I recently attended our organization’s first town hall meeting under the tutelage of our new president. He spoke about the recent confluence of transformative identities and disruptive technologies that have come together over the last couple of years, leading him to believe that we will cure several major cancers in his lifetime.
I’m hopeful that I am a part of a place that can leverage new computational firepower, quantitative analysis of bio-specimens, and disruptive genome technologies to advance existing paradigms and cure this awful disease.
Your Organization Doesn’t Get It… Yet.
But in the interim, I’m rather dumbfounded and annoyed that more organizations aren’t leveraging disruptive technologies to enhance the way they communicate, organize and operate their businesses.
Even now, after all the hoopla around “social” has died down (a bit) and we know so much more, companies are still insistent about “integrating some of that social media stuff into our marketing.” Never mind leveraging disruptive social technologies to enhance business intelligence by listening to customers (patients in health care), conducting market research, solidifying customer service, managing a community and more.
I get it. I really do. I understand that your organization is big, siloed, doesn’t get social and so on and so forth. I also understand that most people don’t like change. Change is hard.
The Opportunities are Endless
But in a world where disruptive technologies give us the ability to potentially cure cancer, why can’t we leverage digital/social solutions to put an end to pointless meetings, collaborate across teams, dissipate important news or information, etc.?
Top-down hierarchical institutions wont always be the norm and the power of open source projects is becoming increasingly evident. Rule-followers and drones might keep their mouths shut and do what they’re told, but the industrial revolution is over and those people don’t impact meaningful change anymore.
Linchpins who ask hard questions, challenge the status quo, and demand to be pushed outside the comfort zone do. How do we scale the work that they do – the value they bring to the institution? How do we share it? How do we leverage it?
Oh, You Want Some Examples?
- Cross functional information sharing – What if there was an easy way for front line people to communicate issues to upper management, and then for upper management to share noteworthy changes to the PR/Marketing department?
- Increased Office Efficiency – What if instead of an hour long status meetings (# of people in meeting x how long meeting lasts) where people go around in a circle and say what they’re working on there’s a sharepoint employees keep updated where others can go and see what projects are relevant to them?
- Internal Networking – Most companies organize employees in such a way that all the account executives sit together, the creative sits together, the IT sits together. What if there were internal forums where employees could bond not just over their job description, but other things that interest them. Wouldn’t something like that unlock new collaborations and opportunities to learn and become more well-rounded employees?
- Increasing internal brand awareness
- Idea generation (brainstorming via Google docs anyone!?)
- Facilitating the spread of research, insights, etc. and making the information more accessible
The list goes on. And on.
As we gradually come to understand how disruptive social technologies can enhance our own internal communications perhaps we’ll see forward thinking organizations take it a step further. Can you imagine MD Anderson, Mayo Clinic and Memorial Sloan-Kettering all leveraging these disruptive social technologies to enable their respective physicians, physicists, geneticists and more to collaborate with the other institutions in an effort to cure cancer?
The future is now. Don’t let your organization fall behind.