Posts Categorized: Democracy

embracing perpetual beta

Michelle Ockers has been working hard at incorporating social learning in the workplace, as her posted case study shows. After reading, finding perpetual beta, Michelle asked me to elaborate on a few points. These are her questions, and my attempt to address them.

democracy at work

“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” – Winston Churchill Our society has tried many ways to organize work over the years, yet real democracy is a form that few have attempted. The need to control people runs deep in our work… Read more »

adapting to perpetual beta

There is no such thing as a social business strategy. There are only business strategies that understand networks. Cooperative and distributed work is becoming the norm in the network era. Social learning is how work gets done in networks. Sharing power, enabling conversations, and ensuring transparency are some of the values of networked business. Trust… Read more »

our future of work

Henry Demarist Lloyd wrote in March 1881, that “When monopolies succeed, the people fail …“, in his piece denouncing the practices of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. Capitalism does not have to be corporatism. There is little doubt today about the extent of corporate power and influence of monopolies, especially in their newest form: platform capitalism. In… Read more »

hierarchies in perpetual beta

I have said many times that teamwork is overrated. It can be a smoke screen for office bullies to coerce fellow workers. The economic stick often hangs over the team: be a team player or lose your job, is the implication in many workplaces. One of my main concerns with teams is that people are… Read more »

the democratic advantage

Three billion people around the world are now connected with ubiquitous digital technologies that keep improving. They also keep getting cheaper. History shows  that technology can be an enabler of democracy. Distributed communications subvert gatekeepers. John Gilmore said that, “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.” As networks become the new companies,… Read more »

Networked Knowing

I spoke at the UNL Extension conference in Nebraska last week. The theme was on the changing nature of work as we enter the network era and how learning is becoming integral to individual and organizational success. I noted how the period of 1900 to 1920 saw a significant shift in the American economy, with… Read more »

The Future of HR

“The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” – Timbuk3 Complication Many of today’s larger companies have overly complicated, hierarchical structures. As they grew to their current size, control processes were put in place to create efficiencies. To ensure reliable operations and avoid risk, work became standardized. New layers of supervision appeared, more silos were… Read more »

Democracy vs platform capitalism

Here are some observations and insights that were shared on social media this past fortnight. I call these Friday’s Finds. A Digital Declaration – by Shoshana Zuboff In the shadow and gloom of today’s institutional facts, it has become fashionable to mourn the passing of the democratic era. I say that democracy is the best… Read more »

Good leaders connect

Why do organizations need leaders? If you think about leadership from a tribal, institutional, or even market perspective, then it is about controlling information and appropriately using the power you have been given, in order to achieve the organization’s aims. But communications have changed that, as we move into the network era, a move that… Read more »