I don’t know the origin of this statement, it might be a Chinese proverb – or even a curse. But we certainly live in very interesting times with a lot of changes continuously reshaping the way we work, live and especially interact with each other. Five of the most compelling forces at work:
- Bye, bye pyramids welcome participation: not long ago a corporation had a few individuals in charge on top and a huge bulk at the lower levels, similar to a pyramid. Forward-looking companies are now pushing decision making authority down to employees at all levels and what has become very popular is including partners and CUSTOMERS. Thanks to networking everybody can help shaping a company and clever companies extremely benefit of sharing.
- From employment to empowerment: the end-user employee has got much more power in an organization than he ever had. Employees carry around portable skills, portable resources and portable networks empowering them to adapt to new environments and situations. Employees remain connected in real time and the whole world opens up to them. Blogs, wikis, search engines and the like have transformed our workspaces into one single gigantic virtual workplace. We don’t depend on anybody we now leverage resources from across the globe.
- From “high tech” to “high touch:” a phrase by John Naisbitt some 30-plus years ago. Technology needs a human touch and the rise of mobile technologies and social networking illustrate this trend.
- From a “busy” to “burst” economy: in the past staff was busy but that’s no longer enough. Busy employees are judged on their attendance on a 9 to 5 basis. Today individuals engage in the “burst” economy. They have the ability to deliver information and insights, regardless of the time and place from which they are working.
- From vertical to virtual organizations: the one man show is over. No longer can organizations afford to attempt to do everything on their own – networks of partners, contractors and communities can provide targeted services with greater efficiency.
Not embracing these trends, not utilizing today’s technology will end in excluding yourself from making progress and there is only progress or regression. And this doesn’t only apply to businesses it also applies to everyday life. Connect or you will be pushed aside.