Exponential Attributes: Engagement

Engagement is the fifth and final external Attribute in the SCALE acronym. In Chapter 3 of Exponential Organizations you can read more about this and I suggest taking a look at the open source tool developed by the ExO Ecosystem.

Engagement is a way of enabling collaborative human behaviour – social behaviour – to come into play. Through engagement collaborative individuals can do what large organisations once did. It is a vital tool and comes fairly naturally when individuals resonate with an organisations MTP. Having a powerful MTP is vital for having an engaged community. Other ways that an organisation can engage is through:

  • Ranking transparency
  • Self-efficiency (sense of control, agency and impact)
  • Peer pressure (social comparison)
  • Eliciting positive emotions to drive long-term behavioural change
  • Instant feedback (short feedback cycles)
  • Clear, authentic rules, goals and rewards
  • Virtual currencies or points

Whilst these engagement tools are for the external ecosystem they can be used for internal employee engagement.

Gamification

This is a technique that can be used to increase engagement. Gamification is the process of adding a gaming element to your interaction with your community. It is vitally important that this is well implemented and thought through.

Leverage the following game techniques:

  • Dynamics: Motivate behaviour through scenarios, rules and progression
  • Mechanics: Help achieve goals through teams, competitions, rewards and feedback
  • Components: Track progress through quests, points, levels, badges and collections

Incentive Competitions

These are competitions that move people from the crowd into the community. Incentive competitions leverage the community to come up with breakthrough ideas to solve challenges within an organisation. Competitions of this nature have been used for centuries although it was the Ansari X Prize that elevated incentive prizes into the exponential realm. An incentive prize needs create a clear, measurable and objective goal and offers a cash purse for the team that is able to reach the objective. If you want to run an incentive competition you can do this yourself or leverage a platform such as HeroX. Check out the video course that Peter Diamandis put together on designing a successful incentive competition.

Engaging the community and crowd is not a simple task but with a great MTP and the implementation of the tools discussed in this blog it is most definitely possible.

 

Building an Exponential Organisation (ExO)

ExO Attributes

In order to build and run an exponential organisation, Salim Ismail, author of Exponential Organisations,  suggests that a company must have an MTP and at least 4 of the 11 attributes depicted in the diagram above. In order to determine whether you can consider yourself exponential they developed an exponential quotient and a test to determine your exponential quotient. You can take the test here. Once you have completed the test share your results so that we can improve the score and celebrate the road to exponential.

The one non negotiable of an Exponential Organisation is an MTP. This is a Massive Transformative Purpose. People have called this a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) or a company Vision and Mission. It is vital to understand that whatever you call it the Purpose of the organisation must be something that is massive and transformative and all the values of the organisation and the goals must work towards achieving it. This is not a nice to have slogan on the wall. This is what the organisation must live by. Some Examples of MTP’s are:

  1. SpaceX: “Humans must become a multi-planetary species”
  2. TED: “Ideas worth spreading.”
  3. X Prize Foundation: “Bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.”
  4. Google: “Organize the world’s information.”

Once you have developed your MTP the next step in being exponential is to understand the internal and external Characteristics that make an organisation exponential. The internal characteristics are Interfaces, Dashboards, Experimentation, Autonomy and Social. The acronym used is IDEAS. The external attributes are Staff on demand, Community and crowd, Algorithms, Leveraged assets and Engagement. The acronym used is SCALE.  The tables below summarise these attributes.

IDEAS – The Internal Characteristics of ExO’s
Characteristic What is it? Advantages Requirements
Interfaces Provide the bridge between external activities and internal control frameworks, e.g. platforms, user interfaces, API’s •Filter external abundance into internal value

•Link external growth drivers to internal stabilizing factors

•Automation allows scalability

•Standardised processes

•Scalable externalities

•Alogorithms

Dashboards Metrics to measure, real time and meaningful •Track critical growth drivers in real time

•Objective-Key Results (OKR) as management framework

•Minimise errors by short feedback loops

•Real time metrics

•Analytical capability

•OKR’s

•Cultural acceptance by employees

Experimentation Lean startup methods of testing assumptions and consistently experimenting with controlled risks •Keeps processes aligned with rapidly changing externalities

•Maximised value capture

•Faster time to market (Minimal Viable Product)

•Risk taking provides an edge and faster learning

•Measurement and tracking of experiments

•Cultural acceptance

Autonomy New “empowered” or team based organisational forms •Increased agility

•More accountability at customer face

•Faster reactions and learning times

•Better morale

•MTP

•Self starting employees

•Dashboards

Social Technology Create horizontal interactions in vertical organised businesses •Faster Conversations

•Faster decision cycles

•Faster learning

•Stabilizes team

•MTP

•Cloud social tools

•Co-operative culture

SCALE – The External Characteristics of ExO’s
Characteristic What is it? Advantages Requirements
Staff on Demand More part time, specialised,

mission based staff

•Best skills for the job

•Agility

•Learning of core team

•Stronger bonds in core team

•Capability to hire services on demand

•Clear task specifications

Community & Crowd Harness the power of the community and crowd by engaging with them through whatever means •Increase loyalty

•Enable exponential growth

•Validate new ideas and learn

•Agility & rapid implementation

•Create new ideas

•MTP

•Engagement

•Authentic leadership

•Easy to participate for outsiders

•Peer to peer capabilities

Algorithms Use data and automate decisions or reduce human biases while making decisions •Scalability of products and services

•Leverage connected devices/ sensors

•Lower error rate & stabilize

•Easy to update

•Machine or deep learning

•Cultural acceptance

Leveraged Assets Use assets, do not own them unless they are scarce •Scalability of products and services

•Lower marginal costs of supply

•Removes having to manage assets

•Agility

•Easy available assets

•Interfaces

Engagement Engage community and crowd •Increase loyalty

•Gain ideas

•Converts crowd to community

•Leverage Marketing

•Play & Learn

•Digital feedback loop to customers

•MTP

•Clearness & fairness

How Exponential is your company and what is your MTP?