Category Archives: Coherent Organization

Reinventing management, the Stoos movement

Full house (10) for today’s Hangout on Air. I don’t know how many watched on YouTube.

We had a good discussion of the Stoos Movement and combining agile with management. Or replacing management with agile.


Slides from Hangout:

Transcript from Hangout:

You invited people into the hangout.

Peter Isackson

9:49 AM

Hi Jay

You invited people into the hangout.

Loretta Donovan

10:37 Continue reading

Pope sells Vatican to Google


exchange sold-sign

Capitalism’s epicenter and holy shrine, the New York Stock Exchange, has a new owner!

A guy in Atlanta bought it.

This is like Disney buying the Capitol or the Israelis buying Mecca. Unthinkable.

Founded in 1792 by twenty-four brokers under a buttonwood tree at 68 Wall Street, this is where the rules for buying and selling bonds and shares of companies were drawn up and agreed Continue reading

Your social wishlist

How will you take advantage of your in-house social network?

Use networks to create services and share collective intelligence Your company will install an in-house social network. The only question is how soon. Wise Chief Learning Officers are thinking about how social networks will augment learning & development. Imagine that a Senior Executive in your company returns from Thanksgiving weekend having read white papers from IBM that say social business is the next step in the overall evolution of business. Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Fast Company had already told him that brainpower has become the engine of innovation. It’s inevitable that businesses will construct networks that connect everyone in their ecosystems to co-create and deliver services that delight customers and share collective intelligence. Social business is the flavor of the day in the C-suites of the Fortune 500. The allure of social business is captivating. McKinsey, MIT and others report that companies that embrace social business models:
  • reduce time to market
  • increase the level of innovation
  • speed up access to knowledge
  • reduce operating costs
  • make in-house expertise easier to tap
  • increase employee satisfaction
The social business juggernaut has arrived and the time to get on board is now. Front-running companies are installing social networks like Chatter, Jive, Connections, Socialcast, Yammer, Socialtext, Sharepoint, Ideo, and HootSuite like there’s no tomorrow. The exec secured a mandate from the executive committee to experiment with social networking in three areas of the company, international sales, manufacturing resource forecasting, and learning & development. You’re Chief Learning Officer. You’ve been doing your own research on “Enterprise 2.0” and learning networks. You appreciate that social business — connecting everyone in the organization in networks makes sense. You’ve also sensed a groundswell in the learning and development community favoring social, self-directed, “pull” learning. You recently read a compelling argument that people in knowledge organizations learn three to four times as much from experience as from interaction with bosses, coaches, and mentors. And they learn about twice as much from those conversations with others from in classrooms and formal learning programs.

Social business is the flavor of the day in the C-suites of the Fortune 500.

l You could deliver a much bigger bang for your training buck by greasing the skids to make experiential learning more systematic, coached, and attractive. The senior exec called you to his office and explained, “We’re going to experiment to find out how in-house social networks might strengthen our L&D and a few other areas in the company. Several vendors of social network suites have offered us incredibly deep discounts if we make up our minds in the next two days. I know it’s a sales gimmick and they don’t think we can do it. I need you to give me a one-page list of the capabilties you require from social software to make the most of social learning and carry out your vision of what we need to do. It’s an outrageously short fuse request but do your best.” Let’s test your skills and ability. What functions would appear on your list? Close the magazine, take out a sheet of paper, and jot down your requirements. What features would you need and why? Here’s an example
Mobile access – Half of America’s workforce sometimes works away from the office. Smart phones have surpassed PCs for connecting to networks. More people Tweet from their phones than from their computers. If we don’t have mobile capabilities, we’ll lose more than half of our audience.
Jot down what you need. Turn to page ____ to check your list against the nine features on our wish list. EDITOR.* This answers section goes on a page further back in the book. l l l l l

