The last two years have been like no other I’ve ever experienced. While it’s clear that we continue to look forward to another year of market, political and economic headwinds, Covid-uncertainty seems to be waning.
We are on the brink – if not already passed the point of no return – of a new era of work. But there isn’t a leader that I’ve spoken with who has figured out the path ahead.
In this environment, predictions are notoriously difficult and are only becoming harder to stand steadfastly behind. There are, however, some common themes that come up time and time again.
Here are the three clear forces I believe will impact company performance in the next decade.
Over the past 20 years, everyone in business has had to face the reality that strategic planning cycles are down from multi-year planning to now a matter of weeks.
Business leaders continue to be challenged by permanent shifts in social and company structures. The need for speed in this age of hyper-transience will see winners and losers, much like the competitive chasm that digital opened, and those that fail to operate at speed will see company performance falter.
This change of pace is irreversible. I’ve spoken to a lot of executives who have cited three to five weeks as modus operandi for their planning cycles. Once you and your competitors have set the pace, then you cannot be the one to drop behind.
The relentlessness of strategic planning cycles will be a huge force on company performance. Business leaders have to adapt – and fast.
The growth of workplace tooling during the pandemic, and the rush to transition to remote and hybrid ways of working, has led to unintended consequences.
Whether you’re flying the flag for office-first synchronous work or you prefer the flexibility of remote and asynchronous communication is almost irrelevant. The important part – and the first unintended consequence – is the rise of asynchronous and the mix with synchronous ways of working. It has left many companies with systems and processes that simply don’t work well for them.
As a result, many IT leaders are faced with a chaotic, distracting and inefficient set of workplace tools (therefore a chaotic, distracting and inefficient workplace, with a negative impact on company performance!).
Secondly, rather than workplace tools improving the employee experience in companies, they have conversely created unintentional disconnection. This is the connection paradox. It’s something that we see all the time. You’ve got more ways to connect with people all over the world than ever before, all in the palm of your hand, yet apathy and disconnection is a prominent part of many people’s personal and working lives.
Companies need to quickly understand and intentionally design their workplace strategy, drive careful adoption, optimise employee training, and treat connection as a key leading indicator of company performance.
Company performance is inherently entwined with data, in particular data centricity. Collecting data is the first step to preparing for performance – but leaders are also coming round to the idea that the effective use of data in everyday decision making is how you actually drive company performance.
With the mass adoption of digital workplace tools, combined with asynchronous work and the rise of an all encompassing digital HQ, there’s been an explosion in data.
Now the challenge is how business leaders make sense of it. Companies like Slack, Microsoft Teams and Workplace from Meta all have surface level usage data analytics. But it’s exactly that – surface level and siloed. Again, there’s an ever-growing chasm between data available and data analytics that’s becoming clear to me.
This analytics chasm will be a marked force for companies in the next 10 years. Those that can harness and interpret data will use it to drive company performance, while others will fall behind.
Business leaders need real-time visibility and insights into their company’s key organisational dynamics. Those that are able to rapidly digest these insights will make more-informed, intentional, data-driven decisions that drive action. These insights come from different sources – your CRM, collaboration systems, communication channels, and directly from your people – and when compounded they give richer insights than have ever been available before.
Just like customer-centricity and 20 years of customer data analytics, we’re into an age of fast-moving and asynchronous organisational dynamics. Those companies that use the resultant data explosion intelligently will be the high performance companies of the next decade.
At Temporall, we help companies harness their data, understand their organisational dynamics and drive company performance. Within these macro-forces there are six factors we see that business leaders need to have visibility on, respond to and act upon right now, with fast and intentional decision-making: digital workplace system usage, workplace engagement, information sharing, organisational connection, working patterns and digital inclusion.
Understanding these is phase one of your journey to being a high performing company that is leading the pack in 10 years time.
Want to join us on the journey? Let’s chat.
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