I’m in Barcelona on World Mobile Congress 2013 and discussing how to mobiles enterprises. When looking on technology today everything seems possible but gap between management and today’s mobile knowledge workers grows faster the more technology evolve.
I work with helping companies develop mobile solutions for their customer or creating new solutions in order to make companies more productive. For me work is an activity not a place. I have an office and an own room but when I’m at the office my main activity is to collaborate with colleagues. When I work with companies that are new to the thoughts of work is an activity and not a place I often hear argument like “how do you know that employees are working when they are at home or working from a location other than the office when you can’t see them?” And that is an important question…
How do you know that employees are doing what they should and are maximally productive in the workplace? Just because you see them does not mean they know what they are doing and how productive they are!
Unfortunately only one answer and it is the same answer as when you’re at work, you yourself must simply be competent in the subject matter and really understand what employees are doing. There is no other way. So do you want more freedom in your job, greater job satisfaction and work when it suits you, you simply get yourself a competent manager. I use the work unfortunately because I don’t know how to tell managers this bitter truth, I often sounds like a “besserwisser” that tells them that they are incompetent.
Managers’ primarily focus show be the WHAT’s but need to understand HOW’s
In a world where work isn’t a place but an activity it requires a different approach. We to have a goal-oriented management style, where we sets goals together. This means that managers need to manage the WHAT things but not the HOW-issues. But at the same time they need to understand the HOW-issues in order to set competent goals.
Employees will leave managers, not companies
This means that people that will work in a world where work is an activity they will need a very competent manager that understands the HOW-issues in order to become successful and productive. In my work stimulating work tasks that’s feels fulfilling are more important than earning a couple of hundred $ more. I can recommend Alaister Lows blog post on this subject.
In a world where work is truly an activity rather than a place it will requires a culture of trust, goal-oriented leadership and competent managers. So next time you change jobs then check how skilled your boss is, it’s not only you should be competent for you to be successful in your work.
The technical conditions for a more mobile society is really starting to come into place. Since we got a telecom infrastructure in combination with more powerful phones and tablets in combination with cloud services have their mobile motto ”Anywhere, Anytime and Any Device” is created. This has made it possible for those who work in the service sector has many tasks that are no longer tied to a physical location. Work has gone from being a place to being an activity!
This will lead to so much more changes than in technology, we will need to:
We will get a completely new way of relating to work!
We need to reflect on the relations between time and value.
We need training, procedures, systems and practices to show our presence at a distance.
We need training, procedures, systems and practices to collaborate remotely.
We need to shift from a culture of control to a target-oriented leadership.
We will change our physical offices, as we come to the office for another reason.
We will often work harder in places other than the office. I myself often sit in cafe’s, libraries and hotel environments.
We will digitize all new processes and situations.
It’s important to acquire new “best-practices” for this change. Some call it a paradigm shift, but I think it is more about evolution than revolution. Personally, it fits very good to sit at home and work when I have a deadline to relate to. But worse if I just work at all, need to cooperate and coordinate different tasks with others. So the work life is changing, our digital work life will become much more mobile in the future.
This week I was speaking on “Projektverktygsdagen 2012” to inspire the 250 project. My presentation focused on why enterprise mobility is important to keep an eye on as a project manager in a knowledge company. It was also about what enterprise mobility is and what opportunities it creates. Then I took with some examples of tools for managing knowledge workers in a creative situation by demonstrating a little google docs. Here is my speak if you like to watch it:
In my new role as Enterprise Mobility Manager for Sigma I have work with marketing of Enterprise Mobility solutions. In this role I do a lot of public speaking which is a new thing for me, both terrifying and fun. I have done 5 public speaks on different conferences so far this year and I will do some more this spring. It’s about Sigma’s products and solutions, and the demand of a strategy for companies in times of change. Mobility affects everyone and companies has a lot to gain from mobility, business change and so do behavior and the need of a different kind of leadership. If you like to hear me speak this spring you can hear me on some of the following conferences:
For me enterprise mobility is about enabling companies to get their strategic information at point of action and point of decision. People have become used with specialized context application in their personal life from there smart handheld devices. Now almost every knowledge based worker has a device that enables them to have internet wherever they are. People will expect to have the same important information about their work life as accessible as personal life information. This is of course a big challenge, there is many aspects like; Security, Integration, Infrastructure, Governance, Deployment, Maintainability and so on. Over the next years we will see allot of change within the enterprise mobility area. Now the infrastructure and the devices have developed so that this is possible to do for the ordinary company. This will result in many intreresting solutions.