As experts outline, the future of work offers multi-dimensional connectivity between individuals and teams usually kept apart in current organizations. Because hierarchy, workplace and collaboration tools are evolving, companies need to investigate the value of constructive thinking to develop innovation while engaging both leaders and employees to create value, building cultures where change is positive and being good a necessity.
1 Reporting models are changing
“In the near future, reporting relationships will get confusing since work will cross department and company lines and people will have an ever-changing array of formal and informal managers. Employees will have to be more spontaneous, proactively creating new designs and models to deal with the issues at hand.”
Alexandra Levit, The Fast Track
2 Innovation requires risk taking attitudes
“If workers feel pressure to deliver results in the short-term, either for fear of being fired or in order to be promoted, they may be less likely to pursue riskier innovations. On the other hand, if failure in the short-term is acceptable or even rewarded, and if workers have a stake in the company’s long-term performance, they should be more likely to innovate.”
Walter Frick, HBR
3 Breakthrough ideas are needed
“Avoiding a decline in innovation is difficult; some of Silicon Valley’s best-known companies have struggled with the problem. And because large companies can face big difficulties in developing breakthrough ideas, new innovations may continue to emerge from small firms.”
Louise Lee, Insights by Stanford Business
4 Remote working enhances productivity
“The need to retain employees isn’t the only reason it’s important to provide remote-working arrangements. The study, conducted from July through October of this year, also found that 62 percent of employees say they are more productive working outside the office.”
Will Yacowicz, INC
5 The future of work is about communities
“Social is when you see the Future of Work as the restoration of authentic Community at scale, where people are part of an ecosystem, regardless of whether they are staff or customers. Social as a community is where you see people experiencing the joy of co-caring and co-creating as members of a community which is global and generous.”
Jeremy Scrivens, LinkedIn
6 We need great digital stories to tell
““The CIO needs to give the CEO great digital business stories to tell,” said Mr. Iyengar. “Stories stick, they spread ideas and change culture. Look outside your country, region and industry for great digital stories. Or make your CEO the next big digital story.”
Susan Moore, Gartner
7 Work with positive deviant
“The key principles of the Positive Deviance approach are:
- Communities already have the solutions. They are the best experts to solve their problems.
- Communities self-organize and have the human resources and social assets to solve an agreed-upon problem.
- Collective intelligence and know-how is not concentrated in the leadership of a community alone or in external experts but is distributed throughout the community.
- Sustainability as the cornerstone of the approach.
- It is easier to change behaviour by practicing it rather than knowing about it.
8 Make change a value
“Creating value in a continuously changing environment is crucial. Not only changes that derive from innovation, technology and the economy, but also change as a consequence of failures will define your company’s role within an ecosystem”.
9 Communities to build “esprit de corps”
“In increasingly global organizations, communities involved in change efforts are often physically distant from one another. Providing an outlet for colleagues to share and see all the information related to a task, including progress updates and informal commentary, can create an important esprit de corps.”
Boris Ewenstein, Wesley Smith, and Ashvin Sologar, McKinsey
10 Consciously building company cultures
A corporate culture will form whether it’s engineered or not, and if leadership doesn’t consciously shape the culture in the direction they want, it may end up taking a slow turn down a dark alley, a la Barclays Bank — who tried to fix the Libor rate and then attempted to blame the banks shortcoming on corporate culture.
Elli Bishop, Office Vibe
11 Moving outside comfort zone
“Opening your mind to new ideas, Barbee writes, takes stepping out of the familiar into what he calls the “yikes zone.” Again, it sounds simple: Start by deciding to do a few things that you ordinarily avoid.”
Anne Fisher, Fortune
12 Others can be right as well
“Stubbornness has its place, but thinking you’re right and taking criticism aren’t mutually exclusive. Most of the time, critics are trying to help. You should allow specialists on your team to specialize, then use that expertise to weigh in on the things they know about, even if what they’re saying comes out as a critique. That not only encourages autonomy within your ranks, it also improves the likelihood that your company will make the right decisions at the right times.”
Kyu Lee, Fast Company
13 Engage leaders to be “good”
“In the fight for talent, the current dismal state of employee engagement is no longer tenable. Furthermore, there are too many “best of” exemplars of companies that are doing things right and turning a profit at the same time for firms and leaders to rationalize their bad behavior as “just business.” I believe we can, want, and must to do better.”
Susan Cramm, Strategy & Business
In order to help innovation leaders and practitioners achieve these objectives, weareinnovation.org has published “Diversity as a success story“, a first report as part of its “Beautiful Diversity” initiative, enabling individuals to develop smart innovation using diversity. Based on analyses and articles shared and developed in our global think l@b, this report highlights key thoughts and messages initially shared by business experts, innovation experts and leaders who see differing views and personalities as a key component of a sustainable and smart innovation. “Diversity as a success story” enables innovation practitioners, leaders and learners to understand the critical value of inner and outer diversity as a way to build from differences and develop a human-centric innovation.