Many companies have commenced digital workplace initiatives by introducing an enterprise social network like Yammer, eliminating offices and assigned desks, or enabling more flexible and mobile ways of working. Are they really instituting digital workplaces or are they simply adding bells and whistles to analogue workplaces?
We believe that the Digital Workplace is about a fundamentally different way of working that entails distinctive behavioral norms. In an analogue workplace, power and hierarchy, processes and rules matter most in getting work done. That makes perfect sense in an environment that is relatively stable and slow-moving. However, the digital economy has transformed most industries into turbulent, rapidly changing environments that require not just innovativeness but also agility to navigate successfully. When we try to deliver more complex digital products and services from analogue workplaces, it is like asking our people to run in sand. We make work really hard.