Two primary models emerge as focal discussion points in the ever-evolving business management landscape: the traditional, hierarchical, command-and-control model and the RoundMap approach. These two models represent different operational strategies and contrasting philosophies and visions about how a business should interact with its environment, employees, and stakeholders.
The traditional hierarchical model is a relic from the industrial era, built upon efficiency, predictability, and control principles. Rooted in a military-like structure, it places a premium on distinct chains of command, delineated roles, and responsibilities. In this model, decision-making is a prerogative of the few, and the majority serve merely as executors of these decisions. This model has been predominant for centuries, driving businesses with an iron grip, ensuring adherence to procedures, and focusing primarily on bottom-line profitability. While it has its merits, particularly in environments prioritizing stability over innovation, it struggles to adapt to today’s dynamic, interconnected, and rapidly changing world.
On the contrary, the RoundMap Consentric approach is a testament to the belief that businesses thrive when they are adaptable, inclusive, and value-driven. In a world where rapid technological advancements, shifting customer preferences, and societal pressures demand agility and foresight, the RoundMap way offers a holistic framework. Eschewing rigid hierarchies in favor of integrative structures fosters an environment where ideas can flow freely, every individual feels valued, and the focus shifts from mere profitability to creating lasting value for all stakeholders. It’s an approach that recognizes the symbiotic relationship between businesses and society, ensuring that businesses contribute positively to the world around them as they grow.
Approach to Risk
- Traditional: Risk-averse. Any deviation from the established norm is viewed with skepticism, and there’s a preference for tried and tested methods. Values consistency over agility.
- RoundMap: Encourages calculated risks. It recognizes that in today’s dynamic business environment, not taking risks can be the most considerable risk of all. Values adaptability over rigidity.
- Traditional: Collaboration exists primarily within departmental boundaries.
- RoundMap: Emphasizes cross-functional collaboration, breaking down silos and promoting a holistic view.
- Traditional: Highlights tangible product/service features. Direct, with listed specs and advantages. Assumes audiences infer benefits. It’s more informational than emotional. Examples: Tech datasheets and spec ads.
- RoundMap: Conveys value through narratives, making it emotional and relatable. It embeds features in stories aligned with the audience’s desires or challenges. Lets audiences see themselves in the story, boosting engagement. Holistic, focusing on broader impact. Examples: User-centric brand campaigns or transformational product journeys.
- Traditional: Values stability, uniformity, and predictability.
- RoundMap: Promotes agility, diversity of thought, and a sense of shared purpose.
- Traditional: The customer is an external entity with transactional interactions. The aim is to maximize profits from each transaction.
- RoundMap: Views the customer as a collaborative partner. It’s more relationship-driven, focusing on long-term value creation and understanding customer needs deeply.
- Traditional: Centralized decision-making, often with a few at the helm. There’s a clear distinction between those who decide and those who execute. This often leads to a lack of ownership and responsibility at the lower levels.
- RoundMap: Empowers individuals at all levels. It recognizes that those closest to a problem often have the best insights into its solution. Decentralizing decision-making fosters a sense of ownership and alignment with organizational goals.
- Traditional: Employees are viewed primarily as resources or assets. Their roles are strictly defined, and there’s little room for personal growth or lateral movement.
- RoundMap: Treats employees as integral stakeholders. It nurtures their growth, encourages cross-functional learning, and recognizes each individual’s intrinsic value to the organization.
- Traditional: Linear feedback, often top-down. Annual or semi-annual reviews.
- RoundMap: Continuous, 360-degree feedback, fostering real-time improvement and adaptability.
- Traditional: Communication is top-down. Information is filtered through various layers of management, which can sometimes dilute or delay the message.
- RoundMap: Promotes transparent and bidirectional communication. It values feedback loops and ensures that information flows freely, vertically and horizontally, within the organization.
- Traditional: Innovation is often incremental, focusing on refining existing products or processes. Usually confined to specific R&D departments or innovation cells.
- RoundMap: Prioritizes both incremental and disruptive innovation. It understands the need to reassess its offerings and stay ahead of the curve continually. Innovation is everyone’s responsibility, encouraged across all levels and functions.
