Enterprises are under pressure. The problem is that it’s not just one kind of pressure. The pressure is coming from external sources like disruptive start-ups, more nimble competitors, and the general pressure to get things to market faster. They are also facing pressure internally, especially from their technology staff. Development and operations people have choices in where they work. Instead of accepting the status-quo or worse, they can work for a fast moving start-up or a progressive organization that offers them modern tools and an innovative culture.
None of this is new information, but there is win-win that can come from this scenario. Take for instance the rise of the hackathon. Why would a company organize an off-hours development event complete with beer, pizza and prizes? At their expense no less? Because they can get a two-fold return. 1) They can create a work environment that is focused on innovation and technical achievement (which technical staff almost demands at this point), and 2) they can get ideas that they would never come up within the course of their normal business operations. These are ideas that can enhance the company’s go-to-market strategy and possibly make the company more competitive.
It is a win for the company and a win for the employee. Some things can be one sided: if the employee is logging extra hours it’s a win for the company but often not for the employee. To be competitive in today’s environment where every edge counts, companies need to find the win-win scenarios. Companies need their employees to be more productive than ever while maintaining an environment where employees want to deliver their best.
This concept can be extended to the tools used in day-to-day operations. Why would any employee (or employer for that matter) want to work with dated technology that is frustrating to work with and slows down the overall effort? This is a lose-lose for both sides of the equation. Clearly as the representative of a productivity company I have an ax to grind, but enterprises need to be aggressive in these pursuits. In some cases their very survival depends on it. In other cases it’s an outstanding opportunity to reposition their organization for the future, and reap the benefits.
In future posts we’ll discuss how the cloud, productivity tools, work environment, organizational structure and innovative approaches contribute to the “enterprise win-win”. Clearly business has changed. Both employees and employers will need to work together to create an environment that keeps pace with the new speed of business. Both can win.
Always interested in what you think — let me know in the comments.