Interdependency should be a straightforward term. Work has always been and will always be about solving other people’s problems and nobody can do that alone. Interdependency gets a new concrete meaning when used to describe work and the technologies supporting it today. Interdependency is not about companies interacting with other companies, or companies that interact with customers, but about people interacting with people – enabled by the new tools.
Interaction is not only about communication. It is as important to have quick access to needed information in an effortless way. Whether it is customers getting new effortless access to information or employees improving their ways of serving customers, bots and new intelligent technologies are going to create a revolution in the service quality. Think about finding flights, knowing when the next train is going to depart, call centers, service centers – the list is long.
Customers and customer interactions are going to be the main sources of development and iterative learning. Lean thinking gives waste the meaning that anything that slows us down is waste, but also the notion that anything that does not contain potential for learning is waste.
Moments of creating value with customers that also help us develop and learn are the new magical moments. And those magical moments should be shared with others and on the other side, you should be able to work not only based on what you know but based on what others know. Capabilities are not the attributes of individuals but the attributes of interaction.
Being able to reflect, learn and share is what makes companies thrive and evolve -the new scorecards are going to be social.
Not all sharing contributes to success. All of us have experienced e-mail tsunamis and spent hours in meetings. The continuous challenge is to be aware of what conversations create value and what creates waste. Social productivity is not just about being more social. The agile manifesto points out that interaction is more important than the processes – and now we have the new tools that help us to increase our social interaction productivity.
This all leads back to interdependency. Value is created in interaction. That is why the focus changes from individuals to what is happening between them. How we communicate together, how we work with information together and how we prioritize together. A lot of ground has already been covered, but the journey is just beginning.
Today, but even more tomorrow, work is interaction between interdependent people.