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How Chinese Companies are Reinventing Management, aka Becoming Exponential Organizations

DEDA OR AISD are certainly different acronyms. But, the common link is - reinventing management - aka becoming Exponential Organization

Chander Nagpal
Chander Nagpal

The recent issue of HBR features an article on how Chinese companies are prioritizing autonomy at scale, internal digital platforms, and a clear project focus to be successful - an approach the authors call “digitally enhanced directed autonomy- DEDA.”

Albeit, a slightly different taxonomy - these are nothing but (A)utonomy, (I)nterfaces & (S)ocial Tech, and (D)ashboards - 4 out of the 11 exponential attributes of MTP + SCALE + IDEAS, which characterize an Exponential Organization (ExO).

Several prominent Chinese companies such as Handu, Haier, SF Express, Alibaba, and BYD exemplified in the article are deploying digital platforms to give frontline employees direct access to shared corporate resources and capabilities, allowing them to organize themselves around specific business opportunities not with the typical 'command n control' management but through 'single-threaded leadership.'

At the e-Commerce Handu Group, the Product teams are responsible for not just designing, but also producing, and even selling their products!

Each team has at least three members: a designer in charge of product development; a web page specialist responsible for the online portal design, display, and sales; and a product management specialist for sourcing, production, inventory, and logistics. If the product or line gets popular, the team size can grow to as many as a dozen people.

They continually adjust the products to improve the consumer’s experience. The company ranks team performance daily, and teams’ results are accessible to everyone in real-time, putting each team under pressure to deliver.

Shifting from Command & Control to Self-Organizing Teams

As a business leader of a sizeable incumbent organization, you could argue that such good practices might work at a startup or a scale-up OR in the 'new-age' industries of e-Commerce.

Well. Haier, the $35 billion big Appliance major, has 4,500 such teams!

But let's not forget - it's not just how you organize, leverage technologies, or manage your team's performance. Equally critical is how you enable such micro-enterprises to thrive through embedding a purpose-driven culture, having customers and suppliers who are not just buying your products & providing you with resources but belonging to an engaged community.
Over the last decade, I along with several other colleagues, have been inspiring and enabling several firms across industries and geographies to shift gears from conventional linear ways of thinking to become truly flexible and scalable, agile and resilient organizations - to thrive and not just survive.

So, if you want to create a better future for your organization - Ask yourself - Are you embracing the DEDA or in fact the broader Exponential Organization attributes of MTP+SCALE+IDEAS?

If not, it's never too late - let's get started.

#enablingexcellence #leadership #management

Gain insights into the secrets that enabled these Exponential Organizations to outperform their peers significantly. Download the Report here
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Chander Nagpal

With more than 25 years of experience in driving transformation initiatives, Chander is pronounced with a passion for delivering sustainable 10X impact through inspiring, engaging & enabling people.