The nature of work is changing and it’s happening fast. So fast, in fact that companies are struggling to keep up with the changes. Reorganizing for the Digital Age is a challenge that all companies will have to face. Only 11 percent of global companies report they are prepared to build “the organization of the future,” according to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report, “Rewriting the Rules for the Digital Age.”
In an article Deloitte Finds HR Departments Struggle to Keep Up with Digital Revolution the authors state “Work and job redesign around RPA, cognitive, and AI, will be a major trend in the coming years.”
Human first, software second
While there is no doubt that technology is behind the digital revolution taking place, whatever happens next has to be shaped by human thinking. However, if that thinking takes place within the silos that currently exist within most corporations today then any solutions developed will be sub-optimal at best.
It’s not enough to rethink workflows for the digital age. We have to rethink how we work and how we organize. We have to overcome silos and think and work systemically. Software is naturally the greatest and most natural enhancer of working digitally. However, if we think that software alone is the solution then we are heading for disaster (Dr. Goldratt called the software his firm developed “Disaster” to make this point!)
Software has to be built so that it accompanies, facilitates and empowers the rethinking necessary for change and successful work in the Digital Age. It must help transform ideas into actions. The right kind of software based on the right kind of thinking can support digitalization and the creation of the digital supply chain (see Hyphen Italia who are thought leaders in this field).
Building the organization of the future
The question becomes, what does an organization look like that is capable of adapting and thriving in the Digital Age? We are seeing a solution unfolding by organizing the work as a whole system based on a Network of Projects. In this way, traditional hierarchies and silos are replaced by a network hierarchy of hubs and nodes and teams based on competencies that work on synchronized production of goods and services with a continuous improvement and continuous innovation mindset. This is made possible through adopting a radically effective method of Project Management known as Critical Chain, and the systemic Thinking Process Tools from the Theory of Constraints.
There is no digitalization without reorganization and reorganization can be supported through digital means. But first it has to be thought through and tested with systemic logic for robustness, implications and the right sequence of actions to make it happen.
Sign up to our blog here and shift your thinking towards broader, systemic possibilities for yourself and your organization.
About the Author
Angela Montgomery Ph.D. is Partner and Co-founder of Intelligent Management and author of the business novel+ website The Human Constraint . This downloadable novel uses narrative to look at how the Deming approach and the Theory of Constraints can create the organization of the future, based on collaboration, network and social innovation. She is co-author with Dr. Domenico Lepore, founder, and Dr. Giovanni Siepe of ‘Quality, Involvement, Flow: The Systemic Organization’ from CRC Press, New York.