Michael Bartz is a professor of International Business Management at IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems in Austria.
Before joining IMC University, he developed a management career with Philips, Capgemini and Microsoft, collecting over 17 years of management experience.
At Philips he established the new business field of security surveillance recording in the 1990s. His career at Philips followed 10 years of telecom and media industry consulting with the Capgemini Consulting Group headquartered in Paris. He supported leading global telecom operators and media houses to transform their business models and to embrace new business areas, especially the field of internet/online business. Joining Microsoft he became the Business Group Manager for the so-called "information worker business", and especially supported Microsoft Austria to pave its way to becoming the leading solution provider for New World of Work business solutions in the country. Following his personal dream, he was able to become a full time professor and researcher at IMC University in 2010, being fully dedicated to New World of Work transformation of corporate organisations.
Within his research field Michael is especially focussing on measuring the impact and return on investment of New World of Work business transformations. The introduction of new work forms to corporate organisations requires substantial investments. New World of Work investments cover areas like the roll out of video conferencing systems, collaborative software platforms, the introduction of home office or mobile working schemes, or the roll-out of new office usability concepts. It can also mean the establishment of state-of-the-art remote or virtual management techniques based on Management by Objectives and Balanced Scorecard Management systems. In any case, a New World of Work transformation represents a highly integrated, interdisciplinary change programme which binds financial and human resources at a substantial level. Due to this it is a critical success factor to define clear, measurable targets and ROI expectations for a New World of Work transformation and to determine progress during the transformation process based on quantitative Key Performance Indicators. The New World of Work research center at IMC University, which Michael established, supports companies like Microsoft, Würth, ERSTE Bank and EGGER. Michael regularly presents research results and shares his newest insights at New World of Work related conferences (e.g. Human Capital Forum, Alpbach Congress), publishes papers, and is running a German language blog (www.newworldofwork.wordpress.com).
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Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic
Michael, this year you led high-level EU workshops. Can you profile the participants and what they gained in your discussions about the New World of Work?
"....More and more, companies, states, industrial areas and industries are discovering that there is an opportunity to work and to create value in corporate organizations in completely new ways which differ completely from what we know from the past. In the end it's about efficiencies and effectiveness and increasing those by using innovative new work forms in corporate organizations...."
What are the top challenges faced by enterprises and governments today?
"....The challenges are that the top 20% of corporate organizations have started to leverage and use new work forms and are on the way to becoming Next Generation Enterprises, and the rest are somehow lagging and not sure what to do strategically....The fundamental decision that has to be taken is do I take a pro-active approach towards the Next Generation Enterprise and New World of Work or do I prefer for the moment a more passive 'wait' and 'watching' attitude...."
What are the top opportunities?
"....The opportunities are to become more efficient and more effective....The value chain can become much more complex but in the end more flexible and agile and more innovative, and this provides a huge advantage — to be able to react faster and more efficiently to changes in the environment...."
Do you have anything else to add about what is a Next Generation Enterprise and to further define this New World of Work?
"....I would love to share an example: one of my research projects is ongoing with Microsoft in Austria and what we did there is to create a new work environment...."
There are countries out there that are in the developing phase where they are used to a central-controlled very structured environment. When you have this systemic government-driven kind of cultural challenge, how would this new model be embraced in those kinds of countries?
"....It was never so easy to become a Next Generation Enterprise. By working more virtually, embracing remote management work forms, changing from control to trust culture, leveraging new economies and technologies, you can suddenly quantum leap into the global economy with your local industries....The critical success factor now is to leverage Next Generation Enterprise abilities in 3-dimensions: people, places and technology, and the critical success factor is actually the local government and government's support of companies by means of programs which provide know-how and funding to become a Next Generation Enterprise...."
How does an organization become a Next Generation Enterprise?
"....Over the years we have developed (along with a number of business consultants) a toolbox. There is available a New World of Work Next Generation Enterprise toolbox...."
How does the investment into a Next Generation Enterprise transformation pay back (ROI)?
"....When you use and leverage new work forms (like remote working, virtual lifestyles and work styles), within this opportunity is a change to reduce facility costs....When you start to allow people and management to embrace new work forms, it leads to an effect where company culture develops and moves away from a presence and control culture to a trust culture which accepts virtual and remote work styles....Your company becomes more robust in times of crisis as you are not dependent on physical presence and physical cooperation...."
Earlier you talked about the impact of this kind of transformation system on national economies. Do you have any additional information you can share?
"....At the moment we focus government strategies on new areas which we are going to explore. Just think of special groups in our societies who do not have the optimal access to career opportunities and employment....."
Do you have any early indication on how it could increase GDP or some tools to be able to measure that at some time in the future?
"....There is a very good case study about Turkey. If you look at Turkey and the GDP growth rate and if you combine it with the insight that Turkish companies started early to think about new work styles to leverage new technologies. Here we have a case where Next Generation Enterprise Work styles value creation can accelerate GDP growth and stabilize it...."
Can you share some results from your extensive research?
"....At the moment research from national programs is not possible due to NDAs. What I can say is it's always about development of industrial New World of Work Next Generation programs which offer a framework to industries and individual companies in terms of knowledge transfer.....There are similarities between national programs, but it is necessary to customize it depending on assets you can build on, site conditions, and also related to the industry you want to support and to bring forward within a distinctive national economy...."
You've done a lot, been a leader for some time and have impacted the world in many ways. Can you talk about some of your prior roles and share some lessons, best practices or recommendations from these prior roles?
"....My big plan and ambition was always to gather industry experience first and then to return to the university to share my learning....There was a lot to learn and I observed many things that people and excellent managers do really well and all the pitfalls and mistakes, and that's what I'm sharing now with my students and companies that I'm cooperating with in our research projects....."
What computing areas (specialties) or domains are having the highest growth rates and why?
"....It's about cloud computing....If you don't need a classic IT department anymore and you can have access to the most excellent, professional, secure software product that is available in the world, this makes the world even flatter, and for the software industry this is a paradigm shift as well as it is fundamentally changing business models in the software industry....."
What do you see as policies that need to be implemented to foster innovation?
"....If you as a government are successful in plugging in your national economies to global markets you automatically accelerate innovation. There is a direct relationship here, participation in global markets overcoming geographical barriers...."
What are the top resources that you use and that you would recommend to the audience?
"....Luckily we've already established a strong network so whoever is interested (in Next Generation Enterprise New World of Work) is more than welcome to contact me or my colleagues and the research team that we have established here — we're happy to help and to bring the right experts together....World of Work blog:http://www.newworldofwork.wordpress.com. At the moment it is limited to the German language but we are considering financing a parallel English language blog soon... "
Michael describes a controversy in the areas in which he works.
Do you feel computing should be a recognized profession on par with accounting, medicine and law with demonstrated professional development, adherence to a code of ethics, personal responsibility, public accountability, quality assurance and recognized credentials? [See http://www.ipthree.org and the Global Industry Council, http://www.ipthree.org/about-ip3/global-advisory-council]
"....Absolutely. Computing is a key resource due to the development of cloud computing and easier access to computer and computing resources. In the future, as more businesses gain more value creation through computing than through actually creating value on the shop floor, business models move towards co-ordination of value creation by leveraging know-how and knowledge...."
Michael, with your demanding schedule, we are indeed fortunate to have you come in to do this interview. Thank you for sharing your deep experiences with our audience.
Music by Sunny Smith Productions and Shaun O'Leary