A while ago, I was in the lobby of a firm, waiting for my meeting to happen. I observed a mix of people arriving – vendors, clients, postal workers. Employees close to the entry point made sure everyone was treated the same; same warmth, same courtesy, same communication, no US vs THEM segregation. I have learned that businesses in an ecosystem that holistically prosper are the ones which provide this type of seamless service.
It made me think that perhaps, in modern business scenarios, the unicellular ‘amoeba’ approach might help organizations to be better, stronger and agile.
What is meant by ‘amoeba’ approach?
The term amoeba is used here as an analogy. An amoeba is a single-celled organism which can easily divide itself in equal parts if needs be. It has all the necessary functions for living within itself, keeping things simple and structured.
What I witnessed in the lobby that day was outside entities entering the amoeba, and in so doing, instantly becoming a part of it, contributing to it, and therefore, allowing it to grow. Inside the cell, you are equal to and as important as everything else inside it that enables it to flourish. I love how the world of nature can help us to understand and shed light upon the similarities between biology and the business world.
What is a decision-making unit?
A Decision-Making Unit (or DMU) is defined as ‘all those members of an organization who become involved in the buying process for a particular product or service’ (Robinson, Farris and Wind, 1967). Note that it says ‘all those members’ and not ‘a member’.
With this in mind, creating the seamless integration of welcoming one and all as though they are a part of the organization feeds directly into stature, success and ultimately, sales – essentially feeding the amoeba. The very definition of seamlessness is ‘continuous or flowing’. Every particle within the amoeba is potentially a DMU. Treating them as such keeps the cycle of success going.
This seamlessness extends to staff and shareholders too. When all involved with a particular firm are united in a sense of purpose, it inevitably aids in swaying each DMU in the organization’s favour. Even if an individual does not buy directly, one mention on social media or word-of-mouth recommendation can influence a DMU out there somewhere sitting on the fence.
The amoeba approach has the power to make one’s business excel by recognizing that it is not necessarily individuals, but the collective consciousness of a group of informed and dedicated individuals performing their tasks for the greater good that makes the difference.
How can an organization take inspiration from an amoeba?
Like the particles inside an amoeba working together to flourish, the synergies of success lie in the intertwining of all people, processes and resources. Deep-seated synergistic commitment transforms ‘me’ into ‘we’. From senior leaders to janitorial staff, when all take pride in the ‘we’ of things, the once multicellular, multi-temperamental organization becomes the simplified, well-defined, seamless amoeba.
That’s not to say that achieving seamlessness is always easy. It takes effort, involvement and passion at all levels to keep the synergies holistically alive every single minute of the day, along with regular reviews and improvements for long-term sustainability. This is where coaching can play a vital role.
The seamless DMU is the impact powerhouse that no organization should ignore.
It is my wish for you to create a seamless decision-making unit of empowered beings for your firm or the firm you are coaching. Good luck!