As you know if you are following me on twitter, this semester I am taking two performance classes. This means I’m paying more attention to things that measure performance and performance gaps. Since I’m always hyper-focused on social media, I’m also looking at how emerging tools can be used to close performance gaps.
This report from McKinsey talks about the importance of collaboration to knowledge workers. Interestingly enough, they did an analysis on how things are right now, or the current state of performance of knowledge workers. The report says in some industries knowledge workers make up about 75% of the workplace. The authors found a “performance gap between top and bottom companies in collaboration-intense sectors is nine times that of production- or transaction-intense sectors”. So organizations with knowledge workers have not figured out what sorts of remedies need to be apply to close performace gaps for knowledge workers.
Its actually worse than that – the researches also found that measurements for effective “collaboration productivity” doesn’t really exist. Everyone says they want a highly motivated, highly collaborative workpace, but no one knows how to measure what’s going on now and no one knows how to get people to that highly collaborative state.
The report has a neat tool that breaks up well-known roles by tasks and possible social media tools that could help them be more effective (in a tag cloud no less!).
The report also suggests a very strategic approach to choosing the tools to create the desired collabortive state:
- Understand the specific requirements of interactive tasks
- Identify which tasks create disproportionate value for the organization
- Determining the types of inefficiencies and wasted efforts that bog down many interactions
It is a great report. More and more we’re talking about disruptive technology, but this technology is also going to disrupt our known ways of doing things. We’re going to need folks to get their arms around this idea of measuring performance by what is really going on, not by how things used to get done. And this approach seems like a practical way to blend the new technology into current organizations.
What are you seeing?