The MBA Design Partnership which was formed in the year 2009 is a vibrant RIBA and RTPI Chartered Architects and Planning Practice which is dedicated to the delivery of well-designed places, building and spaces. The approach of the company is inclined towards sustainable planning and design within the landscape of residential, commercial and industrial sectors. The company has tasted early success and steady growth year on year which has lead the company to expand and become multi-disciplinary with in-house specialists and handpicked strategic business partners.
Ambidexterity in business organization is a concept which is related to the need of the organization to strike a balance between exploitation which is related to efficient productivity with exploration which is a subtext of creativity and innovation in the business organization. MBA Design Partnership wishes to improve the productivity in a creative environment to reach its long term goal of sustainability. The assignment will provide recommendation to the company on measuring and assessing its productivity in a creative environment as well as how to improve the productivity whilst ensuring the development of its people. The report will further provide certain strategies which would help MBA Design Partnership to become a learning organization, along with the details related to implementation of the programme. The report in the end will provide its readers a learning of implementing Ambidexterity in a learning organization.
This is the main section of the report and with the help of academic sources critically evaluates the theoretical perspective underpinning the HOT topic from the perspective of Ambidexterity in learning organization. The section will also provide answer to the questions of measuring and assessing productivity in the organization, how to improve the productivity, implementation of programme and strategies to become a learning organization.
In simple words, Ambidexterity is the ability of the organization to use and refine its existing knowledge as well as to create new knowledge in order to overcome the deficiencies of knowledge which lies within the execution of work. It is extremely important that the organization is able to exploit as well as explore in order to achieve a significant and a competitive advantage over its competitors (Atrill & McLaney, 2015).
Measuring and Assessing Productivity in a Creative Environment
As mentioned earlier in the report MBA design partnership works in the space of Architects planning and practice which is dedicated to the delivery of well-designed houses, spaces and buildings. Additionally, the company has shown exceptional growth in the last couple of years in terms of revenue and client acquisitions. This has also led the company to foray into becoming in house specialists along with strategic partners for big projects. Thus, in such a creative space it becomes tough to measure the productivity of the organization. In order to do so, the following techniques can be used:
- Basically there are the three parameters to measure and assess the productivity in a creative environment, which are namely time, cost and profit. A careful balance between the three is required to ascertain the right results keeping in minds the concept of Ambidexterity.
- The first and the foremost point is creation of a creative team which is involved in just the designing and operational designing part of a project. This creative team is supposed to work in an independent state having least bit of involvement with other functional teams such as structure engineering, landscape architecture and many more. Once the team is isolated and separated it can work in the given timelines with its maximum efficiency (Laudon & Laudon, 2016).
- Similarly, the other parts of the projects have to be dealt separately as well. The entire project has to be plotted on a Gantt chart along with the timelines and the sequential steps to complete the project.
- A review and a monitoring team have to review and analyse the development of the project every week and is also supposed to share the details with the teams and also the management.
- In order to make the teams more accountable it is required that both the creative team and the operations team are given more responsibility ownership and accountability for their own work. It is only then the project can be completed in the stipulated time (Huczynski, Buchanan & Huczynski, 2013).
Improving Productivity whilst developing people and learning organization
Measuring Productivity is a very tricky concept, especially when it comes to non-conventional industries. In manufacturing industries, productivity can be easily calculated by dividing the Amount of work completed/Number of hours. This in case of MBA Design partnership becomes difficult because of its highly creative environment. However, a lot has been spoken and researched about the ways by which productivity can be improved whilst developing people and in order to become a learning organization. Some of the ways to do so are:
- Productivity in case of MBA is the number of successful delivery of the projects to esteemed clients in a highly creative environment. In order to improve productivity, the first and the foremost thing is to ascertain the strength and weakness of the employees and accordingly assign them their job responsibilities. It is only after this right fit or right alignment that employees get a hold of their work and are able to contribute effectively (Clegg, Komberger & Pitsis, 2015).
- In the similar manner, Ambidexterity is a concept which states the need for the organization to balance the exploitation with the exploration. Thus, in order to get exploitation in the correct place, it is required that employees are given the right training and the right number of training hours to acquire a skill which will make their job easier in a short duration. Training not only gives employees the confidence to complete the project, but it also helps them to work with enhanced productivity, as training acts as a motivation factor for them.
- Development of people is extremely critical from the standpoint of both the organization and the employees. This can be done by a couple of proven successful techniques. One such technique is using a PMS (Performance Management System) to continuously evaluate the performance of the employee and give them a continuous feedback. The continual feedback will help the employees to identify the lacunae in their work practices, which they can certainly improve. Additionally, this will keep the employees motivated and help them to stick to the goals of the organization. Another way to do so is by creating a culture of innovation, sustained growth, motivation and overall development within the organization. Employees naturally learn, grow and develop fast in an environment which is highly positive and rewarding in nature. These practices will most definitely help MBA to develop its people. Along with this, the HR team has to give in a good number of hours in creating a training calendar for all the employees so to make them competent and contemporary in terms of the skills required to excel at their jobs (Brooks, 2009).
- Learning organization is a concept which has picked up in the last decade or so, a learning organization is one which facilitates the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself. The concept of learning organization is based on five discipline of Shared Vision, Systems thinking, mental models, team learning and personal mastery. MBA has to individually focus on all of these five disciplines in order to develop and become a learning organization. The company is already giving emphasis on team learning’s, personal mastery and is working on shared vision; it just has to focus on the two other disciplines to turn into a full-fledged learning organization (Mullin & Harper, 2016).
