Benefits of a Decentralized Governance Model Built on Simple Intranet
Simple intranet systems can do to corporate governance what investors, clients and employees (ICE), value and appreciate the most, i.e. reinforce the values of accountability, transparency and democracy. In a report published by McKinsey in the year 2009, 67% of the respondents who had been interviewed on corporate governance practices impacting the financial growth of firms, concluded that they consider accountability, transparency and democracy to be the most important standards.
It is a matter of relevance that all the correspondents were Wall Street investors. While it is fashionable to doggedly stick to the premise of financial growth of a firm as measured in terms of market capitalization, business models and corporation themselves have evolved to put in place a trio of three primary stakeholder groups (ICE) to assess the impact of these values.
With nations and governments adopting e-governance, it makes enormous good sense to suggest that simple digital technologies can consolidate corporate governance. Simple Intranet platforms combine the merits of cost effectiveness and business value in the same metric and thus may be relied upon by business organizations. Literature review on business process automation suggests that in the recent years corporations have made attempts to decentralize their corporate governance models.
We take a look at the meaning of a decentralized governance model, how it creates business value and what can an intranet vendor do to enable clients achieve the same.
DESTROYING THE OFFICE OF THE CEO: Inverting the Organizational Pyramid
It is a statement of the obvious that digital technologies have enabled clients and customers across the world to access products and services on the go. Central to this mobility of the customers and clients is the rapid advance in customized technological devices and platforms. Business decision making thus has to be platform and device agnostic. The mantra of anything, anytime, anywhere and at any place mandates that companies invest money, resources and efforts in streamlining their business decision making.
A client centric work culture and decision making process mandates that the traditional trickle down approach be changed for the better. While the traditional approach to trickle down decision making mandated the formulation of business strategies in the office of the CEO, the new paradigm of governance is to invert the pyramid and empower employees from the ground up to take decisions where they ought to be taken- at the point where the corporation meets the customer.
ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPARENCY AND DEMOCRACY – Three Time Tested Pillars of Decentralized Governance
The traditional governance model that was based on centralization virtually promoted the idea of catching the snake by its head. Imagine the trouble of the on field sales representatives who might be faced with crucial questions from clients that demand accurate and urgent answers. Time wasted in getting back to a colleague, searching through piles of documents and sending emails can rob the corporation of significant volume of business. Digital technologies and mobile communication systems have changed all that. The external business environment is increasingly shaped by disruptors. This has created a new challenge for business enterprises.
The challenge is one of trying to catch the snake when it is dynamic and mobile. Back office business automation must have the flexibility, personalization and affordability so that it can be tweaked by business organizations easily in order to facilitate seamless communication as business situations evolve. It is in this context that enterprise collaboration can enable employees to be more participatory in decision making process.
By using communication systems that allow faster, easier and seamless document search and management, creation of forms, brainstorming sessions and sharing of opinions and ideas on routine business tasks, companies can enable the creation of small guerrilla teams that are light, fast and can act with surgical precision.
By allowing fluid teams of employees to stay connected with each other, companies can entrust more responsibilities on employees and give them the freedom to act in the best of their capacities in any situation while bearing in mind the interests of the company. The sharing of updates on tasks, meetings and client deals allows employees to act as cohesive units that can strike gold at the point of the meeting of the corporation with the client at will.
HOW DOES A SIMPLE INTRANET DECENTRALIZE THE GOVERNANCE MODEL?
An intranet portal opens up the decision making process for employees on the task to chip in with their share of views, ideas and opinions. In other words, it allows team members to freely exchange their side of the story even when they are attending to business tasks. The virtual brainstorming sessions on intranet bring plurality to the table and enable the team to have not just one but many proposed solutions to a challenge. It is this pluralism that enables the team to discuss the merits of every proposal or idea on its merit and thus opt for the best among the discussed alternatives. Not only does it bring a sense of organizational citizenship but more importantly enables the company to benefit from a broader menu of choices. Choosing is empowerment!
As all employees get to keep track of the story as it evolves and new challenges emerge it is easy to do a reality check on intranet software by archiving the details of a task and the delegation of responsibilities. It is always a healthy work ethic to go back to the original contributors of processes, ideas and strategies in the event of a crisis and ask them for a solution. Not only does it boosts accountability but also empowers employees to act as process owners.
Intranet software enables employees to participate in business processes and consult with the rest of the team members thereby synchronizing individual and team efforts. Since all discussions are archived it is easy to catch up with a situation as it evolves. More over it allows employees to act transparently thus create genuinely more business value. By removing the mist on the screen and helping employees serve customers better, decentralized governance aided by intranet enhance share holder value.
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