Think of the possibilities if we could do this within a hospital:
Imagine a global corporation – maybe a software company or an accounting-consulting firm – in which people at all levels and positions could interconnect and network together, and then solve problems together. A company with an internal intranet containing an internal Facebook, blogs, work logs, etc. fully searchable by anyone else in the company. Perhaps employees anywhere in the world could connect in any way they needed to: video conference instantly from their laptops, or leave video messages for each other.
If all the talent in the company could connect easily, that could bring enormous innovation acceleration. Problem solving could be far more efficient. Maybe David in the office in Singapore has already solved a problem now facing new person Carly in the office in Boston? What if Carly could type in a few key words and learn that David dealt with the same issues last month?
While I’ve heard of companies trying to better connect their workforces through intranet applications, I haven’t heard of too many turning all or most of the process over to all employees, especially the younger generation (but please comment and tell me who is doing this if you know).
The first company that achieves this extreme interconnectivity would instantly have tremendous leverage against competitors from an enormous boost in productivity and innovation.
Connect: Extricate! Communicate! Innovate!
Encourage employees to solve problems by connecting and empowering them. Remove traditional barriers (I work on the 7th floor, I work in Radiology, I’m a nurse) and allow innovation from below: give employees the tools to communicate with each other and access to actionable data. This challenging time is not one in which to exert more control; for it will be the free organization that will prosper.