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.
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
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.
Algorithms is the third 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.
The Wikipedia Article on Algorithms describes the following: An algorithm is an unambiguous specification of how to solve a class of problems. Algorithms can perform calculation, data processing and automated reasoning tasks. Essentially Algorithms are a way for an organisation to take data and turn it into valuable information. This process is now being augmented even further with machine learning and deep learning which is essentially giving algorithms the power to improve themselves.
The wonderful thing about algorithms is that they take the data and make interpretations without any of the human bias and therefore have a great deal of power in improving efficiencies. remember that when starting out your algorithm may be in the form of a spreadsheet, but for maximum efficiency you want to automate as much as possible to avoid bias and error.
If you want to implement algorithms in your organisation you need to follow the following four steps:
- Gather Data: This can be from data sets, sensors, etc.
- Organise Data into a usable form. Often referred to as Extract, Transform and Load
- Apply the algorithm. There are online and open source tools to do this. Hadoop, Pivotal, DeepMind, Vicarious, SkyMind, etc.
- Expose the data: This is giving your data to potential partners to increase its usefulness.
If you want to run a truly exponential and scalable business then algorithms are another attribute that are pretty much a requirement to leverage sensors and devices, lower errors and provide an easy to upgrade system. Take some time to look at your organisation and the data that is produced or is available and how this data could be turned into valuable information and then make that happen.
Community and Crowd (C&C) is the second 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.
Side Note: You may be wondering why the ExO Ecosystem is making so much of the tools open source and available and this is because we all want to share this knowledge in line with out MTP’s which all revolve around making a massive impact on the planet and this will only be possible in an open and collaborative manner.
I believe that Community and Crowd is a fundamental attribute and do not believe that you can actually be an ExO if you do not leverage this attribute as part of your organisation. As the diagram above shows, the community is everyone in the inner circles of core team, users, fans, partners, etc. and then the crowd is everyone else. You have to engage both and move people from crowd to community. C&C is important as it increases loyalty; drives exponential growth; validates new ideas and learning; allows for agility and rapid implementation and amplifies ideation.
With regards to a community to can initially join a community and then grow out your own or start with your own. When joining another community it is vital that you are adding value to that community. In Exponential Organizations they outline three steps to building a community:
- Use your MTP to attract and engage early members
- Nurture the community
- Create a platform to automate peer-to-peer engagement
I would add a fourth step which is to make data driven decisions from what the community is sharing. The community needs to benefit all and make a difference, so being able to take the ideas and discussions from the community and implement action in a data driven way is essential.
The crowd is consists of people outside of the core and is much larger than the community. The crowd can be used in creativity and innovation, validation as well as for funding.
How do you believe you can use the power of the Crowd?
A Massive Transformative Purpose is essential for an organisation that wants to exponential, in fact I believe that it is vital for an organisation to thrive in the 21st century. Am MTP is more than a vision or a mission it is an aspirational statement that captures the hearts and minds of the people inside the organisation as well as the community that surrounds the organisation. This can be seen as the higher purpose of the organisation. Remember it is transformational and not transactional.
A powerful MTP has the Power of Pull, it creates a culture that people want to belong to and be a part of. A strong MTP is therefore beneficial when recruiting and retaining talent. In addition a powerful MTP results in an external impact focus rather than an internal politics focus and therefore results in a more productive organisation. A great MTP can have first mover advantage, as it is written in Exponential Organisations it is difficult for another company to come up against Google’s MTP and say well we are going to organise the worlds information just better.
The Purpose in MTP is vital and two why questions are described in the book as critical:
- Why do this work?
- Why does this organisation exist?
I highly recommend watching Simon Sinek’s Start with Why TED talk!
Developing an MTP
Key questions to ask when creating an MTP (Founders):
- What do we really care about? Why? Why do you exist?
- What is our company’s purpose on this earth (and beyond)?
- What is the biggest problem I could solve?
- What does the world hunger for? Why?
- What would we do if I could never fail? Why?
- What would we do if we received a billion dollars today? Why?
Because the team who wrote Exponential Organisations and the ExO Foundation want to migrate the world to abundance they and the community around us have developed a tool to help you develop your MTP, find it here.
Now take the steps to developing an MTP. If you need some help along the way then let me know!
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:
- SpaceX: “Humans must become a multi-planetary species”
- TED: “Ideas worth spreading.”
- X Prize Foundation: “Bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.”
- 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
||What is it?
||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
||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
•Cultural acceptance by employees
||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
||New “empowered” or team based organisational forms
•More accountability at customer face
•Faster reactions and learning times
•Self starting employees
||Create horizontal interactions in vertical organised businesses
•Faster decision cycles
•Cloud social tools
|SCALE – The External Characteristics of ExO’s
||What is it?
|Staff on Demand
||More part time, specialised,
mission based staff
|•Best skills for the job
•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
•Enable exponential growth
•Validate new ideas and learn
•Agility & rapid implementation
•Create new ideas
•Easy to participate for outsiders
•Peer to peer capabilities
||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
||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
|•Easy available assets
||Engage community and crowd
•Converts crowd to community
•Play & Learn
•Digital feedback loop to customers
•Clearness & fairness
How Exponential is your company and what is your MTP?