Talent is the single biggest lever of our organizations. We now have the ability to access talent regardless of where they are, and fundamentally independent of whether they work FOR YOU (vs. WITH YOU). Odesk — a firm uniquely focused on decentralized work — interviewed me before the holidays, and one of their questions got me sharing about the the phases of talent inclusion. From that article:
Phase 1. Everyone works in the same building, in the same time zone, because the culture is so tacit that anyone working away from the building doesn’t integrate into the core.
Phase 2: The organization has remote offices—major hub centers in different cities allowing for different time zones. This lets them have access to talent not found near the headquarter. Online platforms are starting to be used to coordinate work.
Phase 3: People work across time zones and cities, and some portions are freelance. The flexibility is built into location and time zone, across all talent levels. Online platforms are central to everyone being able to hand off to one another, and share status.
Phase 4: The organizational design is set up to optimize for flexible talent. The purpose of the organization is sharable such that it can be clear and you don’t have to belong to the organization to create value with others. Online platforms become strategic to the flexibility of the organization, which is central to an organization’s ability to adapt to whatever happens.
The entire article is a great recap of ideas from #SocialEra. So, if you haven’t yet read the already-best-selling book, AT LEAST read the article. It’s very well done. I’ll be writing more about the organizational design shifts involved in moving from traditional models to the more modern ones I discuss in the book… let me know what questions you might have along that front so I can answer those…
(Oh, and Happy New Year. Just realized this is my first post of the year…)