As Michal and I discuss, organizations need to be prepared for a constant state of change.
I mention the work of W. Edwards Deming after the second World War to help Japan rebuild, and his work at improving operational effectiveness, which folds into the Japanese word “Kaizen,” which is the process of continual improvement. Companies must get comfortable with change, and evolve their cultures to better support testing ideas, experimenting with new tools and capabilities, and not be afraid to fail – but to learn from these experiments, constantly refining and improving their business systems.
An important point that Michal mentions is the importance of understanding the “context” to the work you perform. It is difficult to understand where to make changes, and how to change, if the feedback received is out of context of the work being done.
One of the major limitations for organizational change is the IT-centric view of the digital workplace, where IT is often a roadblock to end users to get the features they need to accomplish their work. It’s a fairly common scenario in modern business for information workers to start using tools and services on their own, without the prior approval from IT. From a traditional IT-perspective, the user is going outside of the approved tool set and approval process, and therefore the effort must be shut down. However, the information worker’s goal is to get their work done in the fastest, most effective manner.
Rather than shut down this “rogue IT” behavior, the IT team should try to understand why the end users have gone around the established procedures. Are the existing tools too limited? Is it a training/education issue? Does the end user understand the additional risk and management issues with using this unsupported tool or service? The point here is to put the problem in context, and develop a shared understanding of the problem – and how to best move forward with everyone’s interests considered. Transparency and a shared understanding are critical to a successful digital workplace strategy.