Smart organisations: what they are and how to lead them

How to lead smart organisations Susana Gomez Foronda
This Thursday we interview Susana Gómez Foronda, an expert in culture, leadership and talent. Her solid and extensive experience as an entrepreneur, manager, advisor and consultant of recognised prestige positions her as a benchmark in Cultural Transformation, Organisational Development, Talent Management and Leadership for the development of Sustainable High Performance Teams and Organisations. Co-Founder and CEO of Smart Culture, a consultancy whose mission is to align the Culture and People of an Organisation with its Business Strategy, creating attractive and high performance work ecosystems. "Smart Organisations" is her latest book published in 2021.

Welcome, Susana. To begin with, we would like you to tell us a little about yourself and your passion for people management.

I consider myself a 21st century thinker who puts her experiences, thoughts and learning at the service of organisations, teams and individuals who want to develop and succeed in what they set out to do. I am absolutely convinced of the need for organisations to transform themselves into high-performance ecosystems where people can realise business and personal goals, where people enjoy and develop, where people go home proud every day because they feel they have added value that day.

How would you define a smart organisation in a nutshell?

The workplace is becoming increasingly demanding, increasing competitiveness and bureaucracy. Delegation allows managers to reduce their workload with the certainty that vital tasks will continue to be performed.

What is essential to consider in order to develop a smart organisation?

The main focus is on developing an organisation that responds affectively to the unresolved challenges of today's organisational world and achieves sustainable high performance in a number of ways:

  • Sustainable over time: i.e. organisations that achieve their intended results on an ongoing and regular basis, rather than on an extraordinary and random basis.
  • Sustainable for society: i.e. organisations that have a positive impact on the world, providing higher levels of fulfilment for all stakeholders involved.

How do you lead a smart organisation?

Based on my experience helping leaders and teams, a leader of an organisation will focus on implementing actions to create a motivated, productive and committed team:

  1. Reducing emotional stress: there are several ways to achieve this, such as introducing humour into interactions with employees or reducing demands without losing excellence.
  2. Trust in the face of uncertainty: the last thing a leader can do is to behave erratically and derail continuously because it aggravates the situation. Working on the 5 fundamental aspects of trust is now more important than ever: Competence, Reliability, Transparency, Common Interest and Vulnerability.
  3. Providing meaning and significance: Talking about purpose is the key to a company, team or individual successfully overcoming this situation. A leader creates a space for reflection so that everyone understands the purpose of the team, its contribution to the organisation and its importance.
  4. Developing new skills: A good leader knows how to make a collective and individual diagnosis of strengths and areas for improvement in order to combine day-to-day work with a team development programme tailored to those identified development needs.

We thank Susana Foronda for taking the time to share her knowledge with us. To learn more about smart organisations, don't miss our full interview with Susana on 2 December on our YouTube channel.

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