20141106planning

Re-Imagining Effective Work (aka Digital Transformation) – Going Beyond Work Practice

In the series:
Re-Imagining Effective Work (aka Digital Transformation) – What Is This?

The re-imagining discipline / mindset / methodology isn’t content to stop at how new tools—of which Office 365 is but one example—impact work practice. If you embrace the work practice transformations as the first step, you will probably see some changes start to filter through into the subsequent levels too. Organisational structure may pivot or morph, because hierarchy isn’t required to assign work to the right people; with new tools you can find the right people to engage with, and get their input using co-authoring directly.

Or more significantly, executives may decide that having an internal corporate legal function is no longer needed, and instead work is distributed across a legal marketplace for the right expert—with whom you share online team sites and secure co-authoring of documents.

Or that the product designer can now be a freelancer who lives a continent away, but is deeply involved in design meetings using OneNote and a Surface Hub.

Corporate culture can change too, away from a divisive and competitive one, to a pull-together collaborative one as people start to work with others across what was previously a silo based design. Where it was us vs. them internally instead of everyone in the same boat, now the boat is recognized, embraced, and becomes part of the cultural ethos.

And perhaps business model changes too, although starting from the tools and pushing toward a business model change can be a challenge.

As an alternative step-by-step approach, you can apply the re-imagining discipline / mindset / methodology from the other direction, but that requires an upfront deep sense of what’s possible in business model / culture / organisational structure design as a consequence of new technology. It’s like asking for a meeting with someone on the other side of the world: if the only technology you have available (or that you have internalised in your decision making / evaluative approach) is the wooden sailing ship, then the prospect of a 7-8 month return journey in order to have a meeting is likely to be rejected outright. Most in the business world realise we have much faster options available to us … from the 24 to 30 hour flights with Air New Zealand (or another carrier of choice), to a phone call, to a Skype meeting, to a Facetime call. But those more recent options have to become internalised into how work can be done in order for a good decision to be made on having a meeting.

The internalisation process of what’s possible is required when exploring transformation of the business model, corporate culture, and the organisational structure.

More to come …

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