Building organisational capabilities, such as leadership development and lean operations, is a top priority for most companies. However, many leaders have not yet figured out how to do so effectively. Especially in these unprecedented times, the odds improve at companies where senior leaders are more involved.
What is organisational capability?
Capability can be defined as anything of which organisations do well to drive meaningful business results. Whereas, organisational capabilities can be referred to a company’s ability to manage resources, such as employees. The ability is also used to effectively gain an advantage over competitors, as well as to create a product that meets customer demands.
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Founder & CEO of Summit Leadership Partners, Dan Hawkins mentioned that organisational capabilities are truly the greatest differentiator a company can have in any market as it can breed several benefits, as follows:
- Pinpoint a company’s strengths and weaknesses
- Allow managers to capitalise organisational strengths and deflect weaknesses
- Help managers craft strategies
- Support middle managers as they execute strategies
- Crystallize a company’s intangible value to its primary stakeholders, including employees, customers, vendors, and investors
Recommendations to improve organisational capabilities
Developing a structured and more widespread corporate mentorship and exchange programme could help improve company’s capabilities. The intention of this idea would be to create a condition where companies of same industries collaborate together, such as to exchange or co-create ideas, or to build a mentor-mentee relationship. The focus would be to share solutions and strategies on how best to tackle management and HR barriers, such as to boost manpower requirements or to train costs to the adoption of the company’s budget.
HR professionals and senior managers through multiple mediums and avenues could also shift their focus on facilitating the exchange of perspectives and experiences on how to tackle barriers to the adoption and implementation of capability strategies. Some examples include: a. Industry-specific meetings or forums (e.g., manufacturing, real estate, marine, technology, civil service) where best practices are shared.
The essential factors
To best improve the capabilities, these five essential factors should never be ruled out:
- Leadership – Leadership is the capability to inspire and motivate people to fulfil a mission. At the top of the organisation, it includes directing others while at lower levels, it is accomplished through influencing others.
- Collaboration – Collaboration can reinvigorate organization by fully engaging employees, improving retention among them and increasing innovation.
- Adaptability – It is the organisation’s ability to give up the existing skills, processes and technologies that have led to its past success and create new skills and approaches that ensure success tomorrow. Organisations need to be adaptable just to survive and highly adaptable if they expect to thrive.
- Creativity – Creativity describes an organisation’s ability to think differently and allow different thinking to influence day to day and strategic decisions. At the low end of the performance curve, organisations can be trapped in tradition and best practices, unable to solve persistent problems. At the high end, they are often challenged to prioritise among numerous new ideas.
- Innovation – It is the ability to translate a good concept into a compelling value proposition that others are willing to support and invest in. In the same way that national culture influences individuals’ behavioural dispositions, so also organisational culture can activate one’s innovative skills. When innovation ability is high, companies go beyond innovative products to design innovative processes, organisational structures, management practices and employment engagement approaches.
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