Built-in transparency: The glass wall in our office in Gurgaon
The question: As an organization what do we want to achieve for our team? The answer is clear and simple: An emotionally, socially, professionally and financially rewarding experience. As a company we want employees who are happy, confident and fired up with entrepreneurial spirit.
How do we achieve this?
As always there are no quick, simple or singular answers. At JSM we know that much needs to be done to create, foster and sustain the company wide culture that we want and that we would be comfortable with. The workshop at Panna was one important first step towards self-discovery and finding our own road to solutions.
The organization is not merely for its shareholders, founders and top management. The organization is much more than that and the whole cast of employees associated with it have the vested emotions and the energy needed to create and sustain it. The future belongs to us all and not just a select few – the people / the team is everything – without the team we, the management, are nothing. We need to harness the collective intelligence inherent in JSM in order to create a great working and learning environment for all of us whilst also providing the best possible solutions for our clients.
In our workshop at Panna we zoomed in on those key cultural aspects we need to make an immediate impact:
- participation in decision-making processes
All these three core values are interlinked and cannot be operated in isolation.
Transparency: The most important aspect of transparency is that it needs to be transparent for ALL and not just for a selected few in the organization. Transparency is about equal access to information and opportunities. Transparency is about letting go and creating an organization that is built not on control, but on trust.
Collaboration: The ability to form teams and collaborate with other members – irrespective of geography, experience, hierarchy etc. becomes crucial. Open collaboration is about sharing, giving and taking. It’s about helping and being helped. Where dreams and goals are made real through working together.
Participation in the decision-making process: This is a crucial pillar for ownership. As a team, we decide and carry our decisions forward and see them through. We are all owners of the decision and its outcome. It’s not a top-down-method, but a democratic process. Participation is no longer a pick and chose option. The Intranet is a constant invitation to participate. Connectivity and connectedness allow everybody to interact and participate. This can extend across man, indeed any kind of decision – from policies and compensation to which new initiatives to invest in.
Again the question how do we achieve this?
Good intentions need good execution. What we needed is a technology solution that will allow us to convert our intentions into action. In a way that all can see and experience. A platform that enables collaboration, transparency and participation in decision-making, a platform that will unfold the intelligence of all us. In this way JSM will become better than the sum of all its individual parts. .
The JSM Intranet
We’ve chosen Wikimedia as the technical backbone of the JSM Intranet. It’s a tool that is not only technically and functionally sound and flexible, but one that also embodies the spirit of what we are trying to achieve in terms of openness, transparency, collaboration and participation.
The key features of our new platform are:
- Everything and everybody on one SINGLE platform.
- Go to ONE place for information, learning, defining and execution of projects.
- All policies, HR / admin or related work are available for all to read, write, view and follow.
Transparency is the lead value we intend to drive through this platform. Barriers and isolated information are the enemies of transparency and we knowingly or unknowingly fall into this trap when we use multiple platforms and control access and the information flow. The platform is not an option, it is rather an obligation to work on and with.
These features will make collaboration and participation easier and seamlessly joined up:
- Search, consume and add precious content.
- Know your team members, their skill sets, their roles, functions and responsibilities and availability.
- Provide and receive 360 degree feedback.
- Anyone can start a new initiative. Ask for inputs and votes to scale up.
- Anyone can volunteer for others initiatives they are interested in. Commitment once made is binding.
- Get funding for your own ideas and projects – have finance and resources allocated for them.
We understand that the tool is just an enabler. What we expect as the outcome is a fundamental shift in our mindset – the way we think about people, the way we work together and the way we regard our business. What we want is an organization where creativity and innovation flourish in a highly productive environment.
To conclude on a “Let a thousand flowers bloom” note, we can say that the first bouquet is already delivered – the JSM intranet is a definite and decisive step in further strengthening the initiative. We are now structuring, building the frameworks and deciding on functionality in line with our requirements. We hope we’ll be ready to deploy the JSM Intranet by the end of 2015. This is but the first step in this journey.
We promise to continue sharing our experiences and our lessons and insights with you as we forge ahead. So here’s to a new and better JSM!