Editor's note: This piece was originally published as the Smartsheet perspective in the report Empowering Employees to Drive Innovation and Agility, a recent report from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services.
Organizations today face constant change and disruption. Global events have led to dramatic shifts in remote work, changes to markets, and competitive disruptions as companies look for opportunities amid the crisis. These disruptions have exposed for many organizations what many of us already knew: most of our current ways of working are no longer delivering results. The long-standing challenges in the way work gets done — siloed workstreams, a lack of transparency, the inability to respond quickly — have been amplified and can no longer be addressed with rigid top down systems or point solutions for productivity.
Businesses are taking a hard look at what they need to stay productive and maintain a competitive edge in the face of these challenges. How they choose to structure their organizations and support their workers will ultimately determine their success in the long run. This means balancing a top-down approach to innovation with a bottom-up approach that lets those closest to the customer develop creative ways to meet customer needs, supporting autonomous teams while maintaining visibility into their work, and finding the right technology to empower teams to work dynamically.
While people and technology are often thought of as separate areas of investment, employees with the right tools and technologies are better able to quickly adapt and innovate in response to rapidly changing business needs. A secure, scalable work management platform that connects the entire enterprise, and gives everyone the power to work together to innovate and adapt to continuous change, can help employees thrive amid the pressures of today’s environment — and in the face of future disruptions.
We’ve sponsored research by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services to help business leaders better understand how to unleash agility amid disruption and cultivate employee innovation from the bottom up. Through quantitative research and deep interviews with analysts, experts, and business leaders currently helping their organizations navigate change, this report is a new look at how organizations can empower their employees with the right mindset — and the right technology — to turn constant change into endless opportunities to innovate.
There’s never been a more significant time to empower a dynamic, resilient workforce that can adapt quickly and drive innovation. This report can serve as a practical guide for you to start exploring how rethinking your business mindset — and your technology investments — can position your workforce to see your organization through this moment and whatever the future may have in store.