Article: Exploring the possibilities of augmented organisations in the pursuit of productivity


Exploring the possibilities of augmented organisations in the pursuit of productivity

While the pandemic accelerated the investment and urgency of deploying technology to drive digitisation and automation, it also affirmed the intuitive need to connect and spotlight the human element at the center of transformation.
Exploring the possibilities of augmented organisations in the pursuit of productivity

In the aftermath of the pandemic and the change that came with it, the organisations that were quick to deploy and leverage technology emerged as the ones capable of adapting itself to the changes. Augmented organisations are emerging as the ones best suited to tackle the challenges of the new normal of work. But augmenting an organisation is more than just digitisation.

In a recently hosted LinkedIn Live by People Matters, industry leaders Rajkamal Vempati, Head Human Resources, Axis Bank and Prasanna Lohar, Chief Innovation Officer, DCB Bank discussed the various aspects of successfully transforming an organisation into an augmented one.

Here are some key takeaways from the session:

Key pillars of an augmented organisation

Rajkamal Vempati, Head Human Resources, Axis Bank defines augmented organisation as one which is harnessing the potential of both technology and people and ensuring the processes remain frictionless behind the scene. These processes are wired to drive outcomes and enhance the capabilities of the people.The focus is on meeting customer needs with the help of digital technologies.

For an organisation to successfully augment itself, it needs to keep up with the change in customer’s needs. This change should drive the manner in which the employees are augmented. If the organisation is not ready to meet those customer needs, another organisation will take its place to fulfill those needs.

The employee skillsets and organisational processes are two important deciding factors of an augmented organisation. Employees need to upgrade their skills as per the demands of the customer and leaders need to come up with new roles for managing the additional workforce. There is a big disadvantage faced by organisations which depend on their outdated processes and architecture to serve their customers. Such organisations need to reconsider their model and rethink on augmenting their processes and adapting their technology in order to take the organisation to the next level.

Stakeholders in building an augmented organisation

The most critical aspect of augmenting an organisation lies in its structure. The model of the structure can differ according to the needs of the company but it is important to choose the right structure. According to Rajkamal, the transformation has to happen from the bottom and move upwards. Without the front-end managers participating in the user design and testing, the transformation process is bound to fail.

Harnessing people’s capabilities should be guided by three factors - ensuring the roles are enabling employees rather than controlling them, ensuring productivity from the inside out - delivering results to the customer and, ensuring that the customer’s needs are driving the entire process.

Augmenting an organisation is more than just digital transformation. The focus is on making use of the various technologies that are available and personalising the algorithm to reshape the way of working. For this transformation to be successful, there is a need for people who are data literate and who can keep with both the new changes and the existing legacies. With such a shift in mind, the company agenda needs to be reviewed every year to ensure that new factors are being taken into account. Transforming into an augmented organisation is a continuous journey and requires agility.

Prasanna Lohar, Chief Innovation Officer, DCB Bank believes that innovation involves taking the people along. In order to address employee’s views, he proposed a forum for team members. This can serve as internal cultural exchange and domain experts can recommend the best innovative ideas from the forum to the top management. The department heads can examine what each department has been focusing on for the year and what they plan on focusing on in the next year. These plans can be determined by three things- customer channels, connecting processes and data-based layers consisting of blockchains, AIs, etc.

The role of people in an augmented organisation

People play an important role in augmenting an organisation. At the end of the day, the digital processes are programmed by people. This is why employee engagement is critical. There has been an observed increase in the kind of roles which focus on taking care of those employees which work on innovations and digitisation. Prasanna believes that when organisations take care of their employees, they will in turn take care of the KRAs.

In order to engage leaders with ideas of change, building awareness is key. There is a need to let go of legacy systems and build a people framework focused on agility. The mindset of the people involved need to remain fluid so the structure they are working in can incorporate change and curiosity. Rajkamal believes that the key to letting go lies in cognitively spending time unlearning. The focus should be on what to stop doing rather than what to learn.

The pandemic has brought on a rapid change facilitating a transformation devoid of barriers and scarcity. This change has the potential to bring a growth oriented economy for the country.

Learn more about augmented organisations and other latest trends, emerging best practices, and ideas to reorient your organisation towards a new vision of productivity at People Matters Workforce Productivity Conference.

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Topics: Skilling, Technology, #PMWPC, #RiseofWorkTech, #FutureOfWork, #Work & Skills

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