Digitization is not an invention of the 21st century, but has long been a reality since the 1990s.There is no way back. It is all the more surprising to see how slowly politics and the economy react to revolutionary change.
The age of digitization poses new challenges for the working world. KAOS Coaching & Development supports people, teams and companies in actively shaping and mastering these challenges.
Dynamics, complexity and disruption
The world is becoming more dynamic and complex at the same time. The competition no longer consists only of companies from the same industry. Through disruptive innovations, alleged underdogs succeed in knocking established market leaders off the iron throne. A prominent example is the invention of the smartphone and the painful wake-up call of the mobile phone market leader Nokia. Silicon Valley has become a buzzword for future technologies – and for new forms of collaboration. Today’s world ranking list of high-turnover companies is characterized by names that did not even exist twenty years ago.
With digital platforms, tech-savvy start-ups can rock entire industries. Well-known examples are Amazon and the book industry, airbnb and the hotel industry, Uber and the taxi industry. This list can be widely continued today.
That doesn’t mean that we have to approve of anything that comes on the market – but business who are still surprised by such innovations, can’t be helped. Amazon has been selling books online since 1995. The protests of the German retail industry against the overwhelming power of the American corporation in 2017 came far too late. The industry underestimated the digital movement and simply failed to adapt its own business models in a timely manner. This is a typical problem for traditional companies that have been successfully evolving for decades and whose processes are not geared to revolutionary change.
Virtual collaboration has nothing to do with future scenarios, but is a harsh reality in almost every workplace today. Who communicates to a great extent by telephone, email or chat (not „face-to-face“), works virtually. There is no need for intercontinental cooperation – it is often sufficient for the colleague to work in the neighboring office or on the other floor.
Modern communication technologies make it possible to work regardless of location and fixed times. The classic German presence culture, in which performance is still measured according to the formula „work divided by time“, continues to oppose this. But even in German companies, virtual work is reality – whether wanted or not. In most offices e-mails, telcos or even video conferencing have become indispensable. However, the mere introduction of new communication technology does not enable anyone to effectively work in virtual reality.
Virtual work – radically underestimated
Flexible working time models, home office solutions and international locations intensify the degree of virtual collaboration. The transition is creeping – but the consequences are revolutionary and are radically underestimated by most companies. Virtual communication, motivation and collaboration is different. And above all: virtual teams are managed and led differently. Companies are facing the challenge of integrating virtual collaboration holistically and creating the necessary framework conditions. It is no longer about the IF, but about the HOW. Virtual collaboration is not a temporary trend – it is the current and future form of cooperation.
With the sole introduction of new media and expensive programs for email, telephone or video conferences, it is far from over. The real challenge is to establish an efficient communication culture with these systems.
Of course, in most companies, virtual means of communication are used – but completely unreflected. This often causes great displeasure. In particular, personal contact is lost. Employees complain about empty offices because their colleagues are working form home. Lengthy teleconferences, in which the participants switch to „mute“ immediately after dialing are certainly not efficient. And having complex discussions via email does not make communication easier.
Virtual work: a real opportunity
KAOS Coaching & Development helps you to sensitize your employees to the challenges of modern communication. Specifically, that means their own communication reflecting on their own communication behavior, getting to know the chances and traps of virtual communication and using new media efficiently.
The new media offer great opportunities to improve and simplify our lives and communication. Home Office, for example, gives many people the opportunity to better juggle family and work. This means childcare – and it also means caring for relatives. Especially in times of demographic change, these are both issues that affect not just individuals but our society as a whole. That is precisely why it is crucial to find sustainable solutions that are suitable for employees and companies.