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Business & ICT Trends, Applied to Your Organisation

Trends that shape the workplace

Posted on September 14th, 2011 by TimClaes

The High Performance Workplace

Multiple trends will influence our daily workplace. The digital workplace of tomorrow – or also called the High Performance Workplace – will look quite different than what we are used to today. The question will be how quickly will you react with your company on these trends on the high performance workplace?

Let me list some important trends you need to be aware of:

1. The Information Wave

Thanks to the internet we have an overload of information. It is no longer a question whether the information you are looking for exists, it now become a question will you find it. As we are no longer able to deal with these amounts of information, due to the lack of efficient filtering processes, people will start treating information in a different way. They SCAN the information, instead of reading it. Nowadays many people simply read the headlines and no longer dive into the articles themselves.

Also from a business point of view this will have an impact on our daily workplace.

2. The (social) Network

The social media tools are here to stay, so instead of blocking these sites from your company, you better start thinking about how you can use these channels in a positive way in your organisation and stimulate the on-line presence of your company through these networks. The social networks become more and more important for your organization to be top of mind. Especially if you know that the emotional driver of people is more important than the rational driver in their decision process.

3. The Digital Natives

“Je pense, donc je suis” from Descartes is re-invented into ”I share, so I am… on line”. A shift is taking place about the information value from ‘searching information’ towards ‘sharing information’. Other demographics like mobility, Work/Life balance and aging workforces are also important trends you could position under this same umbrella.

4. The Economy

A recent study from the New York times illustrates that the companies that are performing better than the rest have a few similar characteristics. They typically position PEOPLE and INNOVATION as important drivers for success. Needless to say that the high performance workplace is an ideal medium to support these drivers in your company.

5. Consumerization of IT

Thanks to Apple is ICT moving faster in the consumer space than in the b2b area. For the first time since decades. This brings a whole new dimension into our typical business and ICT alignment question. It no longer is enough to set up an efficient/productive solution, it also needs to be ‘sexy’, look good and very user friendly. The high performance workplace will be no exception.


The “Presence” concept?

Posted on September 1st, 2011 by TimClaes

The Holidays…

Today it is the 1st of september. The holiday period is for many of us behind us. The kids go back to school, so time for me to go back to my ‘Trends Applied’ blogs. And what would be a better topic to start with than the “Presence” concept. I’m sure many of you have encountered similar challenges as I have during this holiday period. Trying to reach out for people that weren’t there, checking social media updates from certain people that were still showing their latest post and many similar situations where a good introduction of “presence” could come in handy. Let me elaborate.

The power of “Presence” in the high performance workplace

 The book “Employees first, Customers second: turning conventional management upside down” by Vineet Nayar clearly illustrates that our employees are our most important assets. Not only the managers, but especially the people in the field, the people who actually create value for the company.

It is therefore important to set up a high performance workplace for these employees, recognizing that each one of them has specific needs to realize the necessary results for the company. The “presence” concept is one of these needs.

Presence Concept

What is the “presence” concept about? Well, in essence it allows you – as an end user – to check whether other people in the company are available, busy or not on-line. This will avoid unnecessary e-mails to other people that are not available and help you to get in contact with the available people in an easy way.

Some tools – like Lync from Microsoft – visualize the “presence” concept simply by adding a green, yellow, orange or red bullet next to a person’s name.

You also have the possibility to link “skills” to people, and then the “presence” concept starts to get interesting. Imagine that you’re working on a certain task which requires an in-depth opinion about a certain topic. Then you can start looking in your organisation to the people who work a lot around these items. This last feature is in my opinion still undervalued and could help us in working better together more efficiently.

Another area where the presence concept is undervalued are the social media tools.

Should the “Presence” concept be integrated in social media tools?

Last month I’ve enjoyed my holidays and most of the time I was completely disconnected from the digital world. In the beginning it felt a bit strange, but after a while I started to get used to it, and now – to be honest – it took me quite some time to start off again. (I know… I’m a digital immigrant…)

But what happened now during the last holiday period? When I looked at my profile on twitter or linkedin for instance I noticed that my last tweet and my last activity was still present. So this means that during a complete month people associated me with my latest message. That is something to think about, no? Could the “presence” concept not be of help here? A simple ‘out-of-office’ message or something alike?

Anyways the “presence” concept is something people understand, but ’til now I must say that the potential behind this presence concept – in my opinion – is truely undervalued. It is not about inventing new thing, it is about using the existing technologies smartly together.


The High Performance Workplace in practice

Posted on May 24th, 2011 by TimClaes

High Performance Workplace – HPW?


People are your most important asset. Without your people you could not be running a business. In an organization you need all kind of people. You need different talents, different compentences and multiple skills. So it should be only normal that you create a working environment that fulfills the needs of each individual in your organisation. This is what they call a high performance workplace!

You put your employee as central pivot point in your workplace, instead of the other way around. You build your processes, methods, technologies around this concept. You also need to respect that each employee is a little bit different in their way of working and your processes, methods & technologies should be able to deal with this. The people are leading the processes, the processes no longer dictate the people. Also the book from Vineet Nayar, CEO HCL Technologies, “Employees first, Customers second: Turning conventional management upside down” illustrates multiple aspects in this area.

Now this sounds all very nice, but what does it mean in practice? In order to explain this I typically use the following figure.

High Performance Workplace

As a person you need to be able to do a lot of things at your workplace, on one hand you need to work with information, both structured – stored in CRM or ERP systems for instance – and unstructured – such as documents, e-mails… On the other hand you will split up your day in activities, both planned activities and unplanned activities.

Based on those two axes you have a scala of instruments that support the end user in their work, so it becomes a true productivity platform. The difficulty (or the challenge) is that you need to make this work by integrating all these tools together, so you need knowledge in all these areas to make sure that you are making the right decisions.


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