Improving Organizational Readiness

Examine your organization, and find out how ready it is to implement new Internet business initiatives.

After your organization has assessed its readiness gaps and their importance, it needs to prepare an organizational readiness plan. Your focus should be on strong implementation, accountability, and measurable near-term results.

Make this plan a part of your existing organization planning process. Embed this plan in what your organization already does.

Follow these steps to build your plan:

Step One: Evaluate Your Organization

An organization with strong organizational readiness typically has strong leadership, effective governance, and an innovative approach to the use of new technologies. The effective organization can move from strategy to planning to implementation more quickly and with greater focus and innovation.

Consider several questions:

■ Is your organization capable of dealing with rapid and ongoing change?

■ Can it adapt and drive change quickly across the organization?

■ Does it have the implementation competencies to execute meaningful Internet initiatives in three months or less?

■ Does it have the technical competencies and resource talents to support Internet initiatives?

■ Can it form and dissolve partnerships and relationships quickly to build and manage suppliers and partners?

Step Two: Build Core Competencies for Organizational Readiness

Organizations that have strong readiness competencies are responsive to customer needs and have the agility to execute and move quickly. More than a sum of their skills, these organizations have a culture, or at least influential departments that are more capable of reaping the benefits of web-enabling business processes.

This culture is more inclined to combine people, process, and technology to solve problems and address opportunities. This organization is more capable of responding to new complexities such as globalization, shorter product life cycles, and the entrance of new competitors due to barriers to entry. Recall the earlier discussion on the five Cs of core competencies:

■ Complexity: Multiple factors determine the success of your organization.

■ Concurrency: All your projects and goals are occurring at the same time.

■ Coherence: Organization leaders and employees contribute to the move to organizational readiness.

■ Connectivity: Leaders, employees, partners, and organization allies share important information with each other honestly and in real time.

■ Coordination: Your organization establishes mutually beneficial relationships with other organizations in your industry.

Step Three: Develop an Organizational Readiness Plan

For your organization to develop a plan, you must first determine if it can develop the ability to do the following:

■ Manage multiple relationships effectively: Successful organizations can build, manage, and dissolve relationships easily.

■ Adapt easily to rapid and ongoing change: The economy changes rapidly, and advantages are temporary. The ability to manage change is imperative.

■ Drive change quickly across the organization: The entire organization must be willing to abandon current business practices in favor of something new.

■ Identify and prioritize business opportunities: Act on favorable opportunities quickly. Spending too much time in analysis and decision making can lead to lost opportunities.

■ Execute strongly and quickly: Make meaningful changes in three months or less. Break larger projects down into segments you can execute within three months. Abandon perfection, and focus on satisfactory progress to promote speed.

■ Support initiatives: Support Internet initiatives with a talented, innovative technical staff.

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