Dysfunctional Work Silos

Harold Jarche Chairman, Internet Time Alliance

Posted on September 29th 2012

Dysfunctional Work Silos

Here are some of the observations and insights that were shared via social media this past week.

I am only highlighting one post I came across this week, as I think it is extremely important as an indicator of how work is changing.

Bersin.com: Performance Management As a Part of Daily Life: Work.com Changes the Game – via @C4LPT

But Work.com is more than a performance management system.  It is an integrated part of the Salesforce platform, and as such is located where many employees actually do their work.  Critically, there is no separate system to access.  There is no need for HR to entice employees to use the performance management system.   This is not “performance management” software – it is “work software” – a tool which Salesforce.com hopes will help people work together better.

My Comments: This should be a wake-up call to work support specialists (L&D, OD, HR) that “net work” has to be integrated. For vendors, the days of stand-alone learning, talent, or performance management systems are numbered. It should also be a clear indication that industrial/information age work structures, and the disciplines they begat, are losing. relevance.

If systems like Work.com are integrated with the lines of business, there may be less need for specialized HR practitioners or at less fewer of them. Managers may begin to ask why they need HR, when they can manage 80% of performance management themselves. And PM is just the start. Why not learning management, when the vast majority of learning happens on the job?

We are moving toward a unified performer-facing work support model, one that does not differentiate between HR, OD or L&D. The only differentiation is between those doing the valued work, and those supporting it. With integrated software systems, we can now see who is doing what and how much value they add. Work is becoming transparent, and highlighting the dysfunction of our work function silos, created in a time when information was scarce and connections were few. That time has come to pass.


Harold Jarche

Chairman, Internet Time Alliance

Harold Jarche helps organizations learn, work, and innovate in the network era. He has been described as “a keen subversive of the last century’s management and education models”.
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