Learning & Development
- Traditional: Set training schedules, often generic and not tailored to individual needs.
- RoundMap: Continuous learning embedded into the workflow. Emphasis on personalized development paths.
- Traditional: Fixed mindset emphasizing established methods and resistance to change.
- RoundMap: Cultivates a growth mindset, valuing adaptability, continuous learning, and receptiveness to change.
- Traditional Model: Operations-driven, emphasizing processes and efficiency.
- RoundMap: Customer-centric, placing customer needs and experience at the core of operations.
- Traditional: Based on a pyramidal hierarchy, power is concentrated at the top. Layers of management dictate workflows and decision-making processes, often resulting in slower reactions to market changes and bottlenecks in communication.
- RoundMap: Advocates a flatter, more networked structure. It emphasizes collaboration and inter-departmental synergy, ensuring quicker decision-making and a more adaptable organization responsive to market needs.
- Traditional: Relies heavily on quantitative metrics, often neglecting qualitative aspects like employee morale, brand perception, and customer satisfaction.
- RoundMap: Advocates a balanced scorecard approach. While quantitative metrics are essential, it also values qualitative indicators, understanding that they often drive long-term success.
- Traditional: Budgets and resources allocated top-down, based on historical data and forecasts.
- RoundMap: Dynamic resource allocation, responding to real-time needs and opportunities.
Responsiveness to Change
- Traditional: Tends to be resistant to change. The focus is on maintaining the status quo and ensuring stability, even if it comes at the cost of innovation.
- RoundMap: Embraces change as an opportunity. It’s built on the premise of adaptability and views market shifts not as threats but as chances to innovate and evolve.
- Traditional: The primary metric of success is profitability. The emphasis is on short-term gains, often at the expense of long-term sustainability.
- RoundMap: While profitability is necessary, the focus is also on creating holistic value. It considers the broader impact on society, the environment, and other stakeholders.
In sum, while the traditional method offers a structured and stable approach, the RoundMap way is designed for the challenges and opportunities of the modern business world. It’s an approach that understands the complexities of today’s interconnected landscape and offers strategies to navigate them successfully.
De Bono's Six Thinking Hats
The “Six Thinking Hats” methodology, developed by Edward de Bono, is a powerful tool for brainstorming and innovation. It encourages individuals to approach problems from different perspectives, essentially “wearing” one of the six colored hats to adopt a specific line of thinking. Given its inherent versatility, we can easily incorporate this model into comparing the traditional management model and RoundMap:
White Hat (Facts & Information)
Traditional: Relies on known metrics, benchmarks, and past performance. Uses static data and may overlook evolving market trends.
RoundMap: Uses dynamic data gathering, seeking feedback and intelligence from all business facets, including customers and partners.
Red Hat (Feelings & Emotions)
Traditional: Emotions are often suppressed in favor of productivity and efficiency. Intuition is rarely considered in decision-making.
RoundMap: Recognizes the importance of intuition, values, and emotions in driving organizational success. Encourages empathetic leadership and values-based decision-making.
Black Hat (Critical Judgment)
Traditional: Frequently employed to evaluate risks and avoid disruptions. This can lead to a conservative approach, inhibiting innovation.
RoundMap: Risks are critically assessed, but there’s a willingness to embrace uncertainty for transformative change and growth.
Yellow Hat (Optimism & Benefits)
Traditional: Optimism is typically constrained by budgets, quarter-to-quarter performance, and established strategies.
RoundMap: Perpetual optimism in the potential of integrated systems, collective intelligence, and the synergistic value of unified business functions.
Green Hat (Creativity & Alternatives)
Traditional: Innovation is often incremental, limited by existing paradigms and the fear of disrupting the status quo.
RoundMap: Celebrates cross-functional collaboration, often leading to groundbreaking solutions and innovative thinking.
Blue Hat (Process Control)
Traditional: Processes are established and rigid. There’s a strong emphasis on maintaining order, which can hinder adaptability.
RoundMap: Processes are agile, flexible, and continually refined. Adapts to the ever-evolving business landscape and ensures alignment with overarching objectives.
Presenting the comparison in this manner helps illuminate the fundamental differences between the two approaches for each specific line of thinking embodied by the hats.