Leveraged Assets is the fourth 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 idea behind leveraged assets is to take advantage of spare capacity that exists in the new collaborative consumptive world that we now find ourselves in. Leveraging assets of others is more cost effective and allows for scaling. Both physical and digital assets can be leveraged and there is no reason that businesses do not take advantage of this.
From a digital point of view you can leverage the following:
- Server capacity using AWS, Google, Azure, etc.
- AI and machine learning capacity using Watson, AWS, TensorFlow, etc.
- VR environments such as AltSpace or High Fidelity
- What other digital assets can be leveraged?
Physical assets that can be leveraged include office space, vehicles, equipment etc.
You can see how easy it is to leverage assets and therefore reduce the fixed costs that you have in running your business. You can take this to the next level and turn leveraged assets into your business model but that is not a requirement. Of course AirBnB, Uber and many other companies have in fact taken the leveraged assets idea to the next level turning it into their business model.
I encourage you to think outside the box, is there a way for you to leverage assets in an innovative way? Is there a way to leverage the asset of the community that you have build around your MTP? At this stage leveraged assets may seem to morph with Staff on Demand as intellect and services offered by people may be seen as an asset.
Are you using leveraged assets to grow your business?
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?