Why is it that today’s top businesses can look outside traditional structures and disciplines to plan for the future faster and more efficiently than our governments can?
To answer that question, let’s look at what businesses are doing well.
At the WOBI World Business Forum in Sydney earlier in 2017, globally-renown human resources expert, Professor Ian Williamson shared his views on how top businesses are adapting to a changing world.
According to Williamson, the organisations that will stay in the game are those that are:
The ‘command and control’ model used to be common in many areas of life, including education and healthcare. It can still be appropriate in some contexts today – such as within the military. However, that model is becoming far less effective in business. Decentralisation, or decision-making at a lower level, allows participants to feel a greater connection with organizational goals.
2. Being transparent and building trust
Businesses that don’t prioritise trust in their brand and process tend not to last. Those that do are highly transparent and comfortable sharing detailed information both with their employees and with consumers.
Being ‘agile’ means to have the ability to move quickly in a variety of ways. Today’s agile businesses are willing to trying different ways of doing things and to learn from those experiences.
4. Engaging people to find solutions
Top organisations know how to motivate people to want to help solve problems. This doesn’t just apply to employees. They are actively engaging the public through product trials, market research and social media. They use the knowledge gained to drive change.
5. Deliberately seeking diversity
The use of multidisciplinary and inclusive teams is growing rapidly, not out of political correctness, but because representation across a wide range of expertise and backgrounds has been proven to enhance efficiency, employee satisfaction, and overall performance.
We know that governments are doing some of these things, but businesses are way ahead in terms of their implementation.
In May 2017, Luca Belgiorno-Nettis, founder of non-profit research organisation, New Democracy Foundation, gave a presentation as part of Florence Guild’s speaker series, ‘The Antidisciplinary Future’. The series narrative explores how we can look outside traditional disciplines to find better ways to live and work now and in the future.
Belgiorno-Nettis outlined a citizens’ jury model that governments at all levels can adapt to build on the lessons learned from business. This model is not intended to replace the current government structure of but to compliment it.
Citizens’ juries are groups of randomly-selected people representing a wide cross-section of society just like criminal juries. They can deliberate on difficult policy areas, hear from relevant experts, draw conclusions, and report back to the governing bodies with a selection of reasonable recommendations.
To achieve this, they need to have access to all the facts along with the time, authority and resources to study the issues in depth. When communities see people like themselves participating in high-level decision-making and see the recommendations being acted on, they are more likely to trust the process and the system.
To hear Belgiorno-Nettis outline how citizens’ juries can be (and are already being) used in Australia, tune in to episode 4 of our podcast series. You can also keep up to date with conversations with other thought leaders by subscribing to our podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio.