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To what extent do you use full-time employees vs. on-demand contractors?
Breaking the traditional organizational idea of owing employees, the ExOs have the capability to acquire human resources on demand. This enables the organization to rapidly change and be flexible in a fast-changing world.
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Q1

To what extent do you leverage external resources to perform business functions?
The ability to leverage human capital outside the base organization is key to creating and running a successful ExO that is scalable and flexible.
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Q2

To what extent do you own vs. rent the assets in your organization?
Traditionally organizations preferred to own the mission-critical assets while renting the non-critical assets to optimize the capital expenses.  However today even mission-critical assets are leveraged. E.g., Apple leverages the factories and assembly lines of Foxconn, its manufacturing partner, for key product lines. The information age has enabled the access of physical assets anytime and anywhere globally without any boundaries allowing companies to scale up and down their operations, based on the market demands.
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Q3

Human Resources and Asset Management

This section examines how the organization optimizes its human resource and physical assets by outsourcing that allows the organization to scale up or down, horizontally, or vertically, and rapidly adapt to changing market conditions.

To what extent do you manage and interact with your Community (users, customers, partners, fans)?
ExO builds communities around them by creating a platform to automate peer-to-peer engagement and nurturing peer networks that allow the organization to crowdsource or crowdfund ideas to achieve rapid growth.
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Q4

Do you actively convert “the Crowd” (general public) into Community members?
User engagement techniques such as quizzes and loyalty are not new to organizations. However, today they have increasingly become fully information-enabled, elaborated and socialized. Engagement comprises digital reputation systems, games, and incentives and provides the opportunity for virtuous, positive feedback loops which enables the company to grow its community and their loyalty.
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Q5

To what extent do you use Gamification or Incentive Competitions?
Almost all Exponential Organizations leverage different engagement mechanisms such as (1) Ranking transparency,  (2) Self-efficacy (sense of control, agency, and impact), (3) Peer pressure (social comparison), (4)  Instant feedback (short feedback cycles), (5) Clear, authentic rules, goals, and rewards, these techniques help ExOs to engage markets quickly.
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Q6

To what extent are your products/services information based?
Company performance depends largely on the adoption of web and mobile technologies and the use of Internet infrastructure, which will both leverage their business offers (products or services) and upgrade their operations globally along with value-chain activities.
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e.g., Company website:  the website represents the digitalization of the process (the company can be located online and some of the services are delivered digitally). Even though the product itself is still physical, there is a digital element to it, and it is also possible to find, view, and compare the product through online interfaces.

Q7

To what extent are Social functionality and collaboration a central element of your product/service offering?
Interfaces are filtering and matching processes used by an ExO to bridge external dimensions to their internal dimension. These user interfaces route the output of the right people at the right time internally, enabling the ExOs to engage millions in its community to move a product from an idea to shelves in less than a month.
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Q8

What extent do you use algorithms and machine learning to make meaningful decisions?
The world today tends to operate mostly on algorithms. E.g., Google, Airbnb and DHL are based on algorithms, which allow for dynamic pricing, credit card fraud detection, traffic optimization, and much more.
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The need for the algorithms has become mission-critical as the explosion of data is being creased and almost all the business insights and decisions of tomorrow will be data-driven.

Q9

Do you share strategic data assets internally across the company or expose them externally to your community?
Given that large amounts of data will be generated by internal and external elements, an ExO needs to develop a real-time, adaptable dashboard with all essential company and employee metrics, accessible to everyone in the organization to maximize the value of data collected.
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Q10

Do you have specialized processes for managing the output of externalities within your internal organization?
Externalities can be Staff on Demand, Community/Crowd engagement, Data & Algorithms, Leased Assets, etc.
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Various interfaces that have the capability of filtering and matching will automate workflows that route the output of externalities to the right people at the right time internally. These may start manually but over time get automated and eventually become self-provisioning platforms.

