‘Digital workplace’ is the concept that there is a virtual equivalent to the physical workplace, and that this needs to be planned and managed coherently because it is fundamental to people’s productivity, engagement and working health.
This is not a precise definition; just as the notion of ‘workplace’ itself has ill-defined boundaries, so the shape of a digital workplace will vary between organisations. However, at its heart it is about:
Putting people first – the impact on employees is what makes the digital workplace important. A technology layer – advances in technology are driving changes in the digital workplace, and this is what makes it a current issue. Management and design – proactively developing a digital workplace means addressing it as a whole and co-ordinating between technology, process and people aspects.
When we try to define what a “digital organization” is, what first comes to mind are technological devices: employees toting laptops, permanently connected to a shared, real-time flow of information on virtual platforms, constantly communicating with customers or suppliers – people working from anywhere, with others they have never met in person.
But digitization is more than just a change of tools. Daily practices, workplace structures, reporting relationships, information sharing, customer interaction, and even competition are also thereby transformed. Becoming a true digital organization is not just about becoming tech-savvy. It means embracing a new culture and mindset, where hierarchy fades and innovation happens through networks.
In the corporate world, businesses are regularly graded on the value of their assets: They report to their shareholders about the physical assets they own, their cash in hand, and revenues and profits, both past and expected. But when it comes to measuring their knowledge assets — the value of those can be harder to gauge. However, the entrepreneurial management of knowledge assets can be critical to the success of any business.
In this interview with Knowledge@Wharton, Wharton management professor Ian MacMillan, who is also director of the Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center, and Wharton adjunct professor Martin Ihrig, who is also a practice professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, talk about how organizations can determine which of their knowledge assets are the most strategically relevant, and how best to deploy them.
Many companies struggle with digital transformation. It goes against the grain of established ways of working and is a threat to management practices that have existed for decades. Digital tools free people throughout the organization to share information easily. Communication managers no longer have total control over message, target, and timing of news and announcements. Horizontal and bottom-up information flows become stronger at the expense of the traditional top-down.
The workplace is turning digital and IT needs to be able to provide the business with what it needs to stay competitive and get the work done. Tomorrow could bring apps at the office that, like Netflix, allow you to do your on-boarding and training on-demand online. Organize work events on a responsive site that's ready to go. Or maybe organize carpools with an Uber style app. Perhaps a digital work “Amazon”-like classifieds intranet.
These changes are happening now, we need to transform and break away from the routine.
Being successful in using the strategy of collaboration requires three pre-conditions: practice, process, and potential. Without these, the likelihood of success with collaboration is severely diminished. Pre-Condition 1.
"Jean Lave, Etiene Wenger and communities of practice. The idea that learning involves a deepening process of participation in a community of practice has gained significant ground in recent years. Communities of practice have also become an important focus within organizational development and have considerable value when thinking about working with groups. In this article we outline the theory and practice of such communities, and examine some of issues and questions for informal educators and those concerned with lifelong learning."
"An effective suite of enterprise social tools can help organizations share knowledge, collaborate, and cooperate – connecting the work being done with the identification of new opportunities and ideas. In an age when everything is getting connected, it only makes sense to have platforms in place that enable faster feedback loops inside the organization in order to deal with connected customers, suppliers, partners, and competitors. It takes a networked organization, staffed by people with networked mindsets, to thrive in a networked economy."
I have been implementing Communities of Practice (CoP) since around 2000. As I have helped organizations design their own CoPs, I have learned a great deal about how to make them a real force for change and collaboration. One of the most important things I have learned is that it is the community facilitators who set the tone and spirit for a community – that make it a place where members feel a part of something larger than self.
Our work is defined by the tools we have available. In the digital workplace, the tools are far behind what we need and how we could work. Email has forced inefficiency upon us by applying the previous paradigm’s structures. It’s time to envision a future of work designed around true digital productivity. And I think we’re ready
Employees want to be connected across devices and with their colleagues and processes during their workdays. The digital workplace offers companies tremendous potential if they are strategically prepared to take advantage of interconnected trends like the consumerization of technology, digital dexterity, changing work models, information intensity and the desire to share and collaborate.
“If your digital workplace initiative is not yet underway, you can use Gartner’s eight building blocks to frame conversations with the stakeholders responsible for approving, supporting and implementing relevant programs,” noted Carol Rozwell, Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst. “If your initiative is already underway, you can use our building blocks to review and re-evaluate your efforts thus far. “
With the many innovations introduced at Ignite, I’d like to focus on their new vision in working on content within our organization. To settle down and digest the information given to us on Boards, Stories, Articles, Microsites and the Knowledge Management Portal. It’s a bold move by Microsoft and the Office 365 team and to that I say, about time!
Knowledge sharing is the corner-stone of many organisations’ knowledge-management (KM) strategy. Despite the growing significance of knowledge sharing’s practices for organisations’ competitiveness and market performance, several barriers make it difficult for KM to achieve the goals and deliver a positive return on investment.
This list of knowledge sharing barriers provides a helpful starting point and guideline for senior managers auditing their existing practices with a view to identifying any bottle-necks and improving on the overall effectiveness of knowledge-sharing activities.
Contrary to the notion that social networks are time-wasters, they could improve project management and the spread of specialized knowledge in the healthcare sector and possibly other large organizations, according to new research from Missouri University of Science and Technology.
"A new model for work is required. Hierarchies, simple branching networks, are obsolete. They work well when information flows mostly in one direction: down. Hierarchies are good for command and control. They are handy to get things done in small groups. But hierarchies are rather useless to create, innovate, or change."
"It goes back a long while that I’ve been asking myself what KM is and why it matters. This morning, while running, it struck me: it is just what makes us more resilient, adaptive and innovative, beyond the immediate challenge we are facing. Incidentally, KM is also dangerous with that ability to catch all buzzwords in its trail (resilient is the new adaptive, and innovation is the talk of E-town)…"
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