The culture of an organization is implicit in its vision and mission and is materialized by its methods. In this sense, the functionalist approach that is necessary to manage the 4th Industrial Revolution requires having a functionalist culture that includes the methods that are necessary to generate value in adaptive environments, driving the adaptability and customer orientation of businesses.
This approach goes beyond the operationality of processes and enters the concepts and fundamentals of business functions to define processes that enable their adaptability to the market, their customer focus, and their competitive capacity.
The functionalist approach is based on two basic elements:
- Functional design, that includes binary actions, objects, and catalysts.
- Destructive testing, that includes pilot testing, destructive testing, and non-destructive testing.
The purpose of any culture lies in its accepted habits, evolves based on the underlying ethics and is sustained by the customs that sustain the implicit weaknesses of the habits. The purpose of the functionalist culture is the generation of value, which needs to become a habit and begins by installing self-criticism as an ethics that sustains the systematic use of pilot tests, destructive tests, and non-destructive tests.
The Culture of Testing – Self-criticism
The introduction of a functionalist culture begins by the installation of an accepted testing system that is based on self-criticism that drives towards the development of solutions based on the feedback from the environment and on the knowledge of the functional structure of what is being done.
Pilot tests are done until a solution demonstrates that it works in a predefined field. While destructive tests are made to expand the use of the solution to adjacent fields until it ceases to work, non-destructive tests are quantitative tests to confirm the scope of functionality of what has been built.
The Culture of Functional Design – Managing fundamentals
The functional design is based on the knowledge of the ontogenetic map of the functionality of what is being developed. The ontogenetic map defines the concepts and fundamentals that drive a process and includes:
- Binary actions to ensure the functionality of the process.
- The use of business objects to ensure the quality of processes and save costs.
- The use of catalysts to expand the application field of a solution and accelerate its processes.
The Guiding Idea of Functional Business Processes
The management of the functional guiding idea of work processes is the initial step to develop solutions. It provides a dashboard to manage the solutions based on a synthesis of their functionality that simplifies their adaptability.
Below you will find a guiding idea template to be used in functionalist cultures.
A filled form will make the guiding idea meaningful. The following example of bestseller building is a way to sustain the culture of a publishing firm that works in a telework environment.
The functionalist approach is necessary to deal with the technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution while the operational approach suffices in non-adaptive environments. The functionalist approach increases notoriously the effectiveness and adaptability of processes.
It requires installing functional designers in organizations to sustain the building of adaptive processes, systems, and applications. The functional designers allow designing and implementing the binary actions that foster growth and profitability by managing adaptive processes and their automation.
The leaders of organizations need to be committed with the use of a functionalist approach to define the operational adaptive processes of an organization. To be meaningful and successful, the functionalist approach must have a superior level of value generation with lower costs. If not, it is not functional.
The Unicist Research Institute