Q11

How replicable and scalable are key processes outside your core organization?
Automation of interfaces and relevant workflows allows the ExOs to replicate their processes effortlessly internally or externally allowing the organization to rapidly scale the organization horizontally and vertically.
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Q12

Which metrics do you track about your organization and your product innovation portfolio?
Given that large amounts of data will be generated by internal and external elements, ExO needs to develop a real-time, adaptable dashboard with all essential company and employee metrics, accessible to everyone in the organization. Traditional metrics such as the number of visitors or mobile app downloads are being replaced by more value-driven metrics including repeat usage, retention percentage, monetization, and Net Promoter Score (NPS).  
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Q13

Do you use some variant of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to track individual/team performance?
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is a collaborative goal-setting tool used by teams and individuals to set challenging, ambitious goals with measurable results. KPI goals are typically obtainable, while OKR goals are somewhat more aggressive and ambitious, driving individuals and teams to be creative and innovative.
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Q14

Does your organization constantly optimize processes through experimentation, A/B testing, and short feedback loops?
Experimentation is the adoption of the concept of Lean Startup methodology for testing assumptions and constantly experimenting with controlled risks. While traditional organizational architecture is designed to withstand risk and change, in today’s business context the opposite is true as the biggest risk a business faces is not taking a risk hence or willingness to fail.
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Q15

To what extent do you tolerate failure and encourage risk-taking?
Constant experimentations with an iterative process are the only ways of managing this risk and for ExO this is their business philosophy.
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Q16

Does your organization operate with large, hierarchical structures or small, multi-disciplinary, self-organizing teams?
Autonomy is the ability of an organization to have self-organizing, multi-disciplinary teams operating with decentralized authority. Autonomy is a prerequisite for permissionless innovation. From teleworking to outsourcing to flattened, virtual organizations, there has been a clear and steady trend toward increased autonomy in the workplace. ExOs have flat hierarchies to promote agility and accelerate learning and reaction times.
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Q17

To what extent is authority/decision-making decentralized?
ExOs are organizing internally, though not in traditional departments with layers of middle management, but rather by self-organized, Interdisciplinary teams with radically decentralized authority
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Q18

Do you use advanced social tools for knowledge-sharing, communication, coordination, and/or collaboration?
Social technology is the idea of using digital technology in the workplace to create a multidirectional digital environment in contrast to traditional vertical communication.
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Social Technologies when implemented, create transparency, and connectedness, and most importantly lower the information latency of an organization
e.g. Google Drive, Asana, RedBooth, Dropbox, Yammer, Chatter, Evernote

Q19

What is the nature and focus of your organizational purpose or mission?
A purpose-driven company stands for and takes action on something bigger than its products and services. Purpose can be an organizational strategy and a roadmap to remain competitive in a fast-changing economy. A common purpose unifies employees and helps them understand the organization's direction.
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Q20

Community & Crowd

This section examines how an organization leverages the community by nurturing it so that the right people, ideas and feedback comes into the organization organically without the necessity to hunt them down.

Engagement of Community & Crowd

This section examines the level of engagement the organization has with its community that assists the organization in idea generation, funding, design, distribution, marketing, sales, etc.  

Information & Social Enablement

This section examines how an organization has enabled collaborative human behavior (social behavior) to engineer the results the company desires from your community.

Data & Algorithms

This section examines the organization’s ability to use data and algorithms to obtain business insights and decisions that are data-driven as opposed to intuitive guesses of their leaders.

Interfaces and Scalable Processes

This section examines how an organization designs and customized its processes for how they interface with customers and other organizations that allow the organization to scale rapidly.

Real-time Dashboards and Employee Management

This section examines how the organization uses a real-time, adaptable dashboard with all essential company and employee metrics, accessible to everyone in the organization.

Experimentation & Risk

This section examines the organization’s capacity to adopt the lean startup methodology of testing assumptions and constantly experimenting with controlled risks.

Autonomy & Decentralization

This section examines how the organization leverages Self-organizing, multidisciplinary teams operating with decentralized authority.

Social Technologies & Social Business

This section examines how the organization leverages Social technologies, or collaborative technologies, that allows it to manage real-time communication amongst all employees. 

Born Digital organizations are a new breed of organizations launched after 1995 that exploit internet-era information and digital technologies as a core competency of their business model.

‘Exponential Organization’ (ExO) is an organization that has a disproportionate impact (e.g., 10 times growth compared to its competition) based on the way they work internally as well as how they interact with the outside world. ExOs are characterized by a high level of flexibility and adaptability to disruptive innovation, emerging technologies, and exponential change by leveraging their digital maturity.

‘Exponential Quotient (ExQ) is a measurement used to understand the state and characteristics of an organization, based on what level these exponential characteristics are adopted by an organization.

BORN DIGITAL ORGANIZATIONS

BORN DIGITAL ORGANIZATIONS

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