We face a systemic challenge to how we work today. In the US, each year we see 5-15% of our work and projects utterly fail, a collective cost of up to $150 Billion, according to a Gallup Business Journal article. More so, most leaders and thinkers considering the future of work agree that the existing processes of the Industrial Age have hit their limits for productivity gain. We need fresh transformational thinking change to how we work that brings new magnitudes of productivity while also recognizing and reintroducing humanity and trust into our work.
On August 18th, Alynd, Inc. unveiled our vision for the future of work to the first group of people on our Alpha waiting list. We have developed a solution to one of the most pressing and costly problems that impacts the performance of organizations large and small, creating a culture of accountability where everyone keeps the commitments they make.
THE PROBLEM WITH WORK
Most of us make and keep commitments everyday in the flow of our daily work. Yet, we know from personal experience that even the most well-intentioned professionals don’t always do what they say they are going to do. Failing to keep our commitments is the invisible anchor that weighs down the potential of organizations and their networks of employees, contractors, partners and customers.
Organizations shoulder this burden as operational, cultural and financial costs visible in project failures, low employee engagement, and missed earnings. Individual contributors often feel this in the form of an emotional tax on their well-being and productivity.
Alynd was born out of our broad experience with management practices, enterprise technology and Social Business solutions. It is the expression of our vision for the future of work; a future in which there is less politics, less fear and greater trust. How?
With each commitment we make, each colleague we work with, and each result we deliver we build up our professional reputation. With our reputations at stake, and when the natural flow of how we work becomes observable, we face the truth of how we work each other. Similarly, we also get better at understanding how our colleagues work. We see each other as real people, each with their own workloads, challenges, and behaviors, without the imagined veils of hidden agendas. We put effort to understand each other, and present the best versions of ourselves.
We call our solution Alynd because it enables team members to get on the same page with each other—aligning their self-interests with that of their team and their organization. Alynd improves both individual and team performance by offering knowledge workers a tool to track the commitments they make to each other, increasing their chance of delivering successful results, and building our reputation with our Net Trust Scores. It is a tool that gives people the agility they need to get work done even as situations or stakeholder needs change. It is a s part of the solution to creating a more engaged workforce.
In contrast to most technology solutions, rather than requiring separate tools, Alynd uniquely combines collaboration, productivity and performance management through a more holistic approach. We believe we have identified a more meaningful aspect of performance management that emerging social collaboration solutions have missed—a system that gathers peer reviews from those directly involved in each commitment kept or missed. These real-time insights into each individual’s professional development—especially measuring their integrity and ability—can benefit both the individual and the organization.
In this way we are truly quantifying work in a way unlike no other. Our Net Trust Score technology has the potential to become the gold standard in evidence-based performance measurement and recognition systems. Uniquely, each individual owns their Net Trust Score, not the organization; so, everyone can take their professional reputation with them wherever, and whenever they go in their careers.
This is how Alynd creates collaboration with accountability, by connecting each commitment made with an individual’s short-term rewards and their enduring reputation. It’s a powerful and mutually beneficial system for encouraging knowledge workers to do their best and to keep their word.
OUR UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION
Alynd is initially focusing on serving the needs of project teams, professional service firms and communities of practice. Particularly within the Social Media, Social Business and Enterprise 2.0 communities where we have focused our energy for the past several years and where our value proposition will be widely and readily understood.
Interestingly, our holistic approach to collaboration is equally effective in traditionally structured or networked organizations. Alynd supports employees striving to navigate increasingly matrixed, distributed and podular workplaces, where they are frequently reporting to multiple teams in different parts of the organization. It is equally useful in rigidly structured organizations. This is why we believe our solution will serve as a powerful catalyst to accelerate the transition from hierarchical to networked organizational models.
Our approach serves the needs of leaders and managers by supporting accountability and alignment across their organization that in turn can improve financial and operational performance. Most importantly, it serves the needs of knowledge workers, making their efforts more visible, providing them with more actionable performance feedback and recognizing the value they contribute.
While there remain more problems to solve and countless features to build, we have already garnered the interest of several large enterprises that will soon begin pilots. At this early stage of our company’s development, we are looking forward to securing the evidence that proves how Alynd’s approach to collaboration with accountability measurably improves the performance and results of both organizations and individuals.
Can we really recover $150 Billion of waste and lost productivity from our economy? It just may be possible if we can solve what we see as the fundamental problem with work: individuals keeping their commitments. With your help over the months and years ahead, we will do this by reimagining what it means to work together and how to unleash our true collaborative potential.
If Alynd’s solution reduces the financial and emotional costs stemming from widespread misalignment in organizations, the impact could be even greater. Regardless of these gains from recovering wasted-time or productivity gains, this is worth the effort. From our conversations with organizations large and small, they want to solve this problem as much, if not more, than we do.
If you would like to discover how this approach fits the way you work with your colleagues in your organization, sign up for our free alpha trial today. You can also join our weekly Wednesday webinars, starting August 20th, 2014 at 8-9am Pacific Time.
Rawn Shah is an Advisory Board member at Alynd, Inc. He is author of seven books and a leading blogger on social business, workplace transformation, and technology. He writes the Connected Business blog on Forbes.com