Jay Cross has initiated an online conversation about the Coherent Organization/Enterprise:
At the Internet Time Alliance, we’re big fans of narrating our work. We encourage clients to get their people to narrate their work, through blogs or other sharing media, for a number of reasons.
If you are a blogger, you know how blogging makes you reflect on your experience and draw conclusions. What’s more, if you are transparent about what you’re doing, your colleagues and acquaintances will know when and how to lend you a hand. Sharing your discoveries adds to the value of the networked Commons; I think of it as a requirement of good network citizenship.
In the last ten days, Harold Jarche, Clark Quinn, and I have been building on one another’s thoughts in public. We’re each teasing out the meaning of what we call the Coherent Organization with models.
Let me narrate my work so far.
I am interested in the role of communities of practice in knowledge sharing. I have been looking at how communities of practice can bridge our social networks with our work teams, helping us get the job done while being open to innovative ideas. This presentation is a work in progress but I think it is ready to go public and get your feedback. Here is my logic:
- Sharing complex knowledge requires strong social ties, but only working with our peers may blind us to outside ideas.
- Networks with diverse and weak ties are the best places to get new ideas, yet these are often unstructured and difficult to manage.
- Communities of practice, which share strong & weak social ties and have some purpose & structure, can bridge the gap between getting the job done and innovating.
- Therefore, encouraging and supporting communities of practice is essential for the knowledge-based enterprise.
Effective, or coherent, knowledge-sharing requires not just collaboration, but also cooperation and especially connections (communities).