Interfaces are the bridge that connects your external and internal attributes by automating one or more SCALE attributes.
The benefits of interfaces and how they simplify processes
The main idea around interfaces is to make the complex simple. Essentially, they take all the data created by the SCALE attributes and make sense of this internally.
Interfaces help with matching and filtering processes—using algorithms and automated workflows—that allow an organization to translate an abundance of data into meaningful information that can be acted upon. They are the bridge between the drivers of exponential growth (external) and the drivers for stabilization (internal).
Equally important are the benefits of interfaces for an organization’s customers. They provide an automated and scalable way for customers to access the company’s value proposition—for example, Airbnb manages millions of places to stay with a super simple user interface.
Better business interfaces often lead to further customer growth and satisfaction.
Why are business interfaces so important for Exponential Organizations?
Interfaces are vital to the design of the ExO process. They allow the “inside” of the organization to access the outside world. Plus, they ensure maximum efficiency and enable stakeholders to automate processes, making interfaces mission-critical for ExOs to scale exponentially.
Most importantly, interfaces are required to manage abundance. They determine whether supercharged growth will overwhelm the ExO or enable it to convert that abundance into value successfully.
The more your business grows, the more essential this is to maintain that growth. And that’s why the thinking behind interfaces for ExOs is quite different from the business processes used to manage scarcity and efficiency.
Simply put: interfaces help ExOs maintain their exponential growth by process simplification and making them as user-friendly as possible—both internally and externally.
How to simplify work processes with interfaces
Interfaces are the filtering and matching processes ExOs use to bridge from SCALE externalities to internal IDEAS control frameworks.
They are algorithms and automated workflows that route the output of SCALE externalities to the right people at the right time internally. These processes start manual and gradually become more automated in many cases. Eventually, however, they became self-provisioning platforms that enable ExOs to scale.
A classic example is Google’s AdWords, which is now a multi-billion dollar business within Google. A key to its scalability is self-provisioning—that is, the interface for AdWords customers is completely automated so that there is no manual involvement. The process is simplified.
There are two ways to use interfaces as a means of process simplification:
- Basic application: the interfaces attribute is, in part, a toolkit for overcoming a host of limits to growth, creating super-scalable business processes, and connecting the other exponential attributes together.
- Advanced application: the interfaces attribute includes many of the building blocks for the Platform Business Models and Ecosystems at the heart of the world’s most successful ExOs.
ExO Interfaces Attribute includes:
- Interfaces connecting humans to systems (user-interface or UI)
- Interfaces connecting systems to other systems (application programming interface or API)
- All the tools and disciplines of User Experience Design (UXD)
- Algorithms to filter, match, learn and curate automated workflows to direct the output.
Six Steps to implement interfaces that work
To implement interfaces in your organization, you can follow these six steps:
- Identify the sources of abundance you have access to
- Humanize the interaction to define the proper UX or automate the interaction to determine the right API
- Create standardized processes
- Apply algorithms to automate processes
- Test interfaces with pilot populations
- Update interfaces regularly
When creating your business interfaces, here are a few questions that you can ask to ensure that they will be successful:
- Will the interface allow the business to scale?
- Do the interfaces create value?
- Can all of the SCALE attributes be enabled with interfaces?
- Is the effectiveness of algorithms and automated workflows being measured?
- Are interfaces engaging users?
The interfaces you create for your ExO are most likely to be specific to your company. You need to look at what can be automated and how the abundance of information must be filtered and matched best to optimize your business process.
Look at the interfaces of Google Adwords, Airbnb, Uber, etc. to better understand how successful interfaces work and look.
Our community’s articles on Interfaces
Doing all the hard work
Your organization can scale by taking advantage of the many benefits of interfaces for process simplification. To do this, it’s important to build an interface that takes in all the data from the SCALE attributes and manages it seamlessly.
You don’t necessarily need to build your interface from scratch but can instead leverage APIs and off the shelf tools—they’ve already done the hard work of designing interfaces that simplify processes.
If you get this right, it can be an absolute game-changer for your business.