Integrating work support systems

Here’s a good article in TrainingZone (behind a free registration firewall) on OD in the 21st Century that describes many of the issues discussed in Training for the 21st Century, but from an organisational development perspective. Anne Marie McEwan describes her work with the Johnson Controls Mobility Network which is for senior IT, HR and Facilities Management executives for exploring the practical implications of global workplace trends:

These busy executives do not have time to keep up with developments. Having researchers source, summarise and contextualise content from the internet is already a benefit. Sessions are informal.

And this sure sounds like the development of emergent practices:

In collaboration with the team, the executive engages in action learning and critical reflection of the external environment and internal structures, systems and processes. New knowledge, frameworks and tools the support team members introduce, in a just-in-time way, are of course valuable.

However, Anne Marie notes:

In the author’s experience, functional walls between HR, IT and FM are as strong as they ever were and this will threaten enterprise viability.

It’s obvious that the same workplace issues are being faced by HR, IT, OD, KM and T&D tribes departments and that similar strategies are being co-developed in these fields. Given my multi-faceted consulting work, I would even consider myself a peripheral member of all of these communities and would now include Marketing.

Reflecting on my last post on working together it becomes clear to me that using cross-functional teams is not enough for Net Work. We really need to get away from our self-imposed tribes and adopt network thinking and practices.

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