May 24, 2010

The changing nature of the employees in the forthcoming Organization 2.0 era



Updated: See also my post on Social Business Employee manifesto

So, what is an organization 2.0 exactly? It's an organization where:

  1. Natural communities of people connect and share information
  2. The organizational structure co-exists with networks of practice, interests and sharing
  3. Work is openly shared and co-evolved and anyone interested can come onboard as a stakeholder and contribute.
  4. Work is a series of projects and people constantly are looking for new ones to add to their skills and knowledge.
  5. Leadership is no longer about controlling and division of labour, but is about connecting people together and encouraging open conversations.
  6. Understanding the customer and engaging with him becomes everyone's role and the lines between the organization and the external world become more and more porous. Customers and employees co-create new products, services and experiences.
So what does this bode for the traditional employer and employee relationship?

  1. Employees will be engaged as long as they can find projects that are engaging to them.
  2. Customers will behave more and more like employees and vice versa.
  3. When a person leaves the employee relationship he/she continues to be engaged and contributing and connected with the organization.
  4. The connection will continue to be with the purpose of the organization and with the existing networks.
  5. The organization will always see ex-employees as ambassadors and will reach out to them when they feel a project meets their needs.
So, in a gist, the current normative employee-employer transactional relationship which has "compensation" as its fulcrum - will shrink, and a more stakeholder- network relationship will evolve - where people will be looking at other needs - the larger purpose. And this will shift to be the fulcrum of that relationship. 

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