What is still lacking in most online work environments is a really intelligent system that informs people about what’s going on elsewhere, a system that provides them with cues and signals telling them when it’s time to act, when there is certain information they need to consider, and so forth. It is common knowledge that we need workplace awareness to be able to work together efficiently and effectively. We need workplace awareness to be able to make the right decisions, because a decision is right only if it serves not just our own goals but also the goals and purpose of the entire enterprise – and that can’t be done without considering many of the decisions and actions other people make.
Most online work environments are still just information self-service desks with a bunch of applications for performing specific tasks. They are designed to keep us on track with the task we have at hand so that we perform the task as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, they are also designed for sub-optimization when they really should be designed for synergy-creation and coordination, allowing us to look in any direction in order to find the right path forward. An environment that is designed for synergies and coordination must by necessity be built on openness and transparency. This is one of the main reasons why I am such a strong advocate for openness and transparency.
If you happen to be interested in more of my thoughts about openness and transparency, make sure to check out my recent CMS Wire article "3 Reasons Why Organizations Need to Increase Transparency" and earlier writings such as "Why transparency is key to Enterprise 2.0" and "The Age of Transparency – Rebuilding trust".