

Organizations generate a large volume of data and information so the question here is how do you use the data within the organization? Does the organization translate data into action to improve overall execution? Organizations need to use the data, information technology, and knowledge that exists within the organization to make better decisions and to take action as needed. Decision making based on data is a critical skill vital for organizational leaders in the Twenty-first Century.

#5: Workforce Focus and Trust:

Workforce satisfaction is important. Some call it workforce enrichment. Is the organization providing leadership development; training, educating, and coaching employees to higher performance? What type of culture does the organization have? Is the organization and the organization's leaders interested in having an engaged workforce? If so, consider the following:

  • Create an environment where senior management and employees are “allies” on a mission to achieve business results
  • Keep in mind there have been a number of studies that have proven that what employees' want or value does not always align with what senior leaders think they want
  • Engagement matters not because it is about ensuring employees are happy but it is about ensuring employees are productive – engagement improves employee productivity

There are seven things Organizations need for the Twenty-first Century:

#1: Leadership:

This starts with senior leaders but ultimately includes insuring leadership at all levels of the organization. For the purpose of this article, the focus will be on senior leadership and their need to provide vision and values, communication, and emphasize organizational performance while leading employees forward. The focus of corporations, first of all, is to drive the business but there are also some elements of governance and social responsibilities which include leveraging diversity and ensuring an ethical business platform as well as philanthropic giving to the community. The bottom line is that, what leaders say is far less important than what they do. What leaders do and how they act serves to create cues about what is acceptable behavior and what will not be tolerated. Leaders create the culture of the organization.

#2: Strategic Planning:

Strategic Planning includes strategy development and setting organizational priorities. But it also includes strategic resource deployment throughout all levels of the organization and the creation of aligned action plans. This effort includes completing the commensurate SWOT analysis, of course. Strategic planning without execution, however, will not deliver growth or organizational sustainability.

#3: Customer and Market Focus:

The saying goes the “customer is king.” It is critical to understand who the customer is, the different customer and market segments, and knowledge of the market today and in the future. The best way of doing this is to obtain the voice of the customer through surveys, focus groups, investigating inquiries and customer complaints. While endeavoring to please the customer, it is important to seek and secure customer satisfaction. Additionally, it is important to anticipate the customers’ needs and movements in the market including the actions of competitors. It is very hard to focus on the customer if there isn’t some focus on the employees. The employees are a conduit to strong customer-centricity and so organizations who want to be customer-focused are often “people-focused: employees and customers.”

Connecticut at Sunset
Connecticut at Sunset | Source

#6: Process Management:

Do you have work systems and processes designed for effectiveness and efficiency? This is really about ensuring that work processes and structure are designed for quality from three perspectives: the customer’s focus, stakeholder value, and process management. This combines continuous and breakthrough improvement, preventive management, and decisions based on data wherever possible. Understanding the customer’s perspective is key to achieving a competitive advantage versus the competition. There is also a strong connection between customer satisfaction, product quality / perception, motivation and engagement of the workforce.

Facets to Include:
1. Achieving bottom line results
2. Creating value for customers and stakeholders
3. Leading with vision, purpose, trust, and integrity
4. Succeeding through people (and people development)
5. Leveraging creativity and innovation
6. Developing strategic partnerships
7. Ensuring the organization is fit for the future
8.Being able to transform for sustainability
Connecticut | Source

#7: Organizational Performance:

What type of outcomes is the organization achieving consistently? What product and service outcomes; customer-focused outcomes; financial and market outcomes; workforce-focused outcomes; process effectiveness and efficiency outcomes?

In short, the extent to which organizations have leaders leading the path forward, conducting solid strategic planning while being customer, market, and work force-focused, have energized and engaged employees, minimize the bureaucracies of big corporations, and make decisions based on data while being continuous improvement-driven, the more the organization is likely to outperform the competition.

Are there other areas of focus that Leaders Need to Possess in the 21st Century? Post your comments here.

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