Organizations are becoming "unbundled" before our eyes. Learn some of the most important characteristics of the new organization and how this works.
- Once you accept that an organization is simply a set of problems to be solved, you start to see the vision of an unbundled organization with the potential for a dynamically formed workforce. In an unbundled organization, we'll all gain a tremendous amount of efficiency, but we have to make sure we don't lose our focus on providing meaningful work for people. Suppose that instead of having a team that works for you, you could simply use an app to state the results you needed along with what you'd pay to have that work done and how quickly you needed it.
You press a button and then seemingly magically, when you need it, the results simply appear. Well, those apps exist already today. Think of them as work clouds, pools of skilled workers who can rapidly join to solve problems. Just like you have applications in data sitting in the cloud housed on computers you'll never see, these virtual work groups are composed of skilled professionals, some of whom you may never meet and may never meet each other. Many organizations use these virtual work groups to solve new problems.
Imagine for example, if the next time someone in your organization came up with an idea for a new product or service, and rather than hiring a completely new work group, you simply put out a request to the cloud for the product to be designed and created. You could even include your organization's existing employees in that pool of talent and give them priority to be chosen for the work that needed to be done. Now once you start to see work as this completely unbundled set of processes, you realize that what we call the organization today is a 20th century approach to a 21st century world, and in fact, as more and more work becomes unbundled, every single organization will need to rethink its core purpose and its core skill set.
Consider this an opportunity to do a complete redesign of how work gets applied to problems. Now to some managers, this probably sounds like the ultimate in efficiency, the ability to deliver results with the most cost effective human resources. And to some managers, this probably sounds like the ultimate nightmare, delivering results with the most cost effective human resources, but without any of the personal dynamics of a well managed team in person. Now you won't see entire organizations switching over to this model any time soon.
What you're likely to first see is that this dynamic work environment is being used in startup companies, and in fact many startups start levering overseas developers when they begin. But even traditional organizations under pressure to manage costs and speed innovation will experiment with this approach with increasing frequency. And we move towards this brave new world of unbundled work, we need to make sure we don't become so focused on efficiency that we remove the role of people.
Using these work clouds could mean we don't need people at all and for a growing amount of tasks, we'd simply actually automate a big chunk of the work that's being done. Instead, as we rethink the very nature of organizations, the value they create for their customers and other stakeholders, we've a tremendous chance to enhance the role of people, giving them increasing opportunities to use their creativity and unique skills to solve an increasing range of problems.
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- Dealing with disruptive change and the new rules of work
- Establishing a new contract with workers
- Rethinking job qualifications
- Hiring for diversity and inclusion
- Identifying key skills for adaptive workers
- Helping your team become lifelong learners
- Leveraging automation for your team
- Becoming an adaptive manager
- Making human resources a partner
- Recognizing when your adaptive strategy is working