AI

Turning Complaints Into Proposals

Introduction

Self-managed organizations are leading the way in adopting flexible and responsive operational frameworks in the current business management landscape. These frameworks, including Holacracy, Sociocracy, or Agile, give employees greater autonomy and decision-making capabilities than traditional management hierarchies. By being more dynamic and agile, organizations can better respond to changing circumstances.  

However, to fully realize such structures' potential, self-management frameworks must be coupled with the right technological tools. While businesses can operate these frameworks manually or record them on paper, this approach can reduce agility and limit the benefits of the frameworks. By using appropriate self-management technologies, businesses can maintain and manage these nuanced frameworks more easily, autonomously, and clearly.

With the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), we are ready to take a giant leap forward in self-managed business operations and technologies. This blog explores how AI can be a game-changing asset for self-managed organizations, transforming everyday complaints into strategic proposals.

The Role of AI in Enhancing Communication

One of the most significant challenges in any organization is effective communication. Self-managed organizations (SMOs) can improve the clarity and accessibility of information across all levels by implementing AI-driven chatbots. These chatbots can understand and navigate the intricacies of an organization's roles, policies, and accountabilities. For example, an employee can ask the AI chatbot who is responsible for a specific task or current project. This helps save time and ensures all team members are on the same page, preventing misunderstandings and inefficiencies. 

However, implementing AI-powered chatbots presents challenges. The main challenge is that AI needs context to provide nuanced advice. Most organizations require a central system for recording and updating company policies, roles, and organizational goals. Unfortunately, according to a BPT Trends survey, only 4% of companies claim they always document their processes. This forces organizations to sacrifice nuanced advice for generally available (and outdated) guidance or spend countless hours prompting an AI on their company nuances.

SMOs have an advantage in that they have documented "rules of the game." These rules, paired with AI and the right self-management technology, become the foundation for teaching AI the context of your business. This means organizational clarity becomes more than just a benefit to SMOs; it becomes a competitive advantage. Now, the AI can be designed as an organizational coach, helping each person in the company as if it were their own assistant.

Organizational AIs, like FrogBot, are designed to understand and navigate the documented intricacies of an organization's roles, policies, and accountabilities. For instance, if an employee needs to know who is responsible for a specific task or project, they can ask the AI. If an employee needs to know how to get budget approval, the AI can point them to any relevant policies and action items they need to take. These conversations save time and ensure all team members are on the same page, preventing misunderstandings and inefficiencies. Most importantly, it means that communications can be reserved for what matters most - energizing the work rather than figuring out how it gets done.

While organizational AIs can help improve communications within an organization, there are some exciting new developments that further a SMOs ability to intake employee proposals and accelerate employee-driven change management.

Unfortunately, according to a BPT Trends survey, only 4% of companies claim they always document their processes. This forces organizations to sacrifice nuanced advice for generally available (and outdated) guidance or spend countless hours prompting an AI on their company nuances.

Transforming Complaints to Constructive Change

The core of many self-managed frameworks is the ability to identify and resolve internal tensions. In Holacracy, "tension" refers to a person sensing a gap between the current reality and a potential future. For instance, an organization may require a new Role for a specific task or need someone to care for the penguins (check out the screenshots below). There is a process in these frameworks to resolve such tensions by creating a proposal to share information, request tactical work to get done, or suggest changes to a role or accountability, among other examples.

AI can take this process further by automatically turning these tensions into constructive proposals. At GlassFrog, we have consulted with many organizations using different self-management frameworks, and one of the most significant pieces of feedback is employee resistance to creating proposals to solve their tensions. It is a relatively new process for employees new to a self-management system and typically requires ongoing training and resources to get them up to speed. Furthermore, even in traditional business structures like Amazon's, the famous six-page proposal [link] can be a considerable barrier to entry in promoting organizational change.

Traditional systems and the resistance to self-managed systems can hurt dynamic and agile change. It creates a barrier to entry, and an employee must already have a plan to solve the tension before they can record that they've felt it. This barrier between tension and proposal cuts off the feedback loop from frontline sensors/employees, putting a heavier weight on upper management to communicate, manage, and solve tensions. However, with AI assistance, employees can record their tension (what they are feeling) and work with the AI to develop a proposal. The "AI Suggest" feature of platforms like GlassFrog listens to employee complaints and converts them into actionable proposals. It walks them through proposing a new role, changing governance structures, and already knowing whether or not a policy exists that may solve the employee tension. Since AI learns the organization inside and out, employees no longer need to feel taxed when creating a proposal. Suddenly, their complaint or tension becomes meaningful change.

For instance, suppose an employee raises a concern: "Who feeds the penguins? They are getting too fat...". In that case, the AI can analyze this complaint, search your organization for any related accountabilities, and suggest a new proposal, such as "Create a new role for Penguin Care Coordinator," with the Role's purpose, accountabilities, and domains all filled out. This proposal can then be reviewed and voted on in the following governance meeting, streamlining the resolution process and enhancing operational clarity.

Enhanced Clarity and Efficiency in Self-Managed Teams

Self-managed organizations that utilize frameworks like Holacracy can significantly benefit from well-documented processes and clear role definitions. Such documentation provides a sturdy foundation for AI tools to deliver more accurate and contextually relevant suggestions. By streamlining decision-making and enhancing operational clarity, AI can amplify the competitive edge of self-managed teams. 

For instance, when new employees are onboarded, AI can function as an interactive guide, quickly bringing them up to speed on their roles, the roles of their teammates, and the overall governance structure. This shortens the learning curve and reduces the cognitive load on human resources, enabling teams to remain focused on their core objectives. 

Incorporating AI in such settings accelerates the operational workflow, ensuring that each decision or proposal aligns precisely with the organization's long-term goals and governance models. Thus, it increases the overall efficiency and effectiveness of organizational operations.

Predictive Insights for Proactive Management

Beyond immediate problem-solving, AI in self-managed organizations has the potential to predict future challenges and opportunities. While we are not quite there yet, AI has the potential - especially in SMOs - to predict trends, adjust targets, and sense gaps in organizational frameworks and day-to-day operations.

This predictive insight could help organizations avoid problems and align long-term strategic planning with current operational dynamics. For instance, AI could suggest adjustments to team structures or governance rules before inefficiencies become evident (by analyzing patterns in employee feedback and proposal outcomes). This "predict" feature could help adjust targets (OKRs), sense gaps in organizational frameworks and design, and predict trends. AI in SMOs can be crucial in optimizing performance and enhancing efficiency, and the future of AI for context-rich organizations remains bright. 

Implementing AI in Your Self-Managed Organization

To implement AI in a self-managed organization, it is important to identify areas where AI can add value, such as communication, proposal generation, or predictive analysis. One way to start is by utilizing an AI platform like FrogBot, specifically designed to understand and interact with the unique structures of self-managed organizations. This platform can be an invaluable tool to enhance operational effectiveness. To see how AI can be applied in your self-managed organization, you can check out this webinar entitled "Leading with Clarity: AI's Role in Empowering Employees," where we discuss FrogBot AI and its capabilities. 

Conclusion

The Role of AI in self-managed organizations is not just a futuristic idea but a practical tool that can significantly improve operational clarity, employee engagement, and strategic agility. SMOs and their systems of record create the context for developing an organizational AI that serves as an advisor to each individual in the organization. With AI, SMOs can create a competitive advantage by turning clarity into agility. By transforming everyday complaints into actionable proposals, AI helps organizations move faster and more efficiently towards their objectives.