Intent is the enterprise’s heartfelt desire to enrich the world in a particular way.
Intent fuses into a single entity the concepts of purpose (why the enterprise exists, now and always) and vision (a depiction of how the world will be when the enterprise is fully manifesting its intent).
Mission is an enterprise-wide programme of work aimed at manifesting the enterprise’s intent within a given timeframe.
The term has been borrowed from the field of space exploration, and is not a synonym for vision or purpose.
In a value-focused enterprise, the entire workforce is focused on accomplishing the enterprise’s mission and manifesting its intent.
Every member of a value-focused enterprise contributes to the accomplishment of a single mission. This gives rise to a number of sub-missions, as shown here:
Each sub-mission spawns a portfolio of projects. Team members initiate and expedite these projects through a methodology called Rich Co‑creation.
Individual and collective action
The value generation capability (disposition, knowledge and skills) required to initiate and expedite a co‑creation project is cultivated in the creative power structure.
Value generation capability
The purpose of an enterprise is to generate value for its customers or service users, and the wider ecosystem of which it is but one interdependent part. Through this pursuit, the enterprise is enriched as a natural consequence.
In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.
Source: Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance, by Lou Gerstner, former chairman and CEO, IBM.
The ‘collective capacity’ mentioned here is the enterprise’s value generation capability. In a value-focused enterprise, this capability is cultivated in the creative power structure.
The creative power structure
The value generation capability of a value-focused enterprise is cultivated in a non-hierarchical, cross-functional structure of coaching triads, creative learning syndicates and clans. This is overlaid onto the command and control structure, eventually rendering it an irrelevant anachronism.
The creative power structure is:
A learning organisation running in parallel with the work-focused organisation.
A training ground for the enterprise-wide practice of Rich Co‑creation.
Where the workforce becomes a creative powerhouse.
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary provides 16 definitions of power when used as a noun (view them). Two are relevant here:
- The possession of control or command over others.
- Ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.
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Start at the beginning
In a legacy enterprise, power means command and control, represented by the boxes and lines of the organisational chart. An individual’s power to make decisions, allocate resources and organise work is determined by his or her position in the hierarchy.
In a value-focused enterprise, power is a person’s inborn ability to create the new and generate value.
Everyone from the CEO to the most junior employee is a member of a cross-functional, non-hierarchical coaching triad that meets monthly to review each person’s contribution to the accomplishment of the enterprise’s mission, address any issues, and experience the giving and receiving of unconditional service.
Three triads form a creative learning syndicate that convenes bi‑monthly to review members’ coaching practice, discuss the giving and receiving of unconditional service, and acquire Rich Co‑creation know-how.
A clan is a community of practice—the practice being Rich Co‑creation. It is formed of nine learning syndicates (27 coaching triads; 81 employees). Held every six months, a clan meeting is a tribal gathering, a professional forum, a talent showcase, and a place where people gain Rich Co‑creation exposure and experience.
Rich Co‑creation know-how and experience
Rich Co‑creation is the principal means by which a value-focused enterprise plans, designs and expedites projects that contribute to the accomplishment of its mission.
Rich Co‑creation is a way of getting things done in which all interested parties work together from the outset and on an equal footing, with the aim of generating maximum value, meaning and well-being for all constituents of the enterprise ecosystem.
‘Interested parties’ are all those whose contribution, co‑operation and consent are vital to the successful completion of the project.
Coaching and leadership proficiency
In a value-focused enterprise, coaching and leadership are synonymous, and everyone is required to be a coach-leader, regardless of their formal role or job title.
A coach-leader is fully committed to helping colleagues create the new and generate value. The required capability is acquired in the coaching triads, creative learning syndicates and clans.
Unconditional service disposition
Unconditional service is selfless action taken by an individual or group on behalf of others, motivated by a heartfelt desire to generate experienced value.
Unconditional service is not a concept. It cannot be taught. People must experience it, as both a giver and a receiver. The coaching triads provide a forum in which the giving and receiving of unconditional service is experienced repeatedly, eventually becoming a habit.
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