The way business works in the modern world is constantly changing, innovating and adapting, and not just because of technology and all the opportunities that brings, although this has been a key driver that has impacted all areas.
If you consider a business or organisation of the 50’s or 60’s for example, versus one now, the differences are immeasurable. Take a peek at the US show Madmen if you want a blast from the past and a stark reminder.
Computers, smart phones, Skype, telecommuting, and many other technological advancements mean that organisations can be leaner in the physical environment of work, as well as giving employees more flexibility of how and where they work, but sometimes problems with boundaries as well.
There is a far greater emphasis on collaboration and team based projects, meaning social skills are of greater importance than ever before. In the bad old days when we sat glued to seats in individual offices we could be more anti-social and self -absorbed. It didn’t occur to us to check in on our neighbouring offices to offer support or insight, or ask for feedback and peer review, because out of sight meant out of mind. And each role seemed so unrelated and compartmentalised there was almost zero opportunity for collaboration.
Today we are all about team work and common goals, and this has not only increased productivity and output but increased job satisfaction in the process. The boundaries between roles, departments and even job categories have become blurred and task and knowledge sharing is the norm.
“Innovation—the heart of the knowledge economy—is fundamentally social.’ – Malcolm Gladwell
Due to the need for constant change to keep a competitive edge, organisations tend to be leaner and more agile, with the capacity to reorganise or redesign, to gain an advantage or keep up with industry trends. Team members at all levels are involved in informing and impacting on strategic direction and business decisions, and a less hierarchical authoritarian approach is essential to facilitate this way of working.
The customer is always right, and always has been, however there is a focus to identify customer value, improving the buying experience, and seeing the organisation from the outside in, where feedback from external stakeholders is not only welcome but sought, and then acted upon. The Value chain is front of mind, ensuring all processes improve and not detract from the customer experience, and anything that doesn’t add value is considered ‘wastage’ and will be eliminated wherever possible.
Technology has put extra pressure to be constantly connected and switched on, making it hard for some people to draw a line between work and play, but when the balance is right, team members with flexible working conditions and locations find it easier to enjoy a work life balance unheard of in years gone by. And it is recognised, encouraged and even rewarded so that people have the opportunity to change roles, organisations and even careers many times in their employment life, as opposed to previous generations, where a person may reasonably be expected to have a job for life, whether enjoyable or not, and value adding to the company or not.
Increasing pressure to be competitive and customer focused, as well as the ever changing technological landscape impacting on communication and information sharing means that modern ways or working are evolving at a rate faster than our parents and their parents could ever have imagined. You’d better hold onto your seats, (and devices) as we can expect more and faster change with each coming year and all the excitement and personal growth that comes with it.
This is an exciting time to be a leader and it can also be demanding. Perhaps it’s time you polished up your leadership skills. Talk to Sonia about her new Leadership Accelerator One On One Coaching Program. It’s designed to get you where you want to be. Find out more at email@example.com or 1300 719 665 TODAY
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