‘The challenge kicked off in August, 2013. It posed a simple but disruptive challenge: how to give people the autonomy at work they crave without spinning the organization out of control. We challenged innovators to tell us how they would cultivate five freedoms in their workplace:
- The freedom to connect with anyone anywhere in the world.
- The freedom to contribute and to make a real impact on the basis of merit rather than position.
- The freedom to create, to use one’s skills to improve and experiment without a fear of failure.
- The freedom to choose where to work, when to work, how to work, with whom to work, and what to work on.
- The freedom to challenge by speaking up, pushing back and taking an active role in decision making.
It was exciting to be part of the challenge. The participants’ submissions show that the idea of a digital workplace that gives workers autonomy is not some vague, futuristic vision but a reality today.
The five winners were announced last week. They cover a wide range of forward-thinking approaches that enable workers’ creativity and enthusiasm. Check out the stories on ideas such as::
- Using social media to do work “in plain view”
- Self-building job roles
- Collaborative decision making
- Creating time for reflection into work processes
- Building the liquid organization
We at Gartner think that espousing the five digital freedoms is a leading indicator of business performance. Today, companies that capitalize on them are in the minority but before long, the freedoms will be commonplace in the workplace. And those organizations that ignore them will be at a disadvantage when it comes to maintaining an engaged workforce and attracting new talent.
My advice: be a catalyst for change. Kick off an exploration of how to exploit the five freedoms in your in your organization. Gartner clients who would like help setting up a workshop can contact me.
Think about how much fun it will be to go to work when your creativity is put to work!
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