Friday’s Late Finds

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds [due to my travel and work schedule in South Africa this week, I am a day late].

“Money is the wealthy person’s curtain which hides all their defects from the world.” – Anon – via @RogerFrancis1

@Orgnet – “You need both strong ties and weak ties for a successful professional network”. More: Professional Social Graphs (more…)

leadership is learning

About 10 years ago I worked on a project with nursing staff as they changed their basic care model from one that was patient-centric to a model where “nurses engage the person/family to actively participate in learning about health”. The McGill Model of Nursing is learning-centric. This fundamental shift in focus is a prime example of the major organizational change required from both our education systems and our management models, as we transition into a networked creative economy. In an era of ubiquitous connectivity, leadership at all levels and all sectors must be about promoting learning. There is no other way to address the many wicked problems facing us. If work is learning and learning is the work, then leadership at work should be all about promoting learning. (more…)

step aside for network era democracy

Verna Allee says that in states of ‘complex unorder’, loose hierarchies and strong networks are necessary. This point was driven home this morning as I listened on CBC radio about the closure of a rural school in Nova Scotia and how the option of turning it into a ‘hub school’ was beyond the comprehension of the school board and department of education. These are strongly hierarchical organizations, while the community has been strengthening its networks between multiple actors in the region and beyond. The community understands it is dealing with a state of complex unorder, while the bureaucrats still think it is merely ‘complicated order’, as the departmental guidelines on hub schools attest.

“The neo-liberal argument is that the demand for school space is down and surplus inventory should logically be discarded. School sites are just property, a disposable public asset, and a potential public liability if they do not yield a return on their investment. By this logic fewer school children mean fewer schools. Schools have no place in neighbourhoods too small to supply a large enough clientele to make them ‘viable’. Market forces and market thinking trump democratic ideals for local communities.” – The School as Community Hub


network era work

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

@skap5“The economic game has been completely transformed and the farm system where the next generation learns how to play hasn’t.”

The Buurtzorg Model of socialcare, via @GC_carrGomm

Cutting bureaucracy is only one part of the socio-political equation, because the Buurtzorg model is one of workplace autonomy and democratic leadership where decision making and setting targets is decentralised to clinical teams.


principles of networked management

At Red Hat, the enterprise IT company,  “managers focus on opportunities, not score-keeping”.

‘We also rely on associates’ peers and communities to informally assess how people perform. We pay attention to their reputations and how they are regarded by others. We look at the scope and quality of their influence. The result is that rather than “managing up” to their boss to get a good review, Red Hatters are accountable to the community as a whole.’ – Jim Whitehurst, CEO Red Hat

This is a good example of networked management, as opposed to scientific management (1911), which informed the past century of practice.

Principles of Networked Management: It is only through innovative and contextual methods, the self-selection of the most appropriate tools and work conditions, and willing cooperation that more creative work can be fostered. The duty of being transparent in our work and sharing our knowledge rests with all workers, especially management. (more…)