Differences in professional perspectives are legendary, aren’t they? These distinctions form the basis of professional bias and baggage which we have all encountered in the workplace at one time or another.
Except that vertical professional hierarchies are being flattened as the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) impacts business models. Data and analytics drive all types of decision making. One set of professional decisions impacts another professional set of decisions.
The industrial Internet of Things ecosystem is defining the way we work, how and whom we hire, how our businesses are modeled, how we manufacture, how we communicate and how – and why – our businesses are drowning in a data tsunami.
Software interfaces and applications connect all of us to each other in some manner. There are opportunities in this connectivity. Are you taking advantage of them?
Is your team willing to address and move beyond legacy professional mindset and biases? Instead, create innovative solutions for your clients.
How well do you function when working with people whose professional perspectives differ from yours?
My standard operating mantra: Depending on where we sit around the business table, we all see, hear, think and speak about the same things differently. ~ Babette Ten Haken
When people disagree with you, do you hide under the table? When they challenge your thinking, do you become defensive? When they introduce their own ideas as though they were from divine origin, do you tune out or, worse, become disdainful?
In my Playbook, you exhibit signs and symptoms of Fear of Collaboration.
On the other hand, are you curious and inquisitive when working with people whose professional perspectives differ from your own? You just might have the right cultural DNA to become a productive and collaborative team member within the industrial Internet of Things business ecosystem.
That future workplace ecosystem is described a network of teams. These groups configure and reconfigure depending on type of project and desired outcome, according to Deloitte.
Within the new purposeful and data-driven workplace, differing professional perspectives represent industrial Internet of Things opportunities.
To thrive in the industrial Internet of Things business ecosystem, start (finally) poking holes in corporate silos. Oh, and collaborate with the IT folks!
In the IIoT-driven workplace, professions which traditionally get along like oil and water now are supposed to become collaborative partners. Everyone is supposed to make nice and get along with each other. And the IT department still remains the key to data accessibility.
How many of you reading this blog post avoid working with the IT department?
- The stereotype: If you are a sales person, you are used to working with buyers, decision makers, managers and operator end users. You stick to your own professional perspective.
- The stereotype: If you are an engineer, you collaborate with design engineers, Owners, financers and planners. You also hang out with the folks whose professional perspectives complement your own.
- The stereotype: If you are an IT professional, you work with other IT professionals. Unfortunately, you are marginalized from the direct thought processes and actions defining customer context, sales process, and design engineering constraints. Your professional perspective remains parochial instead of benefitting from continuous, daily cross-pollination from the business and operations side of the equation.
The IIoT drives change and crushes stereotypes. There is no room for complacency or sitting this one out.
The role of IT is at the center of it all. The industrial Internet of Things ecosystem redefines how and where data is housed, who accesses and analyzes these data, how data-driven decisions are made and by whom, and why it is important to share data analyses across the enterprise.
You just never know whether there is a complementary colleague somewhere in your organization with expertise, experience and insight to offer because they solved a similar problem.
In my Playbook, the industrial Internet of Things targets interoperability across machine interfaces. How about targeting interoperability across professional perspectives, as well?
Isn’t it about time to cross the sales-engineering interface® and share your differing professional perspectives with each other?
Your outcome? Professional interoperability.
The term “interoperability” describes computers or software which are able to exchange and make use of information. The term is incredibly appropriate to what happens when you flatten workplace hierarchies.
The industrial Internet of Things creates the opportunity for employees to work in a constantly changing environment of differing professional perspectives. This workplace dynamic creates individuals and teams with hybridized skill sets. Those skillsets, and accompanying mindset, become sought-after attributes in the smart manufacturing plant and the smart business enterprise.
Oh, and the last time I checked, interoperability opens the door to innovative opportunities.
- How interoperable are you, as a professional?
- How collaborative is your workplace?
- How has the industrial Internet of Things impacted your company?
Interested in becoming more diverse, hybridized and interoperable to capture innovative workplace opportunities? What are you waiting for?
Babette Ten Haken writes, speaks and coaches about customer success for customer retention. She traverses the interface between human capital strategy for hiring and developing collaborative technical and non-technical teams. She serves manufacturing, IT and engineering intensive companies. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.