by January 9, 2012 0 comments

It’s happening to more and more of us. On Sunday evening, we open up our dazzling personal computing devices and enter an entirely different place, an online world that is virtual yet rich in understanding, global yet intimate and, while running on silicon and fiber, refreshingly human. It’s a place of friendship, ideas and commerce, the best and most obvious place for many genuine moments of engagement. We’re learning – very quickly – how to merge this highly personalized virtual world into our physical worlds, often greatly enhancing both places.

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Then Monday morning arrives.

After once again suffering through the indignity, inefficiency and unsustainability of another commute, we settle in at our desks. As the PC hums through its bootup process, our eyes dart between the enterprise applications loading on the screen and the flashing red voicemail light on the phone. Yes, the standard-issue computer provides access to standardized systems of record yet offers precious little human engagement. The “dumb” phone won’t follow us past the length of its cord. It’s all so restrictive and confining. Work technology has become a limiter in our professional lives.

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The juxtaposition between the Sunday night and Monday morning computing experience has simply become too harsh. All around the world, business professionals are fed up. They are fed up with the yawning gap between their engaging and customizable personal IT experience and their rigid and mandated work IT experience. Reminiscent of the movie Network, they are throwing open the proverbial window and shouting, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” The gap between the two must and will be closed, not to mollify the new generation of workers but to enable them to conduct great work and help the organization attain new levels of performance.

This Sunday night vs. Monday morning experience may seem rather simple, a manifestation of the consumer adoption of new technologies. However, it’s indicative of a shift that is much broader and deeper, one that will reshape industry and company structures altogether. It is our contention that we’re currently living at an important “shift point,” a time where key megatrends are reshaping the rules of markets, how work is conducted and value is created. It is incumbent that today’s managers understand these megatrends cold, interpret them in the context of their industries and organizations, and then recognize what to do about them.

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