Culture & Competency

WWPYCBW: Strategy and People (September 1, 2008)

Open Work Strategy
Mindy wonders whether more could be made of the “open work” strategy, where people work remotely from an office. “It is clear to all of us that we are now living in a world different from one that any other generation has worked in: a world where I panic if I leave the house without my BlackBerry and see my laptop as an extension of myself. Yet the silver lining to being connected 24/7 is that it not only enables me to get my work done from anywhere–it allows me to avoid buying $4-a-gallon gasoline or taking another flight to the U.K., benefiting both the environment and my wallet. And it makes me wonder–are we really maximizing the impact of open work as a strategy to combat rising energy use, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and the greater climate change crisis?

Wiki Adoption Strategy
Seth suggests a new technology adoption strategy of the extreme demonstration of the brokenness of current approaches. Eg, he outlines a way of showing someone how bad email and Word are for co-authoring a document. “All humor aside, sometimes the only way to change people’s ingrained behavior is to offer an alternative that is substantially easier. It has to be a big improvement because old habits are hard to break. Starting to use a wiki can be hard for people accustomed to Microsoft Word. They will initially get frustrated and resort to what they know. If you can’t eliminate the learning curve of a wiki, you can expose the inefficiency of collaborating without one. The next time they launch Word, they will remember their painful experience and think twice.

Collaboration Tensions
Bruce examines the tensions in collaboration, and discusses what makes collaboration successful. “As we have already seen, processes are by definition an oxymoron when it comes to collaboration. On the one hand, processes imply consistency, repeatability and reliability, Six Sigma being an excellent example of this. On the other hand, collaboration excels when there are few, if any constraints in place, there is a place to develop informal working, innovation and spontaneity can thrive.” He concludes by talking about the 4G process that his firm offers.

Categories: Culture & Competency