Changing Work: Blame it on the web

Changing Work: Blame it on the web

Often while I am waiting for an appointment or simply wasting time, I peruse Instagram. Like many, I follow friends and celebrities, but also a few individuals who offer inspirational quotes that serve as daily motivation. A week or so ago I came across a quote by former President John F. Kennedy that read, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” I was reminded of this quote this week as I pondered how the nature of work is changing due to the web. As I thought about the influence that the web has had on work I realized that change in work is inevitable and the new normal and that as a leader my role is to consider how the web will shape work in the future so that they organization I lead is prepared for the  future.


For people in most industries, the work environment looks drastically different today than it did 20 years ago. Many of the changes in work have been brought about by technological developments, especially the web. Gartner (2010) suggests that there are 10 key changes that will take place in work environments before year 2020 which include: De-routinization of work, work swarms, weak links, collective working, work sketch-ups, spontaneous work, simulation and experimentation, pattern sensitivity, hyper connectedness, and my place. These changes will influence the ways in which organizations integrate technology into operations and how they respond to technological advances. Businesses and organizations must be prepared to leverage technology and web platforms to compete in the future.

Gartner (2014) suggests that organizations should have a plan as to how their digital assets should be leveraged. In my current organization we are in the process of creating our strategic plan that is designed to chart the future of our organization from now until 2023. After reading Gartner article, I realize that we are missing an important element in the strategic plan which is a plan for how we will use technology. I feel like if we do not create a strategic objective around the use of technology we will miss out on an important source of innovation and opportunity. Minimally, we should be creating a plan for how we can leverage technology such as social media and our website,, to generate revenue, improve costumer experience, gain a competitive advantage in the college athletics marketplace, and promote the Marquette brand. One way that we could meet the change in work and stay ahead regarding the use of technology is to create a position within our department that deals with digital leadership such as a digital strategist or digital marketing/business leader. Dishman (2016) proposes five market trends that business and organizations will see in 2017 and one of which is the growth of data science and analysis as trends in the workplace, especially in human resources. I think it is important to consider how technology now grants us useful data that can be analyzed that can guide work in organizations. I think an important function of a digital leader within my organization would be to use data to guide decisions and improve business outcomes. One tactic could be to gather analytics from social media because social media offers excellent opportunities to gather data related to performance indicators and business goals.

As people and technology have come together in a networked world wirearchy has emerged. Wirearchy offers organizations an opportunity to have information flow between people in a way that embraces connection and collaboration over hierarchy. The organizational principles of wirearchy offers sound conceptions for leaders. Wirearchy forces leaders to consider how they communicate and share information and encourages leaders to listen, be accountable, and be transparent. In addition, wirearchy illuminates the need for leaders to know and understand connectedness and the flow of information, so that leaders can prepare organizations for the changes that the web and technology will bring in the future. As a leader within my organization, wirearchy encourages me embrace team work and collaboration as a way to get things done. Through team work and collaboration more collective leverage of knowledge is leveraged to solve the adaptive challenges of the future.


Dishman, L. (2016, December 15). These are the top 5 workplace trends we’ll see in 2017. Retrieved from

Gartner. (2010, August 4). Gartner says the world of work will witness 10 changes during the next 10 years. Retrieved from

Gartner. (2014, May 21). Gartner identifies six key steps to build a successful digital business. Retrieved from

Husband, J. (n.d.).  What Is wirearchy? Retrieved from


2 thoughts on “Changing Work: Blame it on the web

  1. Hi Adrienne,

    I am glad that you brought up Dishman’s (2016) piece that asserted that nontraditional employee / human resources benefits will become less popular in the workplace. Perhaps I am misreading Dishman’s (2016) paragraph but I know nontraditional benefits such as student loan repayment, tuition assistance, and commuting/transportation compensation are very popular at my organization. In line with Dishman’s (2016) suggestion regarding big data, I would be curious to use analytics to determine the popularity of nontraditional employee benefits at my agency and as you wrote, social media could be a way we could capture some of that feedback. In regards to your school’s strategic planning, do you think analytics could play a role in determining if technology could indeed be put to work to generate revenue and promote the Marquette brand especially in the use of social media? Ben Hammer


    Dishman, L. (2016, December 15). These are the top 5 workplace trends. Fast Company. Retrieved from


    1. Hi Ben,
      When I read Dishman’s article I too was very surprised to read that non-traditional benefits are not as popular among employees as they once were. As full-time employee at Marquette I am able to receive tuition remission, meaning I get free tuition for myself for any undergrad or graduate program and tuition for my spouse and dependents (once you have five years of continuous employment). I have taken advantage of this benefit for myself and my spouse and so have many of my co-workers. I would be curious to know if this is a benefit that most Marquette employees do take advantage of and to know if they see this as a valuable and important benefit. I think by capturing this feedback the University could better understand the value of this non-traditional benefit to our workforce at the University. As we engage in strategic planning, I think that analytics can play a huge role in helping is to determine ways to generate increased revenue and and in promoting the Marquette brand. For example, by collecting data on what features of our site people are accessing we could determine what features of the website get the most traffic, and then use that information as the bases for revenue generation ideas. In addition, I think we could also use social media as a way to connect with our fans and supporters to survey them about our brand and potential opportunities for brand promotion. Through social media we can create informal groups that outside of the organization that allow us to work with the collective to gather market information and help us to solve some of our problems (Gartner, 2010).

      Gartner. (2010, August 4). Gartner says the world of work will witness 10 changes during the next 10 years. Retrieved from


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