Integrating Technology and Talent into the Enterprise

“Integrating Technology into the Enterprise: Making the Invisible Visible”: A Conversation with John Hagel III, Director and Co-Chairman, Deloitte Center for the Edge

“Integrating Talent into the Enterprise”: A Conversation with Eric Openshaw, Vice Chairman and U.S. Technology Leader, Deloitte LLP; and Global Technology Sector Leader, Deloitte; Hosted by Lesley Curwen, Host, “Business Daily,” BBC World Service

JH: One interesting aspect of big data, mobility, social software, cloud, you have ability to make certain aspects of your enterprise visible to you. Linking interaction types and patterns with productivity.

Deloitte took 3 years of data about interaction, matched out patterns of interaction and matched them to key operating data.

Tightly operating teams were actually the low-performing teams. Medium integration but more links back to rest of the enterprise were actually much more effective.

Eric Openshaw: In October, Deloitte took that global.

LC: How do you integrate talent?

EO: How do you get passionate knowledge workers outside of the enterprise into the enterprise. Most of these people aren’t employed by large companies. W/ social media, we can pull these people into the enterprise, creating ecosystem, knowledge system, mentorship system, which attracts these passionate knowledge workers.

No broadbased way to distribute individual learnings yet. Want to integrate coordinated education networks. Currently have a debrief series, conference call dial-in. Want to integrate that into social nets.

JH: Security issues are important to manage, but not to avoid. We need to figure out how to connect in ways that enrich what’s important to us but don’t give away the game.

Other enterprises aren’t officially bringing this in, but social software and cloud computing is brought in under the radar without the view or authorization of central IT department. How do we integrate these into the enterprise?

EO: Bring your own toolset. Younger workforce is bringing FB, twitter, etc. Tools that IT department would rather not have to deal with. Very few orgs are more risk-averse than mine. We have to move cautiously but we’re moving forward and finding robust education is a big part of the integration.

Used twitter to great success to develop ideas for client project.

JH: It’s not integrating technology into enterprise, but integrating enterprise into tech. The key is how to connect to these platforms in ways that manage the risk. It requires a very different kind of IT infrastructure: Outside in rather than inside out.

The idea: to mobilize business partners with no centralized control. To manage long-lived, loosely coupled asynchronous interactions that last for months.

How do you create compensation mechanisms that will allow those months-long interactions to complete?

LC: Will you get buyin from CEO?

JH: If you believe info is power, these technologies are deeply subverting power. The trick is tying deployment of technologies to high-level management’s financial metrics, operating metrics (mid-level management), and front-level metrics. Using social software to support front-line operators.

Then you can start to deploy and measure improvement daily and weekly.

EO: Resistance isn’t just limited to C-Suite; it’s generational. Working assumption that age = no interest. Deloitte took that to bus maintenance company with blue collar workers in 40s and 50s, which allowed them to get buses back on the road more quickly. Given the right metrics, the generation gap becomes a myth.

JH: The question is, can you make the case that social software is going to help you get the job done better and faster?

EO: Cost drivers in a software business are time between the break and the fix; this can be reduced by social software.

JH: 60-70 percent of time is being spent on exceptions: tasks that don’t fit into standard workflow. Most companies don’t know when and what exceptions are being handled, but social software allows us to identify recurring exceptions and address them through product and process design.

While data is valuable, the metadata is often even more powerful.

EO: We’ll see flatter organizations, new org role in middle management called player coach, thinking about how you participate rather than managing others. These tools reinvigorate the apprenticeship.

JH: Fundamental q: why do we have companies? In the 30s, it was to coordinate activity and cooperation, and describes why companies grew to such large scale. Today coordination costs are going down rapidly. The answer will need to be: We’re going to learn faster as part of that company than we can on our own. It’s all about developing talent.

If we took talent on the job seriously, how would that change the work force?

EO: How do you keep those highly motivated individuals wanting to be around you all the time even if they’re not on your payroll.