„Culture is not just one aspect of the game – It is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.“
Lou Gerstner, Jr. – IBM
We often come across of such a statement, in today’s world a transformation is not a choice, it is a new norm and whether you want it or not, the companies could not survive without it. But when is the best time to really transform an organization? Is it enough just to look at and look through the future of the industry and develop a new vision of the company to meet a new reality? Obviously, taking steps without having the right vision is more like wandering blindly in the forest, though in line with the vision it is most important to guess how sufficiently equipped we are; how much our values, competencies, skills, systems, or any other resources are capable to support us to follow the path to our future company with minor losses and essential creativity.
It is probably no news to anyone to say that the real transformation begins with one’s self. By realizing and analyzing the company's own leadership qualities, values, limiting beliefs and thoughts, and feeling its role and importance in the new vision of the company, the internal shifts that lead us to the first steps on the path of the change begin.
The key questions in the transformation process sound like this - where am I today and where do I want to be? What prevents me from getting where I want to get? What will help me to walk this path with minor losses and an environmentally friendly way? What are my leadership qualities and skills and what is my leadership energy like? In which role can I best demonstrate them?
These questions are quite difficult to answer, and if the company could not afford to create a field where the internal search process is invigorated, then the answers might also be superficial. Creating this field is the basis of a transformational organizational culture, and only on such a basement can a culture be built that can breathe with live, create and make a system shape accordingly to ensure the realization of a company's vision through the realization of individual human capabilities. The values in such a culture have a leading role where there is a vivid consensus in understanding them. All this is translated into the language of common game rules in daily activities, which is one of the major conditions to achieve the best results.
In today's fast-paced and unforeseeable world, revision of the structures and positions of the companies that have been successful for years but have lost their flexibility is now even more urgent and can no longer adequately respond to the challenges faced in the surrounding environment. Today it can be that in the same position, in the same company, different competencies and skills are prioritized for different time periods and that too is never enough. That is why it is extremely important to understand the roles together with the positions, to strengthen the team leadership along with the individual leadership, to meet the expectations instead of writing the detailed descriptions of functions and duties, to bring in the best results, to create projects to be done and to execute them as it is supposed according to project rules.
Too often in the companies where hierarchical systems are strictly determined, employees feel like being trapped within their own positions, often finding it difficult to see and recognize that the organizational vertical limits their ability to fully express themselves and their interests, while the brilliant results are achieved through flexible systems based on teamwork principles. In such hierarchical systems, the rules are canonized while the employees do not understand their importance, and the rules are followed without any enthusiasm, where it is forced, or even ignored, while horizontal arrangement and team principles vitalize the rule. The rule and the system can be understood not as a punishment, or as a hindrance, but as a support in order to do our job best. These are the changes that ACT underwent in the first stage of its transformation, as a result of which the organizational culture in the company today is a clear example of a living order.
Team play is seen as an integral part of a transformational organizational culture. It requires understanding and respect for your own and team members’ strengths and weaknesses. Successful team play is impossible without the ability to open up, recognize failure and success, share and self-reflection. It is also important to know how to speak a common language so that we do not lose our uniqueness; how to balance each other and overcome a task, the success of which often depends on the competence, skill, responsibility and concerted work of many people. Team leadership also implies the understanding of the fact that even the best qualities of a person can become a barrier if he is not in the right place and in the right role, and that all qualities are equally important for a magnificent success.
The Companies where equal importance is given to both the results and the way in which these results are achieved; as well as the Companies that are equally centered on the outside and the inside environment, achieve more glorious results, are innovators, and are resilient to storms threatened from the outside world.
ACT's unique management model, named The Power of Three, allows us to simultaneously see and implement the need for management and transformation in three areas. A real transformation is possible only if you have a clear vision of where you are going, and share the relevant values needed to realize that vision while they should come right from your heart. This could be done best through the development of systems and enforcement mechanisms. In such a model, the culture is congruent and organic to each employee of the company and ensures the maintenance of vitality and sustainability.
Research and Consulting Company ACT has launched a video column #ANEWNORM, where the current issues of modern days are discussed. For instance, why are changes inevitable today and how can you turn a transformation process into a guarantee of success for you and your company? In just five minutes, Tinatin Rukhadze, ACT's Vision Lead will talk to you about it.
Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.
Backsliding occurs when there is no progress. Stability does not equal the absence of change, it is only the result of sustainable development. In the digital age, the world is changing at an astonishing rate, and businesses are left with two choices: to either glide on the waves of change like surfers or to disappear under them.
The pandemic has accelerated the cascade of change even more – it changed people, their emotions, social life, and priorities. As a result, the business ecosystem and the rules of the game have also changed, including different industry perspectives, demand for products and services, consumer behavior and preferences, product/service selection criteria, supply channels, brand communication content and style: to put it concisely, everything has changed.
As a result, it is hard to come across a business that does not require a business model or organizational transformation in order to survive or, conversely, to seize new opportunities. The success of a business today is directly related to how timely it acknowledges the need for transformation and how well it manages this very process.
There are multiple signs that indicate the need for transformation in a company's business model or organizational setting. 6 unmistakable symptoms are as follows:
Let us be more specific: if you have not enjoyed the results of your business or the situation in the company for a long time, but despite various attempts, you are unable to change the unwanted status quo, know that the company is in a desperate need of transformation.
Recognizing and acknowledging the need for transformation is a necessary but insufficient condition for the success of a business. It is important for the company’s management team to understand that transformation is so much more than a change of individual parts; rather, the transformation has to be complete.
Analyzing several cases of failure reveals that most companies make a fatal mistake at this very point: they are trying to localize the problem, solve it effectively with minimal costs, or seize the opportunity with minimal resources and outdated approaches. Behind this, of course, are rational motives such as saving time, cost-effectiveness, following a path that has been taken before, the ambition to find the quickest solutions, and more.
However, this approach is ultimately very costly for the company due to it being impossible to achieve large transformational outcomes with small changes. As a result, the company will have wasted its resources or even worse: with the unsuccessful attempts, the company’s management team becomes frustrated, ultimately leading to the shaking of trust and sowing nihilism among the employees when it comes to the company’s management and its future in general.
We have been observing the process of business transformation in ACT for 19 years both in and outside of Georgia. We have accumulated experience and have created a unique model of organizational transformation and management, which we call “the Power of Three”. According to the philosophy of PWR3, the success of any kind of transformation depends on the unity, balance and permanence of these three forces: the power of creativity, the power of order and the power of change.
In the organizational context, we consider three main driving forces of company development and success: (1) vision – (creativity), (2) culture – (order) and (3) execution – (change).
According to our approach, the transformation of a company begins with the renewal of its vision. The second stage of change is the formation of an organizational culture relevant to this new vision, while the third stage of change regards the transformation of organizational systems, processes, and the mobilization of resources needed to achieve new vision and goals.
Our model offers the organization leadership to think and make decisions consistent with regards to these three dimensions: vision, culture, execution. We believe that the decisions bringing the best results are the ones that: 1) serve the company’s vision and main goals, whilst 2) aligning with the company’s values and taking into account the interests of its employees, and 3) the company has to have tangible resources needed for the execution. In other words, PWR3 is not only a model for the transformation of the organization, but also for its effective management, helping the management of the company make consistent and effective decisions, which, in turn, contributes to the sustainable development of the company.
THE POWER OF THREE®’s unique philosophy, model and working principles enables ACT to play a special role in transforming its customers. As a result of PWR3®, the signs of transformation in the organization are clear and visible:
PWR3 is the power of change that, on the one hand, helps organizations become more resilient in the face of new challenges and, on the other hand, boosts their creativity and openness towards opportunities. We believe that along with a sense of the uniqueness of the mission, it is these qualities that make good companies into extraordinary ones.
An integral part of the trip, such as a passport, wallet and handbag, has already bevome the sanitizer and a mask. They will soon be joined by the COVID-19 insurance policy.
This is a new opportunity for insurance companies to create new customer-focused offerings as more and more countries demand mandatory reimbursement of health costs in the event that visitors become infected with the coronavirus.
Most important, however, is knowing how well the traveler is protected from being infected in a foreign country and whether there is a guarantee that he or she will receive proper attention.
ACT, a research and consulting company, inquired about the global epidemic situation, whether Tbilisians are planning a trip and how much they know about the travel insurance conditions in relation to Covid.
The ACT survey found that the majority of respondents (79%) have information that the cost of medical treatment for infection with covid19 is not covered by the usual travel insurance and epidemiological risk is in standard exceptions.
Taking into account the current situation, Georgian insurance companies have developed insurance packages, which specifically removed the pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus from the exceptions and offered consumers to reimburse the costs incurred in case of accidental infection with the virus. The assumption of this exception, of course, also affected the cost of insurance due to the high risk, and the cost of one day of insurance increased by an average of 5 times.
