OHRMCon: Engage Disruption By Shaun Bradley

From information technology to automobiles, disruption is a game-changer.  Taking on the topic of change, Lee Congdon discussed industry challenges during OHRMCon, held in New York City during the first week in October. Headquartered in North Carolina, the Red Hat enterprise is 8,000 associates strong and operates in the Czech Republic, and from office and remote locations across the globe. Looking beyond traditional HR solutions to serve its interests, Red Hat’s first go-live with OrangeHRM leave management products took place in January, 2011. Deployed in 26 countries, OrangeHRM’s platform solved compliance and leave problems that occur when associates are sometimes 10 time zones apart.  Red Hat and OrangeHRM serve as catalysts for community-based development models—structuring adaptive solutions through open source. In his keynote presentation at OHRMCon, Mr. Congdon discussed a world rapidly shifting from an industrial to information-based society.  Several industries are undergoing fundamental shifts due to the advent of new tech, including:

  • Information:  From print to digital, and back, modes to create and disseminate information are in flux.  Each tech innovation means new business opportunities at many levels.
  • Music:  From vinyl to immersion in virtual reality, music is undergoing dramatic change.  The era when songs were purchased, owned, and traded, gave way to downloaded songs, which is giving way to screen rental to play your favorite song of the moment.
  • Transportation:  Uber, smart cars, and automation are literally driving transportation options into a completely new paradigm.
  • Production:  Repetitive and analytic work once done by humans is giving way to automation and machine learning.  From building cars, to suggesting a medical diagnosis, the use of robotics and artificial intelligence eliminates some jobs while boosting others. Machine learning is an integral part of Watson, a technology that underpins OrangeHRM’s ATS Project Nova.
  • Automated resources:  Transportation, event, and service planning is taken care of online with choices of when, where, how, what color, and how much.  For many kinds of purchases, the balance of information has shifted from vendor to consumer.
New developments are fueling a relentless cycle of tech innovation.  Through customer tracking, Amazon can make irresistible offers on bundled merchandise—and deliver products rapidly to your door.  Marketing automation harvests consumer data that allows web retailers to offer individual pricing options designed to spur purchases.  With a smartphone in the pocket or purse, shopping anonymity is becoming a thing of the past. Use disruption to drive innovation So how does enterprise thrive and survive in a volatile, rapidly changing marketplace? At least two things are key—disruption and speed. The cost of disruption is falling fast.  While it used to cost millions to get a new product to market, today, two entrepreneurs working in a garage could create the next unicorn start-up.  To survive—enterprise must adapt, often by disruption. Earlier Mr. Congdon talked about the power of the open organization  to cultivate innovation and drive change.  While disrupting your company is difficult, changing company culture drives needed change.  Here are some questions to consider:
  1. What is your vision, who are the disruptors, and what are your people doing to get to the next thing?  Even if you have experts on the industry side, you need experts on the information side to visualize potential movement through new tech where appropriate.
  2. Will your culture get you where you need to be?  Do your people, mission, and strategy align?  If not, how can you adjust?
  3. How can you do it faster?
  4. What is your next disruptive investment?  Within individual, team, enterprise, or industry—how can you make it happen?
Disruption is not just for industry anymore.  It is for the individual, the workforce, and company culture.  Engage disruption to innovate, develop institutional resilience—and get to market faster.