Session 7: The Virtual Organization is Here –Now to Make it Work!
Dr. Bill Halal
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
12:00-1:00 pm USA EDT (1600-1700 UTC)
Turn the “great resignation” of employees into a more vibrant, entrepreneurial “virtual organization”
The digital revolution made virtual organizations possible years ago, but it took the Covid crisis to force everybody online. Now, managers are struggling to end the “Great Resignation” and bring employees back into offices. This session reframes the problem. We argue that office work is not likely to return to the old normal. Managers should accept the reality that organizational life is better operated virtually, while also enhancing that personal glue that holds any social system together. We draw on the concepts of “internal markets” to note that the key to virtual work lies in well-defined performance goals, tied to rewards, and then allowing almost total operating freedom.
The resulting constellation of small, self-managed teams can be viewed as a network of “internal enterprises” able to adjust spontaneously to their environment — the ideal of free enterprise operating within large organizations. This self-organizing system is then held together with financial, informational, and cultural overlays that knit units into a more productive whole. Virtual meetings conducted with sophisticated platforms like MS Teams, video conferencing, and occasional in-person contacts reinforce the working relationships that make organizations work. We cite examples of organizations that have abandoned physical offices altogether and meet occasionally for only crucial events and to celebrate their accomplishments.
Dr. Bill Halal has served as an aerospace engineer on NASA’s Apollo Program, an Air Force officer, a Silicon Valley manager, and is Professor Emeritus of technology & innovation at the George Washington University. He is founder of TechCast Global LLC, a continuous Delphi-based forecasting organization cited by the National Academies, featured in the Washington Post, Newsweek, and the Futurist. and recognized as possibly the best forecasting system available. His many books include: The New Capitalism, The New Management: Bringing Democracy & Markets Inside Organizations, Twenty-First Century Economics: Perspectives of Socioeconomics for a Changing World, Technology’s Promise: Expert Knowledge on the Transformation of Business and Society, and Beyond Knowledge: How Technology is Driving an Age of Consciousness. Bill has always been fascinated with the revolutionary power of technological change driving us into a high-tech global order. He recently launched “Strategic Forum,” a bi-monthly virtual conference that brings together prominent thought leaders to collectively provide strategic solutions to the transformative changes of our time.
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