"Covid-19 insurance has become mandatory for those entering European countries and the United States, there is a demand, and we, one of the first, offered a travel insurance package to Georgian consumers and partner travel companies, where Covid risk is included in a certain limit that meets international standards." - Tinatin Stambolishvili says, a member of the Vienna Insurance Group and director of communications for the insurance company GPI.
According to Irina Gorashvili, Director of Alternative Channels Development at Imedi L Insurance Company, they also responded quickly to the request and developed a travel insurance package to cover the risks of Covid. However, it is thought that this product is short-lived and soon, with the development of the vaccination process and the cure, the risk of covid19 will decrease and special insurance will no longer be necessary.
Abroad, with rare exceptions, as well as in Georgia, costs related to cash insurance are reimbursed by the state only for citizens and / or persons with permanent residence.
Our first protagonist is a graduate of Business School Salome, she as a responsible citizen, has already been vaccinated twice in the summer. To celebrate graduation, before starting a new phase of life - the first job, the parents handed over a specially designed amount to celebrate this joyful event, and a special surprise - a tourist trip to America, in July 2021. Personally, he had no information about Covid insurance, it seems that no one asked for it and he did not have a problem entering the country at the destination. However, unfortunately, she became infected by Covid during her stay there. Thanks to the vaccination, she got sick with the virus easily and today feels completely healthy, although his travel plans have been turned upside down.
Salome had to stay in isolation for 10 days, where she was required to take a quick test once every 3 days ($ 40 per test), as well as a mandatory PCR test that cost $ 250 on the spot, at her own expense.
It is well known, that while Covid is positively, it's prohibited to travel, than Salome had to extend her travel period, what meant the additional hotel expenses. Also, she had to re-purchase the return ticket as it was impossible to exchange the purchased ticket. In total, the expenses of Salome due to Covid was close to $ 5,000.
The second story is about Sopho, who was also infected in America, found out that he had information from local acquaintances that in case of infection, by calling a special hotline number, the US government would finance the costs related to Covid, and therefore the unpleasant moment during his trip was relatively alleviated. Sopho's fairly comfortable transportation to and from the Covid Hotel, three meals a day during the isolation period, doctor and nurse services, rapid, PCR tests, and other treatment costs were reimbursed by the U.S. government itself. However, America, in this particular case of New York State, is a rare exception that bears the costs of treating and managing a tourist infected with Covid19 on the spot. The main part of other countries of the world imposes the mentioned expenses on the tourist himself.
For the second year in a row, the Covid infection has been raging in the world, and states are fighting it more or less successfully, although the fact is that we are still far from winning over the new virus.
The field of international tourism is one that has suffered the most from the Covid pandemic and is still the most difficult to rehabilitate.
According to the website of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), according to official data, in January-March 2021, compared to 2020, international tourist traffic decreased by 83% due to high travel restrictions and the caution of tourists to protect themselves from infection.
According to a recent survey by a panel of experts organized by the UNWTO, with the intensification of the vaccination process, industry confidence has slowly increased in the May-August 2021 period. Particularly noteworthy is the EU Digital Green Certificate, which provides a common electronic database on coronavirus vaccination and immunity, which aims to promote free and safe travel to the EU during a pandemic. The certificate will operate successfully in 27 EU member states and 16 non-member countries, including Ukraine, Israel, Turkey, etc.
At this stage, Georgia is still in the red zone, which is a specific obstacle for visitors, however, for Georgian tourists who want to travel and are fully vaccinated, a Covid card is issued, on the basis of which the so-called travel abroad is made - "Apostille", which confirms the authenticity and validity of the document. For this, it is necessary for the interested person to apply to the House of Justice with a relevant request.
However, it should also be noted that due to the current pandemic and the rise of new strains, uncertainty is still high, travel restrictions still exist and this is facilitated by the uneven pace of vaccination in different countries.
According to the ACT survey, given the current situation, every fifth Tbilisian still plans to travel abroad, although the share of those wishing to travel abroad decreases with age. This trend is explained by the fact that relatively old people are a risk group for Covid-19 and therefore refrain from traveling, while young people who traveled more actively before the pandemic are now planning to become tourists despite the high risk.
When traveling, to enjoy the news and adventures, health and financial security are paramount. That is why coveted insurance is no longer a luxury and it is a necessary item for travel and a guarantee of peace of mind.