Exponential Attributes: Interfaces

ExO AttributesThe first of the internal exponential attributes is Interfaces. In Chapter 4 of Exponential Organizations you can read more about this.

Interfaces bridge the external and internal attributes, they take all the data created by the SCALE attributes and make sense of this internally. Interfaces ensure maximum efficiency and give stakeholders the ability to automate processes.  It is for this reason that interfaces are mission critical for ExO’s to scale.

A good example of an effective interface as described in Exponential Organisations is that of the Apple App Store. The App Store allows the nine million strong developer network to develop apps and submit these automatically to the App Store, these are ranked and categorised automatically and this has allowed Apple to scale the App Store to where it is now. From January to June 2018 Revenue generated by App developers was over $100 Billion.

Interfaces are required to manage abundance, mainly to filter and match. The thinking that is required is quite different to the business processes that are put in place to manage scarcity and efficiency.

Exponential Transformation indicates 6 steps to implement Interfaces within your business:

  1. Identify the sources of abundance you are Accessing
  2. Humanise the interaction to define the right UX or automate the interaction to define the right API
  3. Create standardised processes
  4. Apply algorithms to automate processes
  5. Test interfaces with pilot populations
  6. Update interfaces regularly

Some questions that you can ask to ensure that your interfaces will be successful are:

  1. Will the interface allow the business to Scale
  2. Do the interfaces create value?
  3. Can all of the SCALE attributes be enables with interfaces?
  4. Is the effectiveness of algorithms and automated workflows being measured?
  5. Are interfaces engaging users?

The interfaces that you create for your ExO are most likely going to be specific for your company. You need to look at what can be automated and how the abundance of information needs to be filtered and matched best to optimise your business process. Look at the interfaces of Google Adwords, Airbnb, Uber, etc. to get a better understanding and get going on creating interfaces that optimise the abundance outside of your organisation allowing you to scale.

If you find this helpful then comment and share this with people in your network. If more organisations can tap into abundance we can ensure that we improve the planet for all!

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 what ever 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?