We currently live in a hyper connected world characterized by 24/7 access to global communications, with social networks providing ability to self publish and be heard. We carry more compute power on smart phones than early computers and possess access to information previous generations could not imagine. Yet, for many organizations, culture and business processes have not kept up. While business causal has replaced suits and digital has replaced paper, it is not clear that today’s organizations know how to accommodate the more open, collaborative processes that the Internet has fostered and new cohorts of employees expect.
Many companies came of age with hierarchical structures and command and control leadership. Boundaries were clear and roles rigid. Yet, despite vast technological change and shifts in how work gets done, many organizational designs put in place in the last century are still with us.
What should you do? The following are some steps HR, Marketing and business leaders should take to change culture and processes and, ultimately, enable their businesses to remain competitive. Social media and social business are transforming the world of work and the only organizations that will thrive are those that have figured out how to use new technologies to their advantage.
- Devise a plan to intelligently implement virtual work and virtual teams. Despite the recent controversy, they are not going away! Co-location is necessary for certain jobs, but many knowledge based workers can work virtually with existing technology. Virtual workers also have a smaller carbon footprint, organizations save money on infrastructure costs and older workers or those with work/life demands can be accommodated.
- Redesign jobs to be modular and allow workers to utilize skills on projects anywhere in the organization. This makes good use of human capital, solves skill shortages and can lead to greater productivity and satisfaction among employees.
- Redefine the role of leaders. Encourage leaders to find ways of engaging and not just be seen as ensconced in their offices behind traditional gatekeepers.
- Empower employee collaboration. Provide employees a seat at the table, get their feedback and listen to their suggestions. They can provide valuable insights and intelligence about trends, competitors and emerging needs.
- Train all employees on new technologies. Many older adults have embraced social networks. Don’t assume only the millennials will get it.
- Provide guidelines on social media. Make sure the rules are clear and consequences for bad behavior spelled out. Your firm’s reputation and brand may depend on this.
- Include clients in networks and make innovations more collaborative. Social networks are about relationships and collaboration. Clients’ voices should be heard. They can help articulate their needs and shape new offerings.
We live in a global, fast paced, information rich and boundary spanning era. We need to create organizations that reflect this. Otherwise, our businesses will go the way of the fax machine and rotary phone. They still exist, but no longer serve the purpose they once did.
What do you think? Contact us at AndreaG@dccInsights.com or call us at 914 234 3917 if you need a road map to the future, training or even implementation assistance. We can help! We can also be reached on Twitter @digitalcultured.