Do you remember Igraine from the Primary Team story? Igraine leads the EMEA region of a global company. Bob, Igraine’s manager, told the Field Leadership Team that he wanted to get more consistency from the three main regions and that Igraine, leading EMEA, Yun, leading APAC, and Aileen, leading Americas, should come up with proposals. Bob wants to drive more consistency to scale the business and avoid duplicating efforts in the three regions.
At this point of the story, Igraine invited Emile, the consultant passionate about Leadership and Organizational Development, to discuss how to solve the challenge. Emile built a rapport with Igraine when he dared to discuss the Tribal Leadership stages with her. Find more about that in Are you at the right table?
Emile is super excited about the opportunity. He heard noises from the grapevines that the pendulum was about to swing from decentralization to centralization. Some even say that there will be complete top-down control from the global organization over the regions.
Emile has another idea in mind to solve the consistency and duplication of efforts issues. He reached out to Veronica, the head of the Sales Operations team in EMEA, to get a sense of the concrete problems and evaluate his idea.
As the three regions grew independently, they put processes and tools to support their sales team. The global team at that time has no interest in standardization and was ready to invest in more people to solve the reporting issues caused by the inconsistency between the regions.
How to solve that?
Emile wants to solve consistency and duplication of efforts in the open source way.
The open-source model is a decentralized software development model that encourages open collaboration, meaning “any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike.”Levine, Sheen S.; Prietula, M. J. (2013). “Open Collaboration for Innovation: Principles and Performance” Organization Science.
Emile proposes to identify the top 3 processes that are the most time-consuming for the teams. And then, Emile offers to engage the three regions in staffing cross-functional teams with people from the three regions to make the processes consistent and select the tooling. Veronica is onboard with the idea! She is ready to join forces with Emile to convince others that the open source way will be better than centralization like for software development.
Emile imagines that with three successes, they will select the next three and even have a more open approach to get people to volunteer to contribute to the selection and the resolution of the next challenges.
When Veronica and Emile go to Heiden, who leads the finances team for EMEA, he took a good 30 minutes to poke the holes in the approach.
After that, he pauses and laughs. Veronica and Emile are puzzled.
Heiden, just says: “okay, you are really serious about it, and I agree that we should try.” He then continues waving the book Humanocracy in front of the webcam: “Like Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini said in the book, central planning, and central control is the model of the old USSR, not the model an innovative company should embrace, right?”
Let’s propose the open source way!