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Work Smarter, Not Harder: Global Work Study Reveals


IBM recently released its report into how organizations are using technology and people in 2010. The report, titled A New Way of Working - Insights from Global Leaders, highlights the fact that today’s business environment is becoming increasingly complex and volatile. Coupled with the new reality that customers, suppliers and workers are becoming more and more geographically dispersed, organization’s today need to work smarter, not harder. This study examines what practices leading organizations are using and refining to keep ahead of the game.

What are high performing organizations doing differently compared with their underperforming counterparts? The IBM study draws some very interesting results. For example, high performance companies are more than twice as likely able to:

• easily identify individuals with needed skills
• quickly build skills to address changing conditions
• display and deliver information to meet the needs of various audiences

That’s a very significant shortfall in capability in recognizing skill gaps and filling them quickly. In this modern environment, Human Resource functions need to be at the forefront in managing and deploying talent across the organization.

The report also revealed where the top performers are better at building collaborative work processes around realtime information. For example, compared with their lower performing counterparts, the high performers were:

• twice as likely to ensure business process documentation is visual and well understood by key stakeholders
• more than twice as focused on directly embedding collaborative capabilities within processes to improve the speed and quality of their decisions
• three times more likely to enable users to rate and comment on the information they are using
• 3.5 times more likely to integrate different sources of data to a significant extent
• 2.6 times more likely to use realtime information for decision making

The top organizations spend effort on ensuring that information is practical and that people are actually sharing and using it to make realtime decisions. Think about how your organization is collecting, packaging and disseminating information. Is it accurate? Are the people needing it to make decisions getting it on time and in a form that they can understand and use? Can the information be shared within and outside the organization and discussed easily?

Read the complete New Way of Working summary at

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