About 18 months ago I wrote in Embrace Chaos, that I think the outer edge will be where almost all high value work gets done in organizations. Core activities will be increasingly automated or outsourced and these will be managed by very few internal staff. Change and complexity will be the norm in our work and any work where complexity is not the norm will be of of diminishing value.
Riitta Raesmaa picked up on this in Embracing chaos with a little help from my friends: “Changes in the organizational culture, more open attitudes and behavior, together with social media tools and services, are altering the landscape of human connectedness and the ways of value creation.” Recently, Oscar Berg started experimenting with new ways of looking at value creation and openness. Oscar says that:
Without openness, the door is closed for anyone who wants to participate.
With openness but no or limited transparency, the number and quality of potential participants will be delimited.
With openness and (high) transparency, anyone anywhere can become aware of opportunities to participate and choose whether or not to actually participate.
Viewing this first from the perspective of what makes an effective knowledge-sharing network, I would say that in trusted networks, openness enables transparency, which in turn fosters a diversity of ideas. Supporting the creation of social networks can increase knowledge-sharing which can lead to more innovation, especially in networks built on trust.
From a value creation perspective, this can inform us how and where we should best get work done in the network era. Openness can help with internal task coordination, and transparency can improve collaboration amongst teams, while cooperation in diverse external networks can lead to improved innovation. In complex and changing markets, innovation has much higher business value than merely coordinating internal tasks. To paraphrase Steven B. Johnson in Where Good Ideas Come From who said “Chance favors the connected mind”, and inspired by Dave Gray’s The Connected Company, let me propose that Chance favours the Connected Company.