Social, Cooperative, Mobile

Work is an activity, not a place. NineShift

Is mobile the future of work? Are we social creatures? Social learning is for human work, I wrote in my last post. Staying connected while we move, maintains our social networks. Mobile connections also help us get things done. Mobile devices give access to what we need, wherever we are. All indicators are that mobile work is increasing.

Mozilla now has the Firefox OS phone for the ‘next billion’ people. Many developers design first for mobile, and then for the web. IDC forecasts worldwide tablet shipments to surpass even portable PC shipments this year. At the Mayo Clinic, iPads and iPhones are standard.

Cooperation is becoming necessary to get almost any work done. The majority of people use social tools at work, to communicate with customers, or for professional development. Cooperation differs from collaboration. Cooperation is sharing freely without any expectation of direct reciprocation. It’s what most people do naturally. Mobile enables wider cooperation by being continuously available. Cooperation drives the networked enterprise — customers, suppliers, partners, and beyond. Cooperation strengthens networks by increasing trust between people (nodes). As work gets more complex and value more intangible, cooperation across previous boundaries of time and space will change the nature of work, from place, to activity.

Mobile also provides complementary tools for sense-making, an essential skill not just for work in the network era, but for life. Clark Quinn writes, “That’s why mobile makes so much sense: it decouples that complementary capability from the desktop, and untethers our outboard brain.” If you believe that work is learning and learning is the work, then mobile work requires mobile learning. The future of learning is Social, Cooperative and especially Mobile (SoCoMo).


This post is brought to you by Mobile Enterprise 360 Community and Citrix

Note: I retained editorial control and take full responsibility for what is posted. Contract writing is one of the ways I make my living.

5 Responses to “Social, Cooperative, Mobile”

  1. Ara Ohanian

    Harold, thanks for reiterating the SoCoMo vision and for reiterating why mobile plays such a crucial part. Just one question: if we turn our mobile devices off, do we stop working or does our work take on a different form?

    • Harold

      I think turning off your device is a good thing and may become even more common practice as we adapt to the mobile world and carve out time for reflection, concentration, and the connecting with the physical world.


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