Aggressively Networked Organizations Have the Upper Hand

Dr. Marci Rossell shares her thoughts on success in the face of crisis

It’s becoming clear that some industries will benefit from the reorganization of economic activity taking place in the face of the coronavirus crisis. The organizations that benefit from this historic sea of change are likely to share one quality, contends Stanley McChrystal, retired US Army 4-star general who is overseeing Boston's response to the virus.

“The most aggressively networked organizations, whether military or businesses or governments, are going to come out really well,” he recently wrote for a Bloomberg piece featuring leaders sharing how they believe the pandemic will reshape the world.

“Aggressively networked organizations” is a term that has caught the attention of Dr. Marci Rossell, and others, who think it might describe a key factor in distinguishing between organizations that fail or succeed during this economic crisis.

“I think he's on to a very big idea there,” the former chief economist for CNBC said of McChrystal during her recent Haworth Connect presentation.

For Dr. Rossell, the term evokes organizations that are very comfortable moving out of physical space and operating in a virtual space. But how they get there depends on the organization and the work they do. So, the question becomes: How can you tie people (customers, partners, and employees) and things together in ways that don't necessarily require a lot of physical contact?

It's not a one-on-one connection but a multiplicity of connections. Because of that, Dr. Rossell thinks “aggressively networked” is going to mean different things in different environments, using Facebook and the military as examples of organizations that are very comfortable staying connected while working anywhere.

“In retail, ‘aggressively networked’ is Amazon, which sells me clothes, movies, and music and allows me to not only buy things for my house but send them to my daughter as well,” she said.

For more insights from Dr. Rossell, including income and wealth implications, visit our Haworth Connect Past Events page to watch the recorded presentation.

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