According to this article at NetworkWorld.com, American companies are still unable to adapt to the modern workforce well enough to fill vacancies.
This is the premise behind my book, Information Age Management. To wit: that in order for companies to stay competitive with a full staff of excellent workers, modern IS managers must shift away from Indstrual Age management styles and to what I describe as Information Age Management.
Anyone who has worked for a successful tech startup has likely experienced this. In fact, we can learn a lot from the following aspects of the typical tech startup:
- they use technology for work like most people use technology for play
- each worker has a distinct role (or several distinct roles), rather than a title
- there is usually a glorious lack of an established, Industrial Age, on-site, 9-5 corporate culture
This blend may be why startups can be so successful at challenging behemoths in the tech industry when doing so would be much harder in other industries. But the good news is that any business in any industry can incorporate Information Age Management and that doing so is beneficial to both employers and employees, so it creates a happier and more productive work environment. In fact, that was part of the original promise of the internet, twenty years ago: that workers and companies would have more flexibility to get their work done and to hire whom they like. But that hasn’t happened. Here is how I put it in my book:
…if your management style does not become as flexible as the legitimate services that make up today’s world, you risk becoming less legitimate. If that happens, your workers will stop taking you seriously and they’d be right to stop taking you seriously because this lack of flexibility does not stem from a failure of desire nor from a failure of technology. It’s a failure of management.
That means that a manager today has a rare opportunity to embrace non-traditional work styles and by doing so, he can get the best and brightest workers, produce the most innovative results, and reap the resulting economic rewards.
Today’s article in NetworkWorld.com is not unique; in my book, I cite other articles that reach the same conclusion: companies cannot fill their IT vacancies, even at a time of low employment. And I also describe rampant inefficiencies that many companies take for granted as a necessary evil but which serve no one and are not necessary at all. Flexibility is not difficult when you learn how to be flexible safely. And it is no longer an option if you want to stay competitive. Things are tough out there; those who can’t bend might just break.