Tech blog

Tech blog

Power to the people

»Business books have been extolling the merits of flat organisations, where information flows freely across different levels, for the past few decades.  But this is one of those feel-good precepts, usually invoked in principle and ignored in practice. But the rise of digital, social and mobile technologies seems to have put furtive hierarchies on notice.
IBM surveyed 1,700 CEOs across 64 countries to find out how they were impacted by the new technologies. More CEOs than ever before are committed to opening up their organisations, of course, without unleashing anarchy. There are many forces at play knocking them out of their ivory towers.

As a group, CEOs are investing more on customer insights than any other functional areas such as operations, competitive intelligence, financial analysis and even risk management. As the new technologies trigger an explosion of information, the challenge shifts to building the capability to swiftly act upon the insight that is being generated.  
’The time available to capture, interpret and act on information is getting shorter and shorter,’ said a CEO. The only way to bring in that agility is to empower employees by making companies more flat and transparent. Besides creating a collaborative environment, CEOs are emphasising on building shared values and purpose among employees. The more outperforming an organisation, the greater the emphasis on openness, found the survey. They are also building agility in other ways - streamlining supply chains and creating massive back-office efficiencies.

Internet is bringing about other changes in CEOs. The pressure to innovate or face disruption is immense. To innovate, organisations are realising that they are better off teaming up with each other, than compete against. Compared to their less successful peers, outperformers are partnering for innovation more aggressively, says the survey.

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