Updated: Sep 23
Throughout the last few decades, the world has undergone a digital revolution, introducing us to what is sometimes called the information age. With an exponential increase in digital tools and technologies, it can be hard to stay current and even harder deciding on and implementing a company culture surrounding these tools. It appears this rapid growth will only continue moving forward, so how can businesses learn to stay current and adopt this digital revolution? Shad Morris, a professor at Brigham Young University, suggests that this is achieved when employees influence management to buy into these digital changes—not the other way around.
The Source of Integration
Morris recently shared a story about IBM on Chatfunnel’s Digital Conversations podcast. Although IBM started as a giant, they were quickly deteriorating by the late 1980s and early 1990s. Other companies began stealing their streaming rights, and they were losing money hand over fist, year after year. In response, a few mid-level programmers working for IBM at Cornell University decided they needed to do something. They instigated several minor tactics and cultural modifications that developed into the company-wide philosophy held by IBM today. It was these changes that helped lead IBM back to the top.
Nearly every company will have “bright spots,” groups of smart, creative, and innovative individuals that are primed to build and create the necessary culture. Management is left to either ensure these individuals have responsibility, autonomy, and purpose or stay set in their ways and struggle to make the needed changes on their own. The smart managers will choose to allow and support innovation and cultural integration from the bottom-up.
This same pattern for digital integration and cultural change is discussed by Morris in a paper called The New HR. The paper details how the governing of employees, both internal and external, needs to change. Traditionally, internal employees are incentivized to perform well when managers connect compensation to job performance—and external employees are often left with no motivation at all.
The “new HR” is focused on having managers lead, rather than control, internal and external employees. By establishing and communicating the company strategy, culture, and capabilities to employees, internal and external workers will become self-motivated to work hard. Celebrating and recognizing talent and capability in the workforce allow employees to thrive.
The world economy and global businesses are going to continue changing at an ever-increasing rate. Understanding this new technique for technological and cultural integration will help every business stay current and thrive. To learn more about the Digital Revolution and The New HR, listen to the podcast here.
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