Strategies to become Learning Organization
As mentioned in the earlier section, the concept of learning organization was given by Peter Senge and is based on the five disciplines of Shared vision, Team Learning, Systems thinking, Personal mastery and mental models. Besides focussing on these five disciplines as one strategy, there are some other strategies which can help MBA to develop into a learning organization.
Setting Knowledge-Sharing Expectation and Standards
This is the first step in progressing towards becoming a learning organization, here the organization has to ask question to itself as to why do they want a learning culture to prevail in organization, also why it is important for people to share and contribute their knowledge. It is only after the organization answers these question it is able to create a set of objectives and goals to become a learning organization. Along with this rules of Knowledge management has to be established in the organization for better understanding of the employees (Thompson, 2017).
It is a simple fact, only once the things are built, people go to that place. Based on the same reasoning the organization has to first build a solid plan for knowledge management, process and other details, only then the employees will participate with the plan. Another important thing here is to reward the employees who are participating and sharing their acquired knowledge with customers, team members and other stakeholders. Another way of encouraging participation is by the virtue of creating a culture which fosters a culture of learning and growth. Additionally, the company can also go forward with OJT, Buddy training program, coaching, mentorships and other such techniques to encourage participation.
Making Information Easily Discoverable
Making information easily discoverable is another critical element of strategy to become a learning organization. Employees do get a feeling of overwhelm with knowledge pouring in from every corner of the organization, however it is necessary to keep the information in places where it can be accessed easily for the use of the employees in order to share the knowledge (Shafritz, Ott & Jang, 2015).
Implementation of a plan of Continued Development in the organization
The entire process of exploitation and exploration gets over only when the plan is implemented in the organization at all the levels helping the people to develop and also foster a culture of creativity and innovation at the same time. In order to implement the programme the following steps have to be taken care:
Communication with the internal Stakeholders
Change management is one of the most important disciplines when it comes to bring change in the organization. Change management is the systematic process of bringing change in the process/procedures/Systems of the organization to reach the goal attached with the change. Hence, the first step before making the change or implementing the plan is to communicate openly with the employees and bring them on the same page as that of the organization. Communication will help in overcoming any resistance of the employees and will also bring a better understanding of the rationale for the new plan (Robbins & Judge, 2014).
SMART goals- Monitoring and Evaluation
A set of specific, measurable, attainable, and realizable and timeliness based goals help both the organization and its employee to have a good understanding of the goals and its timeline. Thus, the plan has to be broken down into SMART goals and the same has to be evaluated and monitored every week to ensure the attainment of the goals and implementation of the plan (Nicolson, 2015).
21st century has been an era of Globalization, increased workforce diversity, technological revolution and evolution of Internet and social media. If not easy, all these change have made it easier for organization to scout and recruit the able minded candidates. Also, technology makes the tasks easier for the HR team, as it can easily go through hundreds of resumes in a short time and screen them using the information fed by the company. Some of the ways by which MB can hire the candidates with right fit are:
Social media platforms
MBA can assess the profile of the candidate by having a look over his/her linked in or other social media platform. This way, the HR team or the software can realize their propensity to learning based on the candidate’s social media behaviour.
Referral is one of the easiest and cost effective ways of recruiting like- minded individuals. The employees often known the culture, values and ethics of organization, hence accordingly they would refer the person who is a right fit for the organization.
Employer branding is another way by which the company can acquire candidates which will be right fit for the organization. For instance, MBA can post ads showcasing their learning culture, culture of ambidexterity and many more. In this way, only the candidates who resonate with the values of company will come forward and apply for the open position, thus solving the problem for MBA (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2015).
The section will provide recommendation to MBA to become Ambidextrous in nature. Some of the recommendations are as follows:
Flexibility in Leadership
Leadership is both an art and a skill encompassing the ability of an individual to lead, encourage, and motivate the team or the organization to reach the organizational goals. One common thing between successful organizations is the presence of an effective leadership which ensures that necessary steps are taken to ensure the attainment of organizational objectives. In the case of MBA organization the leadership has to become flexible and transformational in nature. The leadership has to create and foster a culture of learning, growth, development and communication in the organization, only then the objective of the organization will be attained (Crane & Matten, 2016).
Successful organizations always keep their employees empowered; meaning that the employees are involved in decision making and their feedback is discussed and addressed by the organization. Employee empowerment besides getting the support of the employees will also bring new ideas to the table to attain the objectives of the organization and more so (Clayton & Radcliffe, 2015).
MBA Design for Partnership a company started in the year 2009 quickly moved up the chart of success and added more and more clients to its kitty. The company however in order to keep a steady growth wants to foster a culture of ambidexterity in its human resources, organizational level, technology and other departments. In order to do so it has been advised that MBA starts practicing the pillars of learning organization and implement a training program for its employees rich in the skills required to excel at the job. Most of the organization struggle keeping up with its pace of development in the absence of learning culture in the company, thus MBA by virtue of carefully planned training, seminars, innovation labs and workshops for its employees. At last the report can be brought to a logical end by stating that a culture fostering innovation, growth, creativity and learning will help MBA to attain its end goal of sustainability.
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