Been lots of talk recently regarding transitions in the economy, change in the workplace, new world order etc etc etc. Sure I’ve heard many of these messages before, so it led me to the attic to browse through some old books. Found the Ricado Semler book “Maverick” when the first shoots of democracy in the workplace were mentioned (could look back much future to books on the Russia Revolution or even Rousseau but it was the weekend and family time was limited – getting way off track here). Here was an example of the collective being used to steer and direct the future of the organisation. Employees, through self-interest, had real opportunities to fulfil those values of trust that each corporate brochure preaches about. It was examples like these that moved me into the work where we enable individuals to fulfil their full potential and each have a stake in their organisations.
I wonder how far we have come since then? I am a great believer in technology being an enabler in what we do. I’ve used it to achieve work/life balance, enabling me to play a large and active part in my young son’s development. On a personal level I can feel satisfied. But on a professional level what has really changed within organisations?
In our glorious world of knowledge, social media and intranets I wonder if we can find any examples of technology actually changing the way a company is structured and makes ‘real’ decisions. I know the a CEO may use social media to communicate to employees but isn’t that really just an extension of the email or the previous staff conference? Does anyone know of a company, anywhere, large or small, that uses technology to ’empower’ in a meaningful way – shifting the decision making process, not only for a few products but for the way the company is organised or structured?