“The habit of considering information confidential, or accessible according to role or position, or the fact that it often remains confined within a particular department or function, clashes with the external reality in which we all live, where information is widely [and on occasion too] accessible when we need it”.
This sentence is contained in the “Organization 3.0. The company of the future” report by Asterys summarizes the ever increasing need identified by managers and employees interviewed to have data and information freely accessible in the company.
One-quarter of the 800 U.S. and European employees, managers and executives involved in the research imagine corporate information to be accessible in the future, including financial data and salaries and with only the limits dictated by laws or regulations. Free access therefore for almost two-thirds of the American and U.K. respondents, which drops to 58% for Italy. Respondents aged over 46 were most aware of the need for data available to all.
If data are accessible, what are the effects on collaboration in the company?
In the company of the future, collaboration – considered a key success factor in the last 10 years – will continue to be a key issue. In fact, for the majority of respondents (71%) there will be the need for a constant and effective connection that goes beyond the boundaries of individual departments or functions and connects teams working in different areas of the organization. This expectation is strongest in the United Kingdom (84%), Spain (80%) and Italy (74%), and is shared by managers (94%), executives (77%) and younger people in the 25-35 age group (84%).
Collaboration is certainly connected with the idea of a corporate structure that becomes increasingly characterized by team networks with a strong level of decision-making autonomy, also as regards objectives and strategies. One respondent in 4 imagines self-organized and self-directed teams, operating through shared principles in which all members are responsible for the result of group activity, with no coordination by supervisors or leaders. With the exception of the United Kingdom and the USA, most people expect strong working group autonomy (52%), with 37% of managers and 36% of executives who “would abolish” the formal leader.
Will work be more simple in the company of the future?
Breaking down the bureaucracy that slows down people’s work is one of the objectives identified by respondents in the Asterys survey. Most people expect successful companies to be characterized by simplified and dynamic systems and processes and flexible work, with the office increasingly being considered one of the possible workplaces but certainly not the only one. A different conception of the workplace that cannot avoid a rethinking of systems and processes, digital transformation of the company and support for collaboration. Spain (69%) and France (64%) are the countries most oriented towards simplified and dynamic systems and processes, in which the methods for evaluating performance also change. one.
In fact, in place of the classic annual performance reviews, executives in particular expect frequent informal check-ups between managers and employees at individual and team level. With the exception of Spain and the United States, it is interesting to note that 23% of those interviewed expect performance to be measured on the basis of the team’s results by its members, thus shifting the focus from individual to group performance.
Does the customer remain at the center?
Also in the company of the future, the customer is and remains at the center, with 60% of the interviewees seeing him as an external stakeholder and 40% who think he has to be involved in the key processes of the organization, in this way interacting with the company from closer up. The report also highlights the need expressed by many of those interviewed to expand the stakeholder base, creating a community which, in addition to customers, includes employees, shareholders and suppliers.
In a nutshell, a simple, collaborative company 3.0, not hierarchical but above all with accessible data and at the center. Is the future already here?