Wyzetalk is Workforce Engagement – it’s more than a software offering

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“….the attribute of trust is not pervasive in business. If an organisation has trust, it can create engagement. An engaged workforce provides happiness, profitability and longevity to business.”

For businesses to say they are about the ‘workforce’ is a huge statement to make. To elaborate on this,  ’employee engagement’ / ‘workforce engagement’ is a systemic and not a software solution offering.)

(Providers in the market place should be careful to advertise this unless they are capable of the complexity of the offering this unless you understand what you are saying. Its a systemic issue… it’s not about software.. it’s not a short term fix.

I have always been an entrepreneur, surrounding myself with people more capable than myself. I started a company when I was 24, it became a national operation, with 600 staff and over $ 50 million per annum turnover,  which I sold in 2008. It was predicated, in its structure, on command and control, hierarchical and siloed… by design…

At this juncture in my career I decided to take on a more personal journey by enrolling in an Executive MBA at UCT founded my Professor Tom Ryan. A challenging and positive, life-changing event. It opened the doors of systems thinking for me.

I wrote my dissertation on collaboration in the enterprise… the paper assumed that the attribute of trust existed in business. My partner and I started Wyzetalk in 2012. Wyzetalk, has grown into a unique, diverse international business, forming alliances with top national brands and consultancies – a world class product with world class partners.

We have realised that the attribute of trust is not pervasive in business. If an organisation has trust, it can create engagement. An engaged workforce provides happiness, profitability and longevity to business.

We have spent the last few years trying to understand how to build a connected workforce. How to build true engagement. How to build trust.

The Wyzetalk team understands that the enterprise is typically on the far right side of a room and the workforce, typically, is on the far left side of the room.

Our software builds the railway that links the two but its the content, the understanding and the authenticity that we curate that is built on that railway that builds trust over time.

Doing surveys to groups, giving them vouchers or rewards for their contribution creates possible short term gain but it’s  not a long term solution. Don’t be shallow, don’t be a fad.

We are not in the business of short term gain. We are here to create true workforce engagement. We want to bring the enterprise and its workforce together. Build a tribal culture that’s transparent, genuine and long-term, goal-oriented.

We love what we do and we want to evolve with our clients to make this a reality.

We recently held a breakfast for the mining industry. We were honoured to have Dr. James Motlatse and professor Tom Ryan present. This is the link: http://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/south-africa/messy-wage-negotiations-are-avoidable/

It takes the view that businesses need to become empathetic. It’s about the hands that do the work, but it’s about the mind and the heart of the workforce that matter as much.

Moving from Closed Innovation To Open Innovation

In the mid twentieth century, key technologies were developed by large enterprises within their Research and Development departments and were always applied to a firms own products. It was the vertical integration within those companies that provided their competitive advantage. Furthermore, the economies of scale of these large companies set them apart from their smaller rivals. This is seen as the traditional setting for closed innovation as the innovations are produced and commercialized only within a companies boundaries.

So what do we do when our highly skilled, highly mobile, knowledge employees are coupled with a world of rapid change and alternations in consumption and production functions are ever shortened? Well, we have to make an R&D paradigm shift. We need to shift to an Open Innovation Paradigm.

R&D needs to start enhancing technology and out-sourcing. By out-sourcing I mean incorporating a larger pool of your companies brain capacity, resourcing your customers to crowd-source better product development and incorporate your suppliers into your decision making processes. This provides the sum of collaborative Innovation and is in essence the Open Innovation Paradigm. As organizations we need to thrive and in order to do so we need to find new ways to access knowledge through technology in an ever-increasing world of complexity and uncertainty.

I have written frequently about how Social Business Software (SBS) can reform and assist businesses into becoming more openly innovative. So consider the following: an effective deployment of SBS will allow your business to improve in the following innovation Performance areas namely; new products, new methods of production, new sources of supply, exploitation of new markets and even new ways to organize business.

On the one hand an organizations ability to improve the effectiveness of what it does is greatly increased and by incorporating other stakeholders namely Customers into the process product options, design and even aesthetic, symbolic or emotional meanings of products can be enhanced. Another stakeholder group to incorporate into the open innovation transfer is that of the suppliers. Suppliers are able to assist and streamline supply chain management processes as well as assist with new product development.

The ability of an organisation to innovate with the cooperation of different stakeholders during the R&D processes will improve the firm’s absorptive capacity to recognize the value of these stakeholders and make use of them.

Enabling Collaborative Innovation through Knowledge Sharing

Collaboration for R&D and innovation among various organisations can be beneficial and in some cases imperative, but in order to realise the potential, effective management is required. Effective innovation requires firms to share their core knowledge, and simultaneously make sure that they will not lose their core knowledge and future competitive advantage. 

In reality though the success of R&D and innovation strongly depends on the effectiveness of collaboration, levels of trust and transparency as its foundation within the enterprise which then leads to its ability, as an ecosystem, to gain, create and transfer knowledge and resources from within the firm and beyond aka The Open Innovation Paradigm.

Thus the ability for an organisation to comprehend the high levels of technological change and complexity, the ability to access and leverage diverse knowledge-based assets from complimentary sources is essential. Collaboration and networking are becoming increasingly important in the Open Innovation Paradigm.

Creating and Maintaining a viable Open Innovation environment requires the promotion of knowledge transfer. Social Business Software can help organisations achieve this.

Today, collaboration, networking and knowledge sharing can be seen as antecedents of R&D innovation and knowledge creation. The boundary between the company and its environment could be said to have become more fluid, enabling ideas and knowledge to flow much more freely.