American football has always been my favorite sport. Back when I lived in the US I played Madden NFL, and that’s when I realized that it is a sport that requires a lot of strategy and which has a playbook - which is kind of similar to how we do business. A Football team needs 53 players across offense, defense and special teams. Every player needs to understand their tasks which vary greatly for different positions on the field.
American football is a good example of organizations with efficiency and high flexibility when it comes to unexpected obstacles, for example; the injury of the main player or the game wrong playing by the team, can always be solved and shifted all the time during the game. The best team will always practice the different kinds of situations; we call Situation football, to prepare to encounter the game as well as to build the team with enough substitute players in case the main players get injured.
If we use a Resilience Thinking approach from what I mentioned in a previous article in high efficiency organization, we will get the perspectives to adapt within the organization as follows;
Manage Dependency, Maintain Redundancy
To build up an organization as a startup company with a self-organized team. There is some research suggesting working in a team with only 5-12 people will make the work more productive, but there is no hard-and-fast rule to determine the optimal number to have on each team, the best number of people is driven by the team’s task and by the roles each person plays. However, each team should have the principles that everyone can follow or make the final decision on their own based on those principles. As a startup company, team members will always have continuous learning and skill versatility which will help the team members to finish the work for others effectively. For instance, the Data Science project team requires team members who can use Data Engineering abilities to create a pipeline for preparing data. Whereas the Data Science team will create models, and DataOps/MLOps will use created models in a production process and monitor the situations and every single member in a team can work smoothly with technical people to learn from them and prepare for unexpected situations. There should be at least one person in the team who can handle other people's tasks with varied skills. For those medium to big-sized organizations will have a functional organization structure, unlike a Startup one with high flexibility, so the organization should be prepared for when some part of the business is missing or changing, there should be some alternative choices to run the business.
2. Move with Speed and Agility to Recover from Disruption
When we have a good team, we should give them flexibility, independence, and permission to decide and cope with the changing situations. Organizations or teams should have the principles and discipline to handle the situations that may occur. For example, an American football team might lose their main player, a good team will have a backup plan and strategies to reduce disadvantages by continuing the game in a way that the rival has never faced before. Another good example is Netflix; where the company is open for anyone to come up and try new ideas and practice and reduce unnecessary regulatory procedure to fasten the workflow the same way as many countries right now facing Covid-19, those developed and fast-recovered countries will tend to have more economic advantage on the world stage.
3. Manage Strategic Foresight & Watch Out for Slow Variables/Feedback
We never know what will happen in the near future, but the organization or leaders in the organization have to be able to predict and do Strategic Foresight of what will change in at least the next five years onwards. In order to be up for the change of the strategies to manage the organization, to see the Touchpoint of where the organization will likely have the effect on customers, markets, industry, labor, producer, investor, society, environment and etc. which the organization neither realize nor do they pay attention they might get slow feedback to fix the problems in a timely manner. I used to work in the US in a telecommunication company in the year 2000, when technology was booming and fast growing during the dot-com era. At that time, the management team lacked updates in Sales, so we seemed to have the supply higher than demand for the telecom gadget. The Telecom bust of what happened in the telecom market to the management team was so delayed that they could not reach out to do updates, leading to downsizing the company and eventually, selling. So it comes to the conclusion that when we can forecast the surrounding factors that could affect the company, such as Market Trends & Sentiment, Customer Sentiment, Supply & Demand,Inventory, Sales Pipeline, Resource & Recruiting Pipeline; this information will help the management team in the organization prepare for the changing future.
4. Cultivate Sustainability Mindset
We are in a world where the environment is unstable, and there is deterioration of the environment with pollution, climate change, the loss of biodiversity and also the pandemic spreading all over the world. These changes need rapid help from everyone. Scientists warn that pandemics like Covid-19 could occur more frequently unless we stop rapidly destroying nature. Organizations should build people with good mindsets in a sense of being both parts of the organization and part of the world. We all are a part of pushing the organizations we work for to become sustainable and eco-friendly companies. We can get through the difficult times together as one, not only taking good care of our health, but also our world.
This is the time when we will see the change in organizations from the big effect off Covid-19, so it’s the time when we will see things in a bigger perspective from what we could be affected by this pandemic. Most importantly, I realized we should not be the same as we used to be, we should encourage organizations to adapt to Organizational Resilience, so Thailand can be a developed and fast-recovered country with the goal to have a higher economic advantage on the world stage.