‘Social enterprise’, ‘networked enterprise’, ‘learning culture’ and many more related buzzwords are flying around at the time being and influencing the professional literature and conferences. What perhaps makes these themes different, to their predecessors, is that it is clear they cut across traditional disciplines as, arguably, the first big shift of power away from IT departments since their creation.
Tools such as ThisWorkedWell offer, on the face of it, walled garden knowledge capture and dissemination. For many organizations this would have been the responsibility of knowledge/information departments in the past. However, such new tools recognize the value in collaboration for learning and efficiency, thus rethinking workplace learning and communications.
The mobile, BYOD, nature of many of these tools arguably democratize the workforce, albeit with the need for some staff to “let go of control“. A point in that “let go of control” article, about Google’s environment, is that transparency is key.
Ultimately the questions over all of these related areas, for me, come back to “what kind of organization do I want to work in?” My answer would have to include characteristics such as the organization:
- being transparent,
- recognizes learning happens all the time,
- encourages and supports value from people reflecting upon, and sharing, their work with others,
- having efficient and effective communication platforms (as advocated on this ‘engaged worker’ infographic),
- make use of my data as appropriate (for example, could you expose my twitter data – as in Gwittr profile below – to my colleagues to show my areas of interest?),
- recognizes the value in play (such as the social areas in Google offices) and skills from activities such as playing video games.
What I am really talking about here is knowledge work and I have to agree with much from Jarche.com. This of course relates to corporate culture and much more, again cutting across traditional theoretical disciplines. An interesting time, especially for organisational design professionals.