Organisational processes are being fundamentally altered by the fourth industrial revolution, which is characterised by disruptive advancements in robotics, artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, and other essential digital capabilities. Increased crowdsourcing, on-demand giga-work, decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs), and other kinds of democratic and participatory decision-making are just a few examples of the labor patterns that new tools are making possible.
In the past, multinational firms frequently used a highly centralised approach to operating their overseas subsidiaries, coming up with a single worldwide plan and requesting that each region accept it virtually in its whole. Although this frequently results in remarkable economies of scale, cheap costs, and other efficiencies, it is no longer tenable to ignore the particulars of various markets.
Firstly, the retention of the talent that managers have fought so hard to attract must be a top priority for them. Secondly, managers who prioritise staff retention should seek to create and enhance operational procedures that promote employee engagement. Thirdly, they need to work hard to comprehend the unique drivers behind each employee's motivation. This entails, among other things, identifying the perks that matter most to specific employees, their career objectives, and the kind of recognition that means the most to them.
In addition to equipping managers with the required resources, senior leaders and HR teams must enable them to use those resources to support their teams in the manner that will have the greatest impact. For example, a company might provide internal career development assistance, retention incentives, or specialised leave options, but these benefits will increase retention if managers know how to take advantage of them. In the end, it all comes down to encouraging a direct, open, and sympathetic management style in which employee retention and engagement are given equal weight with performance.
Commuting to a plant, working there for eight or more hours, and then commuting home became the norm during the industrial revolution. Before the Covid-19 outbreak disrupted the practice of considerable commute, this tendency had since become deeply embedded in the workplace culture. It is anticipated that over the next 100 years, a considerably more flexible approach will need to take the place of the outdated, rigid presumptions about how, when, and where we operate.
There are various justifications for flexibility. Flexible work schedules have been demonstrated in studies to lower stress, save time, and lower carbon emissions. The degree of control individuals has over their time is also one of the top three indicators of employee engagement. Nowadays, many workers give flexibility and personal empowerment a higher priority than even such crucial elements as fair compensation, competent supervisors, and psychological safety.
To overcome these obstacles, leaders must adopt a "time-smart" strategy, assisting their staff in making more informed decisions about where and when to work and creating best practices to direct flexible work rules. The most crucial requirement is that they intentionally and actively develop flexible work methods. The era of required 9 to 5 office hours, five days a week, is over. Future leaders must develop a superior method of operation, wherever and whenever that may be.
It can be predicted that as technology develops, various types of tech-enabled co-ops will appear, including crowd-funded firms and DAOs. But regardless of the method, there is a definite trend toward stakeholder alignment, which suggests that we may be able to do away with management techniques that were intended to balance out the competing interests of different stakeholders. Perhaps independent, external board members won't be required in the future to oversee management decisions on behalf of equity shareholders. We may even stop shareholder-specific management practices like paying dividends and providing investors with share buybacks.
Although the effects of these new organisational structures are still being felt, their ability to properly match the incentives and interests of all stakeholders raises the possibility that they could be win-win situations.