What is the optimal digital transformation technology for a networked organization? It is a suite of capabilities that foster an organizational culture that is constantly learning in order to understand and engage the complex environment in which it lives. Like the Internet, that enabled a digital transformation of society and business, these technologies must be based on a simple structure.
The seeking, sense-making, and sharing of PKM can be the core communication technology* of a networked organization.
* “Technology is the application of organized and scientific knowledge to solve practical problems.” – Harold Stolovitch
- PKM as communication means each person taking responsibility for working and learning out loud.
- A networked organization embraces democracy and self-governance.
- Networked management requires networked leadership (collaboration).
- A networked culture adapts to life in perpetual beta (cooperation).
There are only four interdependent capabilities required to support digital transformation:
1. Promote the active practice of PKM:
a. seek out knowledge from our professional networks
b. enable sense-making on a personal leve
c. facilitate the sharing of the knowledge artifacts we create
2. Enable distributed authority and the ability to self-govern
3. Facilitate temporary and negotiated leadership for collaborative work
4. Allow for cooperation outside the organization and encourage experimentation
This reduces the requirements to those technologies that help individuals learn as they work, facilitate making decisions without asking permission, enable teams to get together to solve problems, and promote a culture of trying new things out. The human brain is the best interface for complexity. Digital transformation technologies need to enable the human component and leave the machines to handle the boring stuff. It is interesting to note that a simple tool like Slack has had such growth lately. I think this is an indicator of things to come. Complexity needs simple, adaptive structures. Human cognition can fill in the gaps.