“Bringing new technology and tools into your organization can increase productivity, boost sales, and help you make better, faster decisions. But getting every employee on board is often a challenge. What can you do to increase early and rapid adoption? How can you incentivize and reward employees who use it? And should you reprimand those who donâ€™t?”
“Lee is passionate about using social technology to put humans front and centre of the way we do things in the Twenty-First Century. He has been playing with words and computers since the age of 10, but it was in the mid-1990s, whilst working in international politics and diplomacy, that he discovered the immense power of the internet to influence and orchestrate change. He believes social networks, not bureaucracies, are the organising principle of the current era, and is excited about further exploring new forms of highly connected organisations. He is the co-founder of Post*Shift.”
The technology and its growing acceptance by workers makes possible new forms of organisation and new forms of orchestrating labour, and this is what we see as the next stage of the challenge to improve business
Cultural change cannot, I believe, come about through change programmes as they are currently conceived.
We need to be more radical in asking how we would re-create companies today if we started from scratch, because I think we now have the social, cultural and technological platforms on which to do a much better job
we should be able to create better, more flexible and adaptive organisations that are more successful than the incumbents they challenge
for existing large firms, I think a key challenge is how to create a protected space within which they can nurture new structures and new ways of working
But I am not sure I agree with the idea that strategy is a good place to start for deep structural change
a logical place to start is to work within the current strategic framework to show how people can organise better to get things done, partly because this is less disruptive than re-thinking the strategy, but also because it shows that the big change here is how business can be better and more professional for any given goal than if it proceeds as currently organised
Talented people are far less loyal to organisations, because there is little these organisations can provide that modern workers need
The problem, I think, is that too much corporate business is not in the least about value creation, but rather has short-term stock price or capital enhancement goals.
you only have to look at the consumer world to see that people value craft over mass-produced cheaper products, and craft requires a new culture of work, rather than the dominant Taylorist approach.
But we still live under the yoke of financial management ideas where the goal of business is just to incrementally increase shareholder capital, despite the fact this is leading us away from value-creating innovation and towards low-risk efficiency and optimisation plays
You might say it is the next frontier of business, because in a sense this is what most current trends are about, from big data to behavioural economics and â€˜everything as a service
Economics is, I suggest, an ideological worldview, not a scientific one, and that is a problem.
“Although itâ€™s not practical to create a single measure for assessing the digital literacy of workers at all levels and in all functional areas, it is possible to create a general measure to assess basic competencies. Hereâ€™s our take on developing a framework for creating a digital literacy assessment tool. It includes four components (from concepts to skills and tactics) and three focal areas (communication and collaboration, cybersecurity, and the law and ethics).”
A digitally literate person will possess a range of digital skills, knowledge of the basic principles of computing devices, skills in using computer networks, an ability to engage in online communities and social networks while adhering to behavioral protocols, be able to find, capture and evaluate information, an understanding of the societal issues raised by digital technologies (such as big data), and possess critical thinking skills.
Digital era concepts. Focused primarily on job-related communication and collaboration, these include things like platforms, channels, content creation and curation, crowdsourcing, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.
” Most productivity applicationsâ€™ unique selling points (USPs) are advertised as eliminating waste (e.g. different environments and team structures), standardising practices and achieving efficiency through automation. These USPs appear to address current buyersâ€™ needs, but oversimplify how technology can support productivity, and consequently poorly thought through solutions are implemented.”
HRâ€™s responsibility has developed from transactional (e.g. payroll, benefits) to more strategic (e.g. talent management, mergers and acquisitions) although often limited to training, developing and rewarding tasks
Most organisations today, however, rely on knowledge and creative input when seeking competitive advantage. These are difficult to measure: instead, focus should be on more quantifiable elements such as the conditions that make it flourish.
To a large extent, E2.0 and social business provides some of the technology and behavioural solutions for remote communication and coordination, as the physical location of workers is less important if appropriate social technology is in place
This use case is commonly argued for ESNs, but similar points could be made for other enterprise technologies, if they were designed to unlock organisational capabilities and not solely to optimise the mechanics of existing ways of operating
The most vital inputs for organisations today (e.g. knowledge and creativity) are difficult to optimise because they cannot be measured and are driven by engagement.
Evidence from the Quantified-Self movement shows huge gains can come from people motivated and in control of their own improvements
Our experience indicates there a few starting points that HR managers could use to claim a stake in re-defining productivity in a digital workplace:
Understand the barriers employees face in using available tools to execute the companyâ€™s strategy
Develop a general know-how of social technology, but question the current application of it.In many of the projects where we have been involved, the application of technology overlooked some essential human factors that would have made the daily work easier for the employees.
Examine when employees are most engaged in their work and seek opportunities to create more engaging situations through the use of social technology.
“In my framework of Modern Workplace Learning (see diagram on right) I use the term social collaboration to label an important new element of work of the modern-day L&D department. I deliberately chose not to label it social learning. So what is the difference â€“ or rather connection â€“ between these two terms?”
Social learning, is of course, not a new concept or a new term; weâ€™ve always learned socially â€“ from our parents, siblings, friends and from our colleagues at work.
a new definition of social learning has emerged in the last few years; one that implies the use of social technology to underpin learning.
social learning is too often deemed to be achieved primarily through an organised educational or training experience that involves people brought together EXPLICITLY to learn from one another
For me, this new definition is missing the bigger picture, since it takes no account of where and how mostsocial learning takes place â€“ well outside of formal learning interventions â€“ and in the workplace, in particular, when teams and other groups of people, learn IMPLICITLY from one another as a consequence of working together.
