careful and controlled way. Millennials have always had access to more information than they could handle and are confused
workspace around employee needs. Like software designers ensure a product works equally well for a wide range of customers on different devices, ASSH ensures that their organization works well for each individual employee, resulting in increased employee engagement and better results for the membership. ASSH and other organizations are tremendously successful by traditional measures, with cultures so strong that nearly all of the employees we spoke with could not imagine working somewhere else. ASSH is doing all that by abandoning some core tenets of traditional management and embracing ideas for the Millennial mindset. These organizations are positive deviants, showing us that management revolution is possible, making us optimistic about the future of business. Optimism needs action for positive intentions to become reality. You must create the organizations that will lead this business revolution. A true revolution needs more than examples.Take a hard look at your association, particularly your culture. To become more digital, clear, fluid, and/or fast, you must change the culture. It may not be easy, but it’s doable. Make a solid connection between what drives the success of your organization and what is truly valued internally: not fluffy values statements, but what gets the attention and resources, what gets people rewards. When you align what’s valued at that level to what drives your success, you have a better chance of creating a culture that attracts the best employees and members. Look particularly closely at your board culture. Boards often have their own culture, frequently different from the staff culture. That’s fine, but the two cultures must at least be aligned and moving together. If your board is not clear on how they do things and why that culture supports the success of the enterprise, they may unintentionally get in the way of positive results. Don’t set off on becoming digital, clear, fluid, and fast without figuring out how you’re going to bring the board with you. You’re all in this together. Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant founded Culture That Works to help organizations create remarkable cultures, attract the best employees and most loyal customers, and thrive in the digital age. They have 35 years of combined experience working with organizations from a variety of industries including nonprofits. They co- authored Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World . www.culturethatworks.net
by organizations that control it tightly, since that approach didn’t produce results in their world. Clear organizations make smarter decisions, generating better results. They need not be completely transparent (not all information will be shared with everyone), but they will make more information visible to more people to enable better decisions.
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Fluid: expanding and distributing power dynamically and flexibly. Today’s complex and rapidly shifting landscape requires organizations to move in new directions more frequently, particularly on the “front lines” where value is created and exchanged. But by the time the power centers decide to change, those on the front lines lose their opportunity. Fluid systems enable integrated thinking, acting, and learning at all levels of the organization. Millennials do not expect organizations to task the higher levels with thinking and deciding, and the lower levels with implementation. Fluid organizations serve customers more effectively and are more nimble in strategy and execution. They may have hierarchies, but they are created and maintained differently. Fast: taking action precisely when it’s needed. Today’s complex world requires a much faster redesign of the way we do things, and while we’re waiting for systems and processes to be redesigned in our bureaucracies, opportunities are being lost. Fast systems can learn and adapt while maintaining efficiency and productivity. Today’s large bureaucracies face direct competition from internet-enabled startups. Beta testing is normal and expanded beyond software.We may call the Millennials “entitled” for wanting things right away or expecting to have more authority, but that’s all they’ve ever known. Fast organizations leap ahead of the competition by releasing control without increasing risk. They go beyond efficiency and productivity to find the key variables that unlock true speed. What This Means for You This is not theoretical; it’s happening today, including in nonprofits. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand has embraced the digital mindset fully, investing more in technology than some for-profit companies its size, while redesigning its
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