Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Organization 2.0 ....

Today was a big day for me; the day I had my first session as LSE tutor.
It was the first out of 13 sessions about "How Social Media Can drive modern Business Development". The audience was 36 people, young, ambitious, hungry, aggressive young people ready to take from, to kill me with their questions and of course to act and interact with me.
To get and gain knowledge is a really alive game, role game for me; to drive a class is such a huge challenge, like driving a air carrier through a coral zone; no damages are allowed, no misleads, no mistakes.
The route is demanding, the crew is the best but only in best confident hands.
The first lesson was about Social Media and our senses, about the anatomy of an Organization in our 2.0 times.

A modern organization nowadays can be easily compared to a body where:


Skeleton


In order for an organization to function, it needs a skeleton consisting of automated real-time processes. Operative technologies are designed to run certain tasks or parts of business processes to remove friction from organizational functions. The results can be seen in systems like shared calendars, ERPs, bug repositories, CRMs and other operative systems designed for managing certain business processes.

Senses

Nowadays an organization needs to work outside-in rather than inside-out to align the business with markets. You need a way to sense what’s going on outside of your immediate vicinity. As an organization your ability to turn information and weak signals into actionable knowledge is directly proportional to the ability of your employees to make sense what’s going on.
Various tools provide a place for reflection in and on action. You need some kind of tools to draw ideas into your organization from the fringes.
Tools like blogs, microblogs, presence tools, social bookmarking etc. provide new ways to create meaningful stories that are relevant to your organization.

Nervous system

Now that you have something to sense about, you also need to get the signals flowing inside your organization. You need digital tools that connect various resources, services and information together and enable personalization on individual basis. RSS feeds, various search functions and interfaces like APIs provide means for turning on the nervous system of your organization. Each department, individual, project etc. needs to have some access point for others to tap into.

Brain

Now that you have a fully functioning network signaling ideas from the trenches, you need a way to sort out the meaningful stuff, remix various resources and crystallize new ideas. Tools like wikis, tagging, data mining, qualitative analysis etc. provide a rich collective breeding ground for a fully working organizational brain.
It should be based on an associative network structure, rather than a hierarchical tree structure. Just like the human brain, your organization has information that is evolving all the time. Ideas are connecting and blending with new information, the network structure gets denser in certain parts over time and weakens in others.
Your organizational memory is the primary place for synthesizing reflections.

Blood system

A fully working body is useless without a life force.
That’s why you need to get the blood flowing and making sure that your organization is not getting any heart attacks or blood clots. This is obviously based on human interaction and making sure that the conversation is flowing all the time in various different ways. You can optimize the interaction flow by utilizing social networking tools and real-time communications.
This includes semi-syn chronic (e.g. chat) and syn chronic communication tools (e.g. instant messaging and virtual conferencing).
You can use social network analysis tools to discover and fix architectural problems in your human network.

Muscles

One thing that was left out is muscles. Muscles in an organization is money. Small companies may have small muscles and be very agile and fast moving.
Large enterprises have huge muscles but are slow and cumbersome. Another analogy that works here could be fuel for the body, like food or water.

3 comments:

theo said...

Crazy that you do such things. In some yaers you can come and give lessons at our sun Joris.

We support you in your career

αθηνά χατζή said...

naturally, proud of you.
Congratulations!

alex Papanastassiou said...

Interesting stuff!!! I'm so pleased to see this kind of thinking emerge at last in business / economics / management education!

I'm a bit concerned at your implicit adoption of a centralized paradigm of functionning... Even the human body does not process all of the info in the brain and the brain itself is in fact several brains. On top of that you might want to consider sequential brain processes vs parallel brain processes...

Anyway, my suggestion is that if you want to lok at organization 2.0, it's worthwhile examining how to use principles from the field of agile development, complex adaptive systems and chaos theory so as to give a next generation organization all the good attributes of a dynamic and self-adapting (business) eco-system...

It's more or less what I like calling a 2-tier business in reference to spiral dynamics amongst other things :)

I'd be delighted to have your comments on my recent post on that topic: http://bit.ly/Y3aME