Internal Social Collaboration Consultancy might well be an activity that a modern-day L&D department would like to become involved with â€“ in order to expand its operations more broadly in the business
Rather it involves working closely with the manager and supporting his/her team or group, by showing them how to become a social team, and modelling new behaviours
You can have high engagement and very little value
The other common problem is you have no engagement at all
The more sophisticated organizations realize that tools alone won’t solve the problem and have started investing in the operational systems that include community management roles and training to ensure that when people engage they get real value from it.
Ultimately, to sustain engagement, the business model needs to generate more value for each of its stakeholder groups than they contribute.
The implications to business models are quite radical, however, and in a way most organizations cannot accept given their current leadership.
This mentality leaves stakeholders feeling combative, not collaborative – whether they are customers or employees – and that does not lead to organic and frequent engagement because those stakeholders don’t see the organization’s success and their success as the same thing.
“Peter Capelli has posted a piece at the Harvard Business Review that poses some important questions about the application of big data and predictive analysis about future behavior and performance of individuals based on what big data may reveal.”
Many of the attributes that predict good outcomes are not within our control. Some are things we were born with, at least in part, like IQ and personality or where and how we were raised. It is possible that those attributes prevent you from getting a job, of course, but may also prevent you from advancing in a company
And there has been pushback: is it fair to use factors that individuals could not control in determining their punishment?
Instead of personality or IQ tests, machines are crunching big data, mined from hundreds or thousands of companies, that reveal who is most likely to be a good call center worker.
By putting applicants through a battery of tests and then tracking their job performance, Evolv has developed a model for the ideal call-center worker.
One driver for the rise of algorithmic HR is that people are bad at making hiring decisions: we have too many cognitive biases, and our capacity for balancing many independent factors for a candidateâ€™s suitability for a job is limited.
And the broadest ethical questionsâ€Šâ€”â€Šlike what to do about those raised in single parent homes in a world that might rate them a higher risk for all jobsâ€Šâ€”â€Šare beyond the scope of this analysis, today, but as Capelli points out, those questions need to be raised and answered by someone.
Digital Transformation needs to focus on creating the organisational capabilities required to compete in a VUCA future, and we should measure its success by what it enables the organisation to achieve.
To do this, we need a better way to envisage and manage change in the organisation that is much more grounded, and more effective, than existing top-down efforts.
Big data + human sensor networks give us a way to involve everybody in organisational transformation, and to measure its results in close to real-time”
But now, products and services are changing all the time, which means structures and processes over-optimised for the past are more dangerous than useful.
The next stage is about adapting the way we work to take advantage of the new capabilities social and digital technology make possible.
One problem, however, is the way organisations think about â€˜changeâ€™. Change tends to come from the top, based on analysis of problems or pain points, and often driven by external consultants. The resulting big-bang change projects often fail and rarely sustain.
Instead, we need to prepare for change becoming a constant factor in how the business is run, and we need to to create the adaptability and flexibility to cope with it.
Social tools, in promoting the idea of working out loud, give us greater ambient awareness within the workplace. But they also give us two very powerful transformation tools: a human sensor network of that can tell us what is working and what is not, and an increasingly rich set of data about networks, behaviour and how work gets done.
What works for agile teams close to the customer may not work for running a production line, and the structures salespeople find useful are not always the same as how engineering would like to be organised.
So, there may be no perfect target operating model for companies to prepare for, but we can derive a set of capabilities required to cope with changing market dynamics and then measure the progress of our digital transformation actions towards achieving them, informed by the data and feedback of our human sensor network.
Digital transformation needs clear goals and a way to measure success
“Many enterprises are gauging the transition from inflexible, brittle enterprise era resource planning-based tech infrastructure to something they hope anticipates our post digital world. Presumably the Maginot image above is the period equivalent to today’s Powerpoint strategy presentations explaining readiness for the onslaught of ever greater change in a world that has moved to always-on mobile devices that pump out analyzable data at ever greater rates from a rich array of digital activities. “
Cloud washing” was the purposeful and sometimes deceptive attempt by tech vendors to rebrand an old service by associating the word “cloud” with it, and we are now seeing the same labeling of old workflows and tech with the buzzword “digital”.
The huge integration vendors are now all about digital transformation but in most cases their marketing is very ahead of available resources and skillsets, which are historically geared up to provide services around the MISO (MSFT, IBM, SAP & ORCL) axis.
Western businesses are treating their digital business strategic planning in the same way the French military planned the Maginot line: preparing for a past that isn’t going to repeat itself.
We are now well into the 21st century but many businesses are stuck with intractable processes from the last millennium, compounded by legacy enterprise technologies.
and buying old ways of working that have been digitally washed and not fit for new purposes.
“According to data from Global Workplace Analytics, the number of remote employees in the United States has gone up by 79.7 percent since 2005. In the U.S., around 3.3 million people work from home.
But these are not just freelancers. More organizations are adopting a fully remote work culture. Basecamp, Mozilla and Automattic are three well-known companies that fall under the 100-percent-distributed category. Automattic, owner of WordPress, has been able to scale up operations to nearly 300 people and more than 131M monthly website visitors â€” the 3rd highest on the Internet â€” with a purely distributed team.”