Aligned principles for an open, networked society

Via Ross Dawson, here are Don Tapscott’s four principles for the open world:

Collaboration. The boundaries of organizations are becoming more fluid and open, with the best ideas often coming from outside.

Transparency. Open communication to stakeholders is no longer optional, as organizations become naked.

Sharing. Giving up intellectual property, including putting ideas into the commons, is a massive source of value creation.

Empowerment. Knowledge and intelligence is power, so as they are distributed, we gain freedom.

And, here are my three principles for Net Work, or getting stuff done in this open world:

Narration, Transparency and Power-sharing

Narration is making one’s tacit knowledge (what one feels) more explicit (what one is doing with that knowledge). Narrating work is a powerful behaviour changer, as long-term bloggers can attest.

Transparency is an easy concept to understand but much more difficult to implement in an enterprise. It means switching the default mode to sharing. This can be enabled by social media, but social media also make the company culture transparent. A dysfunctional company culture does not improve with transparency, it just gets exposed.

Distributed power enables faster reaction times so those closest to the situation can take action. In complex situations there is no time to write a detailed assessment. Those best able to address the situation have marinated in it for some time. They couldn’t sufficiently explain it to someone removed from the problem if they wanted to anyway. This shared power is enabled by trust. Power in knowledge-based organizations must be distributed in order to nurture trust.

2 Responses to “Aligned principles for an open, networked society”

  1. Jon Husband

    “It’s time for a serious redesign of how we structure work”

    I couldn’t agree more … I’d use the word “fundamental” instead of “serious” because I think the core assumptions about work need re-examination before being (re)configured into new structures, but that’s just me ..


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