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.


Worker empowerment

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.

Customer empowerment

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.