3 Reasons Why Knowledge Worker Engagement Is Decreasing
Due to the technological development with the Internet and social media, markets are no longer created and controlled with broadcast marketing. People can now find and connect with people like themselves all over the world – and no longer limited to the people in their close proximity and to existing ties such as family members, friends, colleagues or neighbors. They can connect with anyone, and they all influence each other, immediately and with multiplier effects. The power is shifting from companies to consumers. It is a radical shift, but it was predicted already in the mid 90’ies by marketing guru Philip Kotler as a consequence of the Internet. So we shouldn’t be too surprised. Yet a lot of companies are. And they haven’t prepared at all for this. Companies and organizations are waking up to a new reality, and the wake-up call can sometimes be harsh. A number of things are changing, and I will mention four of these here.
1. Change and uncertainty is the new normal
To start with, today’s business environment is anything but static. It’s changing faster and faster, and in new ways. It’s becoming more and more unpredictable. This means that companies and organizations can’t do long-term planning like they used to. Instead they have to be prepared for change, to quickly adapt to new conditions and situations, such as changing consumer behaviors, new competition, new innovations, and so forth.
2. Diminishing return on optimization efforts
The second big change is that the return on optimization efforts is diminishing. The companies that lead the development in their industries, and get all the profit are those that are able to create new value. They don’t do that with optimization. They do it by innovating new product and services, by creating and developing relationships with consumers and others, by collaborating internally and externally, and by constantly learning how change theirs strategies
3. Growth and efficiency is not enough
Thirdly, being able to grow in terms of production volumes, market presence and market share is not enough to be successful, neither is it to produce and market products or services as efficiently as possible. Instead, continuous innovation and high responsiveness to change and customer demands is becoming more and more critical. This obviously can’t be addressed solely by streamlining and optimizing transactional processes, as we have done for the last few decades with the help of information technology. Innovation and responsiveness requires empowered people that can collaborate efficiently and effectively. That is why collaboration is the new productivity frontier.