AIHP: Adam, it is a pleasure to meet with you at the London Business School. We wanted to discuss a trend which we are observing: Currently the social sphere is leading the corporate sphere in the provision of the digital tools and indeed the environments for people to connect and share ideas in a meaningful, productive way. Is this something you have come across in your research?
Adam Kingl: Certainly. I see this all the time, in my research and in my work in the higher education field. I believe we must learn about the benefits digital platforms offer us in professional settings so we can use them to provide the best learning environment and empower employees to share ideas.
AIHP: What are some of the benefits you see digital platforms offering today’s executives?
Adam Kingl: The opportunity to conduct better structured ideation sessions that produce a greater number of tangible outcomes. Time-bound, well moderated exercises on a virtual platform are very useful for driving innovation. Different companies can come together to collaborate and due to the digital parameters of the discussion, many find it easier to share openly and contribute. For example, we might set up a discussion that says for the next 72 hours we are running this virtual event, and we want you to share your ideas on a specific question or shared problem. The digital nature of this discussion helps avoid group-think, breaks down hierarchy, and stops dominance by an individual. In addition, it reduces concerns regarding how those in the room present themselves. The environments in which these digital collaborations are performed are built on trust. There are rules for engagement. Participants, for example, need to be pre-qualified by a trusted intermediary. This trust helps the involved parties work more effectively.
AIHP: You have been devoting a lot of your research to understanding the behavior of the Generation Y in the workplace. Is there a link between attracting and retaining the Generation Y talent and investing in digital collaboration tools?
Adam Kingl: Yes in fact there is a link between investing in digital collaboration tools and better engaging with the Generation Y talent in workplaces. With digital platforms, there is a chance to make discussions more encompassing. This is important because when we look at the Generation Y, we see that they don’t value hierarchy in the way that their older peers do. They are disproportionally well-networked through their technology enablement. Engaging through digital tools gives a seat at the table for all generations to work together effectively: Frame the rules in a clear manner, encourage the participation of everyone, regardless of their level, and give time and space for ideas to develop.
AIHP: Thank you Adam for your excellent insights.
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