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Better Hacking culture to improve productivity

Written by Jon Payne on Thursday, 29 August 2019. Posted in Engagement, People

With highly stressed employees resulting in reduced productivity of 9.1%, organisations must be dynamic in order to succeed.

Better Hacking culture to improve productivity

With highly stressed employees resulting in reduced productivity of 9.1%, organisations must be dynamic in order to succeed. One of the most common ways we are currently seeing businesses achieve this dynamism is from culture hacking. The idea of ‘hacking your culture to change your culture’ is something Gartner has increasingly been talking about. The premise of hacking your culture isn’t as daunting as it might first sound. It is in fact the process of identifying vulnerable points in a company’s culture and turning them into real change that sticks. But, how exactly should businesses go about doing this and how will this improve productivity?

Improving productivity

As part of the culture hacking process, it’s important to not only identify where productivity levels are dipping, but why they are dipping. In addition to stress, one of the leading causes of being unproductive is not having the right tools to be able to perform. Organisations must, therefore, look to create a dynamic culture which champions the use of flexible, multi-device access in order to address the issue of productivity.

In a post-mobile world, many devices now provide a fabric that informs people what to do and when. As such, work places need to reflect this and offer employees a greater degree of flexibility in terms of what technology they use and for which roles. Organisations must create a culture that accepts the role that technology plays and the changes in behaviours and outcomes. It is vital that part of this involves arming their employees with the most relevant appliance or device for the right role or workflow.

The changing role of the CIO

According to Gartner, almost half of CIOs (46%) believe culture is the biggest barrier to digital transformation. This is a shocking indication of the state of company cultures; rather than being a barrier, culture instead needs to be an accelerator to change. By 2021, CIOs will be as responsible as HR for culture change within an organisation and technology will become a bigger part of creating the right culture. Therefore, in order to effectively hack their culture, organisations mustn’t be afraid to change how certain roles operate and the part they play in this process.

With technology integral to the digital transformation journey and the changing culture of organisations, CIOs will begin to play a more diverse role within businesses. For instance, while the CIO would traditionally be responsible for corporate IT strategy and management, they are now increasingly taking up key influencer positions and will become instrumental to implementing new procedures and policies among employees. Whereas HR may have traditionally been responsible for implementing new technology among staff members, CIOs will now take the lead on deciding which devices staff members should use for which roles and how technology can improve productivity.

Fail fast mentality

In the technology industry, where things are constantly changing, speed of execution is a lot more important than perfect execution. As such many technology companies now operate a ‘fail fast’ approach which iterates fast failures to achieve a desired result faster than perfecting the solution. This is something that businesses across all industries can learn from and begin to apply in terms of culture hacking.

A fail fast approach to culture hacking would allow organisations to try out a new solution to the vulnerabilities they identify. If that solution doesn’t work in the short-term, then they can revert back to their previous approach. For example, in order to improve productivity, an organisation may decide to try out hot desking, which is often considered to boost morale as well as productivity. If this doesn’t yield the desired result, then the organisation can go back to their original approach with minimal disruption. This initiative will also help organisations to create a culture that isn’t afraid of people making mistakes. Instead, it will help to create an environment which celebrates learning from mistakes and the transformative power this approach can have on the business.

In order to get the most from culture hacking, it’s important for organisations to make it a company-wide initiative. By asking employees for their input, it will be easier to identify vulnerabilities in a business’ culture that the senior team may not be as aware of as those who experience it first-hand on a daily basis. These employees will also be the people who any changes in culture will have the most impact on. As the idea of culture hacking builds pace, we will see technology play a pivotal role, allowing organisations to create a dynamic culture that inspires productivity and allows them to tackle challenges head-on.

About the Author

Jon Payne

Jon Payne

Jon Payne is the manager for sales engineering at InterSystems, and has 40 years’ experience building and delivering software in over 30 countries. He now provides technical leadership for InterSystems including running an expert team working both pre- and post-sale across the UK for various database, integration and analytics projects using innovative technology choices.

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