time to start cooperating

In tribal societies, your family is your source of power. In institutions, it is your position in the hierarchy. In markets, dominance is through competition. We are a tri-form society: Tribal + Institution + Markets. The latter currently dominates how we organize as a society. It is competitive. School is competitive, with individual grades. Work is competitive, with many more applicants than positions available. Individual performance reviews dominate in the workplace. We are told that we have to create our personal brands, because the world is competitive.

As networks replace markets as the primary organizational form, will competition continue to be the best way for us to work? (more…)

structure drives behaviour

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

Structure drives behaviour. And most of the structures organizations have today were designed for yesterday. – @SamiHonkinen” – via @hharjula

Complexity should be in the work, not in the organizational structure“, according to @JosdeBlok in this video (9 minutes) (more…)

finding people who know

Jane McConnell published her 9th annual report on The Organization in the Digital Age last month. Jane recently posted 10 key findings from the nearly 300 organizations surveyed.

“4. Finding People “Who Know” Is Winning Over Finding “The Information I Need”

Enterprise search is stuck at a low level of satisfaction with results. Organizations are prioritizing their efforts between finding information or finding people and the latter is the more frequent choice.

Lack of good information management practices is a concern because the high performers in the learning, customer and knowledge scenarios cite information management as a key success factor.” (more…)

the literacy of the 21st century

Work is learning, and learning is the work. I have repeated this hundreds of times over the past six years and I know some people may think it is a trite statement. But the fact that learning is usually supported by an organizational department that has less influence than sales, marketing, operations, or information technology, shows that learning is not a priority in most enterprises. It’s often bolted on after the major decisions have been made. Several times on consulting engagements I have been perceived as ‘the learning guy’ dealing with a minor aspect of the ‘real’ project. (more…)

learning for the long term

The Tribal form of society was premised on kinship, which added the Institutional form based on hierarchical position, and later the Market form based on competitive advantage. The current Market form of society is a myopic creature, extracting short-term value from the entire ecosystem and redistributing it to a priesthood of investors. Every quarter companies must pay tribute to the gods of the market. Even our governments are run like markets, with slightly longer payback periods. The US House of Representatives gets market feedback every two years, the Australian government every three years, Canadian parliamentarians every four years, and lucky US Senators every six years. The focus on short-term results is the hallmark of the market era. (more…)

the keystone of the intelligent organization

This is a summary of my closing keynote for the workplace learning & VET stream at EduTECH15 in Brisbane on 3 June 2015.

The intelligent enterprise [l’entreprise intelligente] has to be founded first and foremost on intelligent communication, which in the network era is much more than just passing information. It is actively engaging in conversations to continuously make sense of the changing environment. As it was necessary to be literate in order to work in the industrial era, it is now a basic work requirement to be able to communicate effectively. This means adding value to knowledge, in various mediated forms (video, audio, written, oral). Being able to read and write is not enough. Intelligent communication requires seeking out knowledge in social networks, making sense by creating new communications, and being cognizant of the appropriate times and ways to share that knowledge. (more…)

changing with change

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

To change with change is the changeless state. – Bruce Lee” via @janhoglund

Nick Milton: “Internal competition is like a late frost that kills all your green shoots” (more…)