In my almost-30 years in consulting, I have preached, expounded upon, and lived through wave after wave of ideas and approaches to driving business forward, with the ultimate hope of impacting bottom line results: cost reduction, right sizing, business process reengineering, reverse engineering, business process transformation, and innovation (again).
All these efforts, in one form or another, had the primary goal of changing the way people worked in order to produce a more efficient and effective environment that matched or exceeded the expectations of the customer (whether that customer was internal or external). We challenged everything:
- Customers (macro, micro, targets, outliers)
- Outcomes (spoken/unspoken requirements)
- Business rules (guiding principles, sacred cows, performance measures)
- Business processes (workflows, activities, tasks)
- Information (data definition, structures, ownership)
- Technology (hardware, software,, infrastructure)
- Organization (centralized, decentralized, functional, matrix)
- Resources (quality, quantity)
- Culture (attitudes, beliefs, customs)
Looking back, some of these approaches worked better than others, but in the end it was (and still is!) about aligning all of these elements to effectively collaborate within and outside of the enterprise to produce real value at an acceptable rate of investment.
I believe the time is right to capture and realize the benefits and value espoused by these various approaches. At Tahoe Partners, we call this sought-after state the NowEnterprise- not so much a solution as an environment for radically changing the way people engage and collaborate. All the elements for effective engagement and collaboration are aligning:
- Users’ expectations, demands and adoption levels have been radically redefined by an increasingly connected world. Today’s new workforce (and consumer) has only operated in a world where the internet exists!
- Organizational and business process barriers (i.e. structures) are overcome or worked around by the continuous and ever growing use of private and/or social networks to gain access to the right people and information.
- Transaction based systems have been optimized. Technology is now focused on systems of engagement – users of business technology expect their computing environments to match the power and simplicity of the consumer tools that they use in everyday life.
We are no longer discussing how to streamline and optimize one component or another. We are designing and implementing a holistic user experience that match situational needs – regardless of whether that experience is to be realized by a customer, staff member, partner or supplier.
The personal ‘aha’ for me is that the time is NOW to radically change the way we engage and collaborate – I know this to be true, as I see it happening here at Tahoe. It is not the result of a management dictum, but a natural evolution expedited by the availability of enabling technologies, the desire and expectation of our workforce to openly communicate and collaborate, and the willingness of our entire team to embrace change in order to deliver high quality solutions. It is truly about the full experience.
Change is never easy, but what an exciting time to be a part of it….