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Over the next 5 years we are going to witness an reinvention of work, especially inside large enterprise organizations. No, not the co-working space, open office or “WFH” reinvention. Those tactics are quick fixes to better understand, recruit and retain employees. The next reinvention will be a wholesale digital awakening on both the operational and more importantly philosophical front, and it will be required for survival. The internet economy delivered on just that, the economics, how things were marketed and sold. But we’ve reached the point where enterprise operations and process cannot hold on to remnants of the analog world and survive much longer. So as technological speed has plateaued the gap between how we think about work and how we work stands as opportunity. In short how we work, doesn’t work and hasn’t worked for awhile.
The adoption of project management, agile collaboration, communication tools are both band-aids and a magnifying glass. While these tools make something’s easier (central location for project information) many of the things that we’re always hard (creating and getting buy-in on strategy) have become even more difficult. No big surprise here, we are solving a problem of distance and connection but we are not addressing how we create clarity. The simple solution, simple code, simple strategy is hard but it is what we must focus our efforts on – it’s the only frontier left. People, teams and organizations who cannot increase speed / reduce politics and create strategies / seek out user feedback will struggle mightily in the very near future.
Some roles will vanish. Others will fundamentally change.
Because self-organization will be required. Middle management will cease to exist.
Because design patterns will be well tested and ubiquitous. Designers will be usurped by front-end developers.
Because frameworks will be performant. UX Designers will become prototypers.
Because testing will be fully adopted. QA will merge with data analysts.
Because customer-centricity will become the difference maker. Successful C-suiters will become product managers.
Because simplicity will be heralded. Technical-creative strategists will steer the ship.
The speed to push code and gather insights will soon be on the same plane as sales. Companies like Facebook and Netflix already know this. Fortune 100/500 companies will have to adopt this thinking in order to survive the next 5-10 years. The technology is there, the price to implement has come down. At this point the adjustment is 95% philosophical.
The outside puzzle pieces are quick to locate and connect. The middle requires more time, concentration and patience. But many companies have waited too long and their backs are against the wall and time is of the essence.