This week in #bufferchat, we talked about what it means to build emergent organizations and what the future of work looks like. In our 2nd chat time, we were joined by The Ready, an organizational design company, to offer deeper insights during the discussion! During the chat, the community discussed how technology has influenced how we work, ways that companies can be more forward-thinking, how companies can support modern career growth, and much more.

Read on to discover all of the awesome knowledge and insights that were shared during the chat!

Catch our weekly Twitter chat, #bufferchat, at TWO times every Wednesday for valuable industry insights and to meet hundreds of other smart marketers and social media enthusiasts. Same topic, same place, just at different times – feel free to join in to whichever chat time works best for you!

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Bufferchat on january 18th, 2017 (Topic = Building an Emergent Organization)

This week’s stats:
1st Bufferchat: 39 participants; 282 tweets; reach of 842,762
2nd Bufferchat: 119 participants; 1,033 tweets; reach of 1,133,730

Q1: During these constantly changing times, what does it look like for a company to embrace a forward-thinking, emergent mindset?

From Tim:

  • We believe the most impactful, emergent organizations demonstrate certain principles.
  • To name a few, emergent orgs have a clear purpose, default to transparency, and are learning-focused + market-driven.

From the community:

  • “Recognize that these are fast changing times; embrace iterative processes, empower teams with trust, resource, mission.” @Chris_Santiago_
  • “The keyword is in the question: change. Build cultures where change is fluid and expected, not disruptive. That = nimble.” @rmacklinrecruit
  • “Collaboration in problem solving, and ensuring everyone’s ideas are being heard.” @mikevoorhees_
  • “Providing employees time to learn and a safe place to experiment with new things. Also, listening to insights they may have.” @KristeenOnline
  • “Reward creativity and new ideas. Not be afraid of making mistakes if you can learn from them.” @NickDayMKT

See all the great answers to question 1 here!

Q2: How have the needs of organizations changed as technology has evolved?

From Tim:

  • The model most orgs operate under (Taylorism) worked well in the past, but isn’t fit for today’s challenges.
  • What organizations need today is to be more adaptive to the market while relentlessly moving towards its purpose.
  • These organizations are what we’re calling emergent organizations.

From the community:

  • “Tech has changed the workplace rules, making it possible to telecommute, work from home & communicate from anywhere.” @MollyKoernke
  • “Everything has become more and more fast, so the main need of companies is having tools that helps them being faster.” @Jack_Lazzarin
  • “New skills and education has also come forward. New technologies means new positions, skills, & employee education.” @laura_bauman
  • “Many organizations have become active 24/7; the rules of a regular work day have completely changed.” @YellingMule
  • “The desire for human contact (phone calls) has become stronger. We need to refocus on building relationships.” @MegAHakey

See all the great answers to question 2 here!

Q3: What are signs that a company needs to make a change in how it functions?

From Tim:

  • If you’re sensing a gap between “what is” and “what could be”, that’s one sign the company needs to make a change.
  • We tend to be fans of continuous improvement. When should a company not be ready to change how it works?

From the community:

  • “I would think either you’re not growing or being stagnant, which probably is the same thing.” @OmnipoTony
  • “When the leadership stops learning about the culture of employees & just going with the day-to-day to get by. Need change.” @pjervis
  • “Can’t wait for turnover to be your indicator. Need to use better ways to look ahead – are ppl learning/talking/delivering?” @alyssaburkus
  • “Lack of employee motivation & excitement over projects. Team conflicts cause low morale which = poorly produced work.” @sophiaideas
  • “When cross-functional teams have different and opposing goals, it’s time to make a change.” @actinglikeseals

See all the great answers to question 3 here!

Q4: What are ways for a company to begin to make positive shifts in how it operates?

From Tim:

  • Identify 1) what’s working, 2) what isn’t, & 3) what’s possible, and make sure everyone is provided a space to answer these.

From the community:

  • “The first step is acknowledgement. There is still so much shame in admitting that you’re not up to snuff.” @doctorcrowe
  • “Hire smart. Talk to your people. Give them ownership + autonomy. Empower your people work where/how/when they work best!” @NoMeatballs
  • “Up the communication with more 2-way channels for idea sharing & reinforce positive goal setting for the company.” @TheMissNicolina
  • “Be more transparent with their goals and objectives to employees and customers.” @twobookminimum
  • “Determine first if a shift IS necessary and WHY it is. The WHY for the shift provides a doorway to the buy-in required.” @ideabloke

See all the great answers to question 4 here!

Q5: In your opinion, what’s the most important change an organization can make to help them thrive in the future?

From Tim:

  • This is a great (and admittedly tough!) question. What’s most important depends on the specific context of the organization.
  • One thing all organizations can do is get clear on the purpose. Then promote a shared ownership of the purpose.

From the community:

  • “Embrace tech & invest in people. Plan for the future but live in the moment because things change quicker than they used to.”@ATSocialTweets
  • “Employee satisfaction. Your biggest cheerleaders are internal. Take care of them & they will take care of your bottom line.” @SheffieCochran
  • “Provide a listening ear to employees and take heed to their concerns and desires. Make them a partner in business.” @imEbony
  • “Embrace new tech and embrace learning it… being accustomed to your ways is going to make you miss the train.” @HinoIII
  • “Be adaptable to change but always stay true to your core values. Don’t follow trends & blend in. Own them & stand out.” @norgentapel

See all the great answers to question 5 here!

Q6: How can organizations support modern career growth?

From Tim:

  • Shift the focus from “climbing up the ladder” to developing skills. & build this into the way you hire, train, + compensate.
  • Here we have to give a shoutout to ! The salary calculator is a great example of how true growth can be built into comp.
  • We’re actually in the final stages of creating a transparent salary formula ourselves!

From the community:

  • “Let employees try new things and outside the box ideas. People really want to keep learning and growing.” @rouxroamer
  • “Employees continuously need to upgrade their skills and competencies to meet the current demands.” @indigoevstudio
  • “Give employees opportunities for new responsibilities and reward worthy job performances w/ promotions & title changes.” @JessOB1kenobi
  • “I also admire companies who hire people based on them as people, and are willing to be fluid with the roles they take on.” @TheRoyalTbomb
  • “Offering their employees interesting talks, events, courses or workshops! If they grow, the company grows.” @matteocarvajal

See all the great answers to question 6 here!

Q7: What are some of your favorite resources to explore and learn about the future of work, organizational transformation, and/or emergent companies?

From Tim:

From the community:

See all the great answers to question 7 here!


Thank you so much to Tim and to everyone who participated and helped each other in this chat!

Do you have any comments or answers to these questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

Image sources: UnSplash

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Written by Arielle Tannenbaum

Community Strategist at Buffer. In addition to her love of community building, Arielle also loves vegetables, cooking, practicing yoga, meditating, living mindfully, and exploring the connections between health and happiness!