Redesigning Work

One of the exciting things right now is that we currently have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redesign work to ensure that it’s meaningful, productive and impactful for everyone. But what does that involve?

In a recent mini-webinar for The People Space, Prof. Lynda Gratton shared some of the approaches she has seen recently.

PwC – The professional services firm has taken the lead in using technology to shape the way networks are formed around its organisation. Employees can now use state-of-the-art VR goggles to meet each other, explore conference room events and connect unexpectedly.

IBM – The multinational technology company is transforming the way its managers work by using chatbots to talk to employees about their careers. They also use data scraping and machine learning to give managers visibility over what’s happening in the business and provide deeper insight on how managerial roles and responsibilities can be redesigned.

Telstra – The Australian telecoms giant is one step ahead in the evolution of its management structure. They have split management responsibilities into two distinct streams: Leaders of work who manage projects, scheduling and resource benches; and leaders of people: who manage and support employees by helping them upskill, reskill and plan their careers.

Goldman Sachs – The investment bank has famously announced that its employees need to be in the office full-time – bucking the trend for redesigning work set by other financial services firms like Schroders. While this might seem short-sighted to some, it’s a perfect example of letting employees and candidates know exactly what the deal is upfront and sending a clear message to those who do (or don’t) want something more flexible.

Artemis Connection – This strategic consulting firm has a fully virtual working model and has a structured onboarding process for new joiners so they can learn how the organisation structures its time.

These examples demonstrate that organisations are learning that they can be a lot more idiosyncratic in the way they design work. But there are some things they all need to incorporate. The first is to keep an eye on productivity. CEOs have long been wary of redesigning work because of the risk it poses to getting work done. This can be overcome by taking a design perspective to modelling and building new working structures while also thinking about the unintended consequences. Understanding the forces behind productivity: energy, focus, cooperation, time and place and getting the combination of these things right so they support what people are doing in the moment is vital for both immediate success and long-lasting impact.

Are you redesigning how your organisation works? Then watch Lynda’s video here to find out more.