Q&A: Trends and Issues in Operation Design
In the field of OD are there any emerging issues and, what trends do you foresee in the future of OD?
I think the biggest issue facing OD is the challenge of helping organizations transform to take advantage of the capabilities offered by new social media technology. Here’s my perspective:
New technologies are making their way into the workplace, offering significant improvements in generating, capturing, and sharing knowledge, finding helpful colleagues and information, tapping into new sources of innovation and expertise, and harnessing the “wisdom of crowds.” Over time, these collaborative technologies will change the way work is done and the way organizations function. They will shift the way we interact with people on our teams, find external expertise when it’s needed, and share ideas and observations more broadly.
We are on the brink of an important transformation. Today’s technologies enable a very different level of business performance. The frontier of human productive capacity is the power of extended collaboration – the ability to work together beyond the scope of small groups.
But realizing the benefits of these new capabilities is not as straightforward as installing a document-sharing or Facebook-like application inside your organization. People aren’t necessarily as motivated to share documents at work as they are to share baby photos in their personal lives. Identifying relevant business connections isn’t as clear cut as finding old high school friends. The range of activities that collaborative technologies can take on to enhance performance and drive increased productivity in the workplace is far broader than the activities most of us have explored during our personal use. Perhaps most importantly, many of our existing work practices actually hinder the successful use of extended collaboration.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Filed under: Innovation | Published: 12/06/11
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