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TechEd 2014: 'Working out loud' and other elements of a responsive organisation

Divina Paredes | Sept. 15, 2014
Mark Woodrow, customer success manager, Microsoft, shares tips on how companies can adapt, learn and respond to a constantly evolving world.

"The danger is we just assume that everything is moving very fast, and that organisations are keeping up with that... I am not sure that is always the case."

"You gravitate to things that people can use easily," he says. "If you introduce something like social enterprise network, they find a way with introducing something new that makes it easier for them to do the job."

There is danger in introducing something just because it is a new gadget, he cautions. "You will get a pushback."

Broadly speaking, he says, responsive organisations are characterised by "the four Cs": Connect, communicate, collaborate, cooperate.

The danger is we just assume that everything is moving very fast, and that organisations are keeping up with that... I am not sure that is always the case.

Mark Woodrow, Microsoft

Initially, he says, you need to connect people, then allow them to communicate. They then create a network — "not a hierarchy" — with people.

After that, people can collaborate around a project or document "in real-time".

The fourth step is cooperate where people work together on an ongoing basis.

He stresses these should be with people from different areas of the business or across geographic areas, not just from one department or someone doing the same job function. "You will always get creative ideas and innovation" this way.

He cites the case of a government agency that had a big problem with graffiti. They voiced their concern out on the organisational network and got some ideas from people in finance on how they can tackle the issue, which they are spending $300 million on every year.

He says a responsive organisation is also transparent.

"We know why we are working, how decisions are made," he states. "To a degree everyone needs to be recognised; you create an even playing field.

"So long as there is a belief anyone can come up with a good idea to help organisations do a better job, that frees people up to say, they can have a voice to the board and to the CEOs. They feel they are recognised."

 

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