I’d like to go further into a point I mentioned in a previous post and that deserves some more explainations.
According to what we can often hear or read (and that I sometimes wrote here too), organizations lack many things to perform in today’s context. What has to be understood like “they need to acquire and implement many things they don’t have” like ideas, competences, employee’s passion about their job and many other things. Finally I wonder if it’s that true.
â€¢ Ideas and innovative potential ? It exists both inside and outside the organization. Just have to bend down to pick it up.
â€¢ Talents ? I see many brilliant people, from any generation in every organization I know.
â€¢ The will to engage and do one’s best ? It exists, in proportions that may vary depending on local culture and the relationship between people and business world. I agree it can fade away if not sustained.
I don’t think the issue is the acquisition or the development (even if this last point can be discussed) of all these things but the way they are used.
â€¢ Talented and creative people at the marketing department, talented sales people…but no alignment and the impression that both don’t go in the same direction.
â€¢ plenty of ideas, sometimes heard and acknowledged. But seldom implemented.
â€¢ Rare expertises but hardly accessible and shared.
â€¢ People able to face the challenges of the organization…with incentive to do the opposite.
â€¢ Brilliant young qualified people, hired because they can bring something new in the workplace and who are asked to fit the mould once they join the company.
As we can see, organizations have an impressive energy tank, a huge potential, that fits today’s need. But the corporate engine is plugged on an old tank full of aldultered fuel. Or maybe the carburation is not set for today’s fuel.
Would it be with a management toolbox or new technologies, the question behind what we call enterprise 2.0 is plug the right tank on the engine.
That’s also the reason why ROI is very hard to get when talkin about intangibles : it’s hard to deliver any value when the engine does not use the fuel the company invests in.
The challenge is to bring some coherence, that’s to say aligning business practices with the fuel the organization is putting a lot of money in (human, intangible…). And if tools are needed to be used as catalysts to boost the reaction…
That will also imply to redefine some roles or have a more systemic vision of investments : those who invest in intangibles seldom are those who design the way it will be used. Yet, when businesses invest in the bottom layer they need to design the “plumbing” that will ensure it will impact the upper layer, what has many incidences on the structured and formal part of the organization. Remember this old diagram I published years ago :
Food for thought…