Our 21st Century Organization blog is celebrating its first half year. To mark the occasion we're posting our list of the trends that have caught our attention.
Do these jibe with the issues on your mind about creative effective organizations for a complex, competitive, connected global business environment?
1. Disorganization is alive and well
"growing pressure inside organizations. People now want their work to be more aligned with human values", the multiple forces at work and why "future organizations must 'loosen up'."
The publication is recommended reading and we can't help but agree.
2. New Network Based Organizational Models are Emerging
Such efforts are works in progress. Bottomline, organizational models that "box" functions are no longer adequate to describe and manage in a networked world where increasingly ecosystems of partners, suppliers, and customers, along with employees, are key players in creating value and business success.
3. Collective Intelligence Supercedes Assets Based Mindset
In a growing range of applications, from consumers turning to Amazon ratings for book buying guidance, to internal prediction markets at Google guiding resource allocation for new products, to Corning involving industry partners in predicting product demand, technology enables "The Wisdom of Crowds" to be tapped.
Leaders are beginning to understand that individuals involved with their organizations, from employees through business partners expect to have more voice in decisionmaking. Technologies exist to enable interactive participation beyond data mining and CRM.
4. Social Media is Forcing and Enabling Change
Starting with blogs and growing into the high profile social networking and media sharing sites ranging from MySpace to YouTube and Linkedin, consumer expectations about having a voice, contributing publicly to conversations, being heard and connected have changed. This fall, UC Berkeley requires all incoming freshmen to take a mandatory social networking course. Embarrassing high profile public disgruntled consumer challenges to AOL, Dell and GM testify to the power of social media and networked voices.
Companies are not only adapting their marketing to become part of the public conversation about their brands but also finding social media at work inside their organizations harnessing ideas, supporting innovation and empowering employees.
Organizational structures need to adapt to a world of multiple voices and reduced effectiveness of communications from the centre.
5. New Skill Sets and Roles are Emerging
Dan Pink's "A Whole New Mind" is just the start of recognizing the impact of forces including technology and globalization on the new skill sets and roles organizations need to find and train. Shortages of online advertising talent is one example we have written about. Developing individuals who demonstrate both quantitative and qualitative talent is in high demand as certain work comodifies and is outsourced. IBM for example continues to insure its pipeline by solidyfying relationships with major universities.
6. The Networked Individual is the New Group
To explain read Victoria's post but the reality of technology enabled, connected individuals is transforming the way people work in organizations and consumer demand.
7. Mathematics and Science Increasingly Rule
It is no coincidence in our view that the most interesting business conference of the year promises to be The World Science Forum. In all areas of organizations from product development, through information technology to finance and human resources management, the demands for intelligent quantitative skills is growing. The emergence of Organizational Network Analysis and Prediction Markets, (two fields we monitor), manifest the trend. Victoria's post about SNA, Validity and N.S.A.'s Phone Numbers points out the potential for failure.
8. The Challenge from the Next Generation of Employees
While business is pre-occupied with the departure of baby boomers and losing the knowledge in their heads, the next generation entering the workforce brings new challenges. Socially networked, accepting collaboration as part of life, and experienced in virtual game environments, they bring great expectations about working connectedly. Victoria's post about Second Life and lessons for organizational learning addresses this trend. And, if you are still in doubt, enjoy the New Yorker cover of young student off to school with My Space, VideoiPod and You Tube in frontal brain.
9. The Future is Green
GE's very publicly announced focus on "ecoimagination" and the U.S.automakers scurrying to make competitive alternative fuel vehicles reflects a pragmatic business climate where organizations need to be environmentally aware. BP's recent costly oil spills and Alaska pipeline failures reveal the business risk of not behaving "green".
10. Healthy Workplaces
In a technology enabled, connected global business world, the pressures on individual employees are forcing smart organizations to pay closer attention to work environments. And not just physical but also psychologically healthy work places. Read Suzanne's post for more.
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