Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This week in links - week 39, 2008



"What is the value of formal organisational structures?" by Dr. Laurence Lock Lee:

JB Quinn in his book on the Intelligent Enterprise talks about the inverted organisation, more suited to today's services economy, as opposed to the traditional industrial model. In the inverted model it is the front line customer facing staff that are seen to hold the power for impacting the organisation's fortunes, with the management providing support more so than control.

So how about this.....We accept that formal structures are best used for efficiency reasons...//...We are just building the 'machine' and all the parts are just undifferentiated machine parts...//...So having browsed the formal hierarchy now we want to know how things really get done around here! Where are the informal networks? Who do I need to influence to get stuff done? This is where the real "effectiveness" lies. The hidden structure can form an impenetrable 'immune system' for change or alternatively a 'happy virus' where positive change rapidly pervades the organisation. You just have to know how to work the network.
In most organizations there is this horrible disconnect between the hoopla about “working collaboratively” with “social networking tools” and the management practices, reporting relationships and performance expectations.

Organizations can talk the talk about “collaboration”, but to effectively implement collaborative tools and work behaviours they have to walk the walk of new organization structures, management practices and employment expectations
and compensation.The hierarchical structure has been based on the belief that knowledge is arranged vertically. But this is no longer the case — now knowledge flows horizontally and chaotically.
"It's About The People, Stupid" by Peter Burris, Principal Analyst & Research Director at Forrester:
So, if you were given an opportunity to talk about day two of a technology conference attended by hundreds of technology, business, and vendor folk discussing how they're going to work together to solve really interesting problems over the next few years, what would you say?

How about, "Wow!"

While I heard plenty of talk about technology and tools, each of the couple dozen conversations I had quickly moved to a discussion of people and relationships and how to get things done.
"Adding Connections Between the Three Levels of Information Management" by Michael Sampson:

The concept of "What's changed that may impact me?" is a key question that drives a lot of our information-related activities. We read the newspaper to see "what's changed?" We watch the TV news, read blogs, follow Twitter, etc. for this same purpose. And it's my contention that this same fundamental idea needs to apply in our Intranet environments. There is a whole discussion that can be held about search and findability, but I see this as different. The main system interface that someone uses on a day-to-day basis should be the place where they receive alerts and notifications about "what's changed".

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