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This show is titled Adhoc Growth. As I’ve learned, there is something called the Competing Values Framework inside of a company. There’s a phenomenal book by Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn called Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture. I’m going to give you the high level. See if what I’m about to describe is taking place inside your company. If it is, do you have the tools and the knowledge to fix it or finish it? First, let’s cover the four values, the framework of this. There are four cultural values that all companies run under. From what we can tell, all companies can be pegged into one of these boxes. The top left box, I want you to picture the word, clan. It represents family. That type of cultural-based company might make decisions via consensus. It might feel like a warm, fuzzy family. Decisions would be made in a family type of environment or feel. It’s called a Clan.
The top right box is called Adhocracy. That stands for the entrepreneurial spirit. Decisions are quite often made quickly. There is no consensus made. These are typically extremely entrepreneurial led. A lot of times, the original founder is still inside the Adhoc organization. A lot of employees love and prefer the Adhoc environment because they can throw out ideas. Nobody steps on their idea. It’s a very free-flowing, loose organization. We have the Clan, family. People’s voices are still heard but it’s part of a consensus. You’ve got Adhocracy. It’s entrepreneurial, flying by the seat of the pants, so to speak. The bottom left is Hierarchy. A couple of words that describe these organizations are systems and processes. I don’t even know if I have to explain it further. That is a company that has everything SOP’d. Everything is KPI. Everything is annotated. The bottom right box is Market. These are companies that shift on a dime when the market tells them to move. Like a private equity group or a hedge fund, if the market says, “There’s a new opportunity over here,” they waste no time and buy a company over there. That’s a market-culture-based company.
What we’re learning, what I’ve experienced and what I’ve lived through in my own organization is a lot of companies start in one box and finish in another box. In the case of Income Store, we’re at a couple of hundred employees. We broke the $50 million mark. There are a lot of moving parts. We’ve got offices in Romania and in the United States. We have many contractors working for us worldwide. We used to be five to ten people all working from home years ago. Now we have offices. We have managerial thoughts. For a little bit longer, we’ll be an Adhoc organization. However, the Competing Values Framework says we are an Adhoc organization. There is a group of people that love that and prefer that, but the majority of the company has a preferred style of Hierarchy. The majority of people prefer that we shift to a more systematic approach, a more processes approach. All larger companies shift some way or another. Ours happens to say, according to some testing we did, that they want to shift into Hierarchy.
I want to give you six questions in which you can have a third-party company. It’s got to be somebody your employees do not know. They can come in and ask a panel of at least four people a series of questions. Based on the results, you can flush out where the company is and which way it’s going. I want to read to you these questions. I find them very powerful. This can all be done in 30 to 60 minutes. Number one, “How long have you been here and what do you do?” Usually, you want to have four to six people being interviewed. Number two, “Is the vision of this company posted? If it is posted, do you know it? How do you feel about that?” Number three, “What is the best thing about working here?” Number four, “What frustrates you most about working here?” Number five, “If you own this company, what two or three things would you do differently?” Number six, and this is my favorite one, “If this company was an animal, what would it be and why?” What you want to do is sit down with the interviewer about a week later. You want to review the answers. You want to hold it up to what feels right about what box your company currently is in. These answers will flush out very clearly.
I’ll give you a great example. I was in New York, assessing a company’s culture. Two of the people, on multiple occasions, when it came to the frustrations have said, “There’s a lack of systems, lack of KPIs. There’s a lack of framework.” Very clearly, we know they’re not a Hierarchy. They’re not a Clan because there are no consensus meetings. They’re not Market-driven. It’s a startup. It was clearly an Adhoc organization. Yet, clearly those five or six people in the room would prefer if they switched already to Hierarchy. The company is only two years old.
Adhocracy stands for the entrepreneurial spirit. Click To Tweet
This is a phenomenal test. If you have even four employees, you can do this if you remove yourself from the room and have a third party come in to talk to the other three. The point of the exercise is a lot of times, the entrepreneur or the vision head, and it could even be a board of directors, love the one style. Yet, 95% of the company that does meaningful work inside the company prefers a different style. What you want to do is either balance them and do a little of each, or shift to the preferred style with the leader or the board understanding why. Once they understand why you can keep some of your identity of the first box and lead through the preferred style box. It’s very powerful. I hope this helps.