Organisations in all industries boost their preparedness for the New-Era-of-Workplace by assessing their next-generation strengths and weaknesses in light of their key strategic priorities
The next step is to discover which enablers hold the highest value for them and then move toward building their transformation roadmap.
The transformation journey begins by unlocking the right set of the New-Era-of-Workplace enablers.
Where do you begin, and in which direction do you head?
Tomorrow’s corporate winners have already started to adapt their corporate operating models, by enabling efficiencies and savings realised through shared services outsourcing – particularly for heavily regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services, which must grapple with issues such as privacy, compliance and security
Here are the 5 key New-Era-of-Workplace Enablers
Innovation & Collaboration
Creation of an environment to breed and enable innovation of products and services.
Product and service innovation can no longer be an internal affair of the enterprise.
For example Procter & Gamble, devised the Connect+Develop program accesses externally that allows internally developed know-how to be used by others. According to P&G, 50% of its product initiatives involve significant collaboration with outside innovators. As a result it boosted innovation productivity by 60%, and generated more than $10 billion in revenue from over 400 new products.
A Bain survey revealed that nearly six in 10 managers believe their companies could dramatically boost innovation by collaborating outside with other companies.
Next-generation enterprises will encourage and foster employee collaborative engagement using platforms of collaboration, not just on specific projects but for day-to-day work
Collaborative platforms can also be formed for specific communities, such as centers of excellence, research and development or domains in which to engage with partners, suppliers or customers.
Already, organisations are using platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to build rapport and transactional relationships. Northwest Airlines used Twitter to gather feedback on proposed flight schedules and routes.
London Business School Professor Michael G. Jacobides has recently argued that successful companies do not compete in a sector; they shape the nature of a sector. They redefine the part of the value chain they occupy, and keep most of the value-add through the intelligent design of their collaboration with others in the sector.
Thus collaboration is not just a tool for doing the same things more effectively. At its most powerful, it can reshape an entire market, as Apple has shown
Apple redefined the mobile music sector by outsourcing the production of the devices and accessories, while retaining control of the iTunes software. In other words, it recognised that it could make money by creating and orchestrating a network of relationships – by controlling, rather than owning.
Apple used three specific tactics to change the rules of the game. It enhanced the mobility of the parts of the sector in which it has no presence, by establishing a small set of suppliers who know that they can be replaced at any time. It made itself into a bottleneck, by holding onto the music format and ensuring that files compatible with iPod can only be played on iPod devices.
And it redefined who did what, by encouraging other companies to develop accessories rather than entering the accessories market itself. This has enabled it to benefit from the efforts of those that support its architecture, without making any capital commitment itself.
Knowledge that is collective, collaborative, and continuous is unstoppable
We need to take steps to enable all employees to contribute creative and practical information and ideas that others can utilise and build on. User-generated content is most likely an organisation’s best strategy in building and sharing the knowledge and skills of its workforce.
A couple of ways in which collective know-how is captured and disseminated are via informal learning (i.e. learning through daily interactions and shared relationships) and social learning (microblogs, online communities of practice, etc.).
The paradigm of learning being primarily classroom-based shifted years ago, and informal learning is effective for helping employees learn institutional knowledge such as who the “go-to” people are for specific information, learning the names, faces, titles and responsibilities of key personnel, and getting new hires up to speed on company history and happenings during their on-boarding process.
The move into a leaner, more connected organisation creates the need to accelerate and broaden leadership development, develop different and more relevant leadership competencies, and create deeper, more targeted levels of bench strength to fill the succession pipeline
That succession pipeline should extend several layers below the executive level, but never lose focus on the future needs of the business, especially when it comes to market opportunities. As a result, we must ensure they have an ample bench of successor candidates at multiple levels in the organisation that align (via skills, competencies, cultures, etc.) with those opportunities. We must also provide a clear and transparent link between those roles and the programs required to develop and provide exposure and visibility to their high potentials.
Succession activities also need to focus on critical roles, regardless of where in the organisational hierarchy they are found.
This applies to identification of top talent that spans new-hire management programs, to high-potential development programs, to development programs that target ready-now successors. It also applies to those not selected for such programs. Lack of clarity around the criteria coupled with insufficient opportunities to develop professionally will not only disengage employees, but will also build a sense of distrust and may ultimately lead to undesired turnover of quality talent.
This purposeful application of planning for successors both layers below the executive level as well as more broadly across critical roles— which must also be integrated with other talent management processes such as talent acquisition, on-boarding, performance management, learning, and leadership development— is a must.
Next-generation enterprises also need to make choices around how they empower and enable their employees in terms of decision-making authority leveraging individual skills and teamwork.
With more future-facing companies using dispersed and virtual teams, employees are expected to function in any location and without regular face-to-face contact with managers or other employees.
In addition, companies need to meet new expectations of empowerment and flexibility, by enabling workers with collaboration tools and communication-rich mobile devices will increase their effectiveness
McDonald’s UK, deployed a cloud-based employee benefits portal, named: Our Lounge. There employees can check schedule and shift information, as well as health and financial information.
Flexible work policies are also important to empower
Next-generation enterprises will need to enable virtual teams to collaborate across geographies, time zones and functions. Virtual teams need a cohesive, automated and reliable way to share schedules, documents; identify who has the information they’re seeking; keep each other up-to-date; conduct meetings; post updates; disseminate critical information on a timely basis; and more.
According to a Cognizant study in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit, virtual teams using collaborative tools experience measurable increases in productivity and innovation, as well as advantages in talent recruitment and retention.
InterContinental equips its concierge teams with iPads to provide guest services such as finding maps and directions, offering video recommendations and allowing instant bookings and confirmations (a trend that other fast-followers like Hilton and Starwood have recently adopted).
P&G offers more than 70 mobile coupons that have been redeemed in supermarket chains around the world.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has launched a “social seating” application. The service enables passengers to link their social media profile to their check-in information and then choose a seating partner based on the profiles of other passengers.
Value chain disaggregation Flexible service delivery
Value chain disaggregation will open new opportunities to leverage suppliers and locations around the world to lower costs, access new markets and more quickly respond to changing market dynamics and more complex product and service requirements.
For example, rather than owning and managing their own transportation fleets, some organisations are now using service providers to perform third-party logistics. Similarly, businesses are breaking apart their finance function and moving elements like expense processing to providers with expertise in that area.
Next-generation enterprises have many choices for optimising the cost and capabilities of their technology infrastructures, from on-premises, to cloud-based, to as-a-service computing models.
An example is Domino’s Pizza UK, which moved its e-commerce, online payment, corporate e-mail and back-office systems to the cloud, with the aim of increasing scalability and saving money. Domino’s hopes this transition will allow its IT team to focus less on maintenance activities and more on innovation.
Scalability was a major reason for McDonald’s UK’s choice of a cloud-based solution for its employee portal. Using Amazon as a hosting provider enables McDonald’s to more easily deploy the portal across the company than if it were within its own data center.