Going by the projects that I am working on at the moment, 2014 is proving to be a very interesting year. I’m currently embedded in a couple of organisations that are looking at the Future of Work and the Future Workplace. These are very subjective and loaded terms with many variables involved. The two most important ones are – technology and humans. Therefore, in this post I have selected pieces that are exploring the emerging relationships between the two in the context of organisational change, growth and productivity.
You are welcome to leave a comment with links to additional pieces on the subject that you find are interesting or relevant. Or get in touch with me either on Twitter, my ID is @gopaldass or by email – contact [at] digitalidentities [dot] info.
Why The Digital Revolution Is Really Just Getting Started
Greg Satell makes the case that even though technology is ubiquitous, the impact on productivity is far from widespread. Until recently, it was only sectors that made extensive use of IT (such as e-commerce) that were seeing the most gains. But IT is now starting to make serious inroads in retail, medicine and energy. There are several examples in the piece of how this is happening. In order to reap the promised benefits, organisations need to rewire how they work. And as we move from a ‘concrete world of atoms’ to the ‘abstract world of bits’ the most valuable resource is human capital.
“Why Can’t You Be More Like A Startup?| — How To Build A Culture Of Agility
According to John Martin while many organisations are aspiring to become agile and lean, they aren’t setting up the right foundations for this change to manifest. The idea of ‘acting like a startup’ might be interpreted as a making rushed decisions with no insight, but there is much more to it. Large organisations need to make a significant cultural shift to adopt these principles successfully. This includes a change in management and leadership.
Why Managers Now Need To Become Leaders
Some great new thinking by Greg Satell in this piece. The role of managers is changing significantly as we move towards an Information Economy. The principles of strict supervision and control to avoid variation is no longer relevant. This is because most of the operational tasks in any organisation have been automated. Computers, which were designed to do rote tasks are now doing cognitive ones. Within this framework, the role of the manager is to encourage open collaboration and sharing of resources.
Team Management: Think Small And Agile
An excellent piece by Rich Karlgaard, making a strong case for small teams in large organisations. The concept of teamwork didn’t seep into organisational vernacular until the 1970s and now as technology evolves at a swift pace, teams play a significant role from a strategic and operational perspective. This because humans are the slowest moving parts within a complex organisational structure and the right team can make the process of change smarter and faster. There are some interesting examples and principles adopted by Amazon, Xerox PARC, FedEX and SAP.
Real Engines of Growth Have Nothing To Do With Hacking
In this piece Dan Kaplan sets out to bust the hype that surrounds growth-hacks / hackers. In doing so, he delivers some great insight into what it takes to achieve sustainable growth. While the examples cited are startups and established tech companies, the framework is universal. For example, regardless of what your product is, you need to define a purpose, inception and process of adoption. These terms are fully explained in the article. They involve a significant shift in the way you think about your future customer, audience or user. To make a start, forget the technology, think about your user’s motivations and what you can do do to add value to their experiences. And finally, can your user identify and explain the value inherent in your product to his network?