Requirements for in-house social learning network

Profiles – for locating and contacting people with the right skills and background. Profile should contain photo, position, location, email address, expertise (tagged so it’s searchable). IBM’s Blue Pages profiles include how to reach you (noting whether you’re online now), reporting chain (boss, boss’s boss, etc.), link to your blog and bookmarks, people in your network, links to documents you frequently share, members of your network. Activity stream – for monitoring the organizational pulse in real time, sharing what you’re doing, being referred to useful information, asking for help, accelerating the flow of news and information, and keeping up with change. Wikis – for writing collaboratively, eliminating multiple versions of documents and email, keeping information out in the open, eliminating unnecessary email, and sharing responsibility for updates and error correction. Virtual meetings – to make it easy to meet online. Minimum feature set: shared screen, shared white board, text chat, video of participants, ability to record. Bonus features: persistent meeting room (your office online), avatars. Blogs – for narrating work, maintaining your digital reputation, recording accomplishments, documenting expert knowledge, showing people what you’re up to so they can help out. Bookmarks – to facilitate searching for links to information, discovering what sources other people are following, tracking down experts. Mobile access – Half of America’s workforce sometimes works away from the office. Smart phones have surpassed PCs for connecting to networks. Phones post most Tweets than computers. Google designs its apps for mobile before porting them to PCs. Social network – for online conversation, connecting with people, and all of the above functions. Search - for locating needles in haystacks.
* Note: This is the version of the article I submitted to CLO under the title H0w Will You Take Advantage of Your In-House Social Network? The article that appears in the magazine was edited by CLO editors. The edited version is always close but rarely the same as what I send in. #itashare

The Coherent Organization

Co·her·ent  (k-hîrnt, -hr-) means

1. Sticking together; cohering.
2. Marked by an orderly, logical, and aesthetically consistent relation of parts: a coherent essay.
3. Physics Of, relating to, or having waves with similar direction, amplitude, and phase that are capable of exhibiting interference.

(The American Heritage Dictionary)

This post continues an ongoing conversation about The Coherent Organization. While I’ll focus on interchanges among Harold Jarche, Clark Quinn, and myself, as with everything at the Internet Time Alliance, the discussion bears the fingerprints of Charles Jennings, Jane Hart, and Paul Simbeck-Hampson as well.

The lead article in the current issue of Chief Learning Officer is Building a Performance Ecosystem by Clark Quinn.  The article describes The Coherent Organization, the Internet Time Alliance‘s shorthand for a company where individuals are aligned with the organizational mission and information flows from outside in and back again in ways that accelerate work.

The underlying concept is that organizations and their people are members of many different types of networks, for example, communities of practice, the company social network, and close-knit collaborative work teams. You need to optimize participation in all of them. Harold Jarche and I hit on this in the midst of a social learning implementation project for a big financial services firm last year.

There’s nothing new under the sun. Harold’s schema drew on and expanded the work of our friend Lilia Efimova:

Harold applied Lilia’s concepts to a corporate network environment:

As Clark pointed out, “The benefits are clear: when folks have maximal information about what they’re expected to do, and minimal barriers to achieve their goals, the organization succeeds.”

At midyear, Harold, Clark, and I built on one another’s thoughts in public. Harold made a key addition: Work teams collaborate; learning networks cooperate; communities of practice do both.

The three of us believe that learning is work and work is learning. In his next post, Harold wrote that “All three of these structures are united by networked and social learning. These are necessary to not only do the work but to prepare for the work to be done: emergent practices.”

Yesterday Clark wrote about detailing the Coherent Organization. He’d populated our network clouds:

Clark then brought like items together and classified them by activity to produce this matrix:

Expanding on the model

Instead of talking about an organization, shouldn’t we really be talking about the Coherent Extended Enterprise? Everyone in the organization’s ecosystem needs to be on the same wavelength. The only way to do that in a world of constant change is through co-learning. Work and learning are converging, as we’ve said, but the workforce now includes lots of people who are not employees. They’re partners, distributors, suppliers, contractors, etc. This is the group we should focus on:

The concept of the value chain taught us that value and costs generated by suppliers and distributors are passed along to customers. Since learning improves performance, it’s in your interest to help everyone in the chain learn to work smarter. Most chief learning officers will tell you “This is not my department.” Pity.

Secret sauce

Businesses have been trying to promote passion in the workplace while keeping other emotions at bay. Denying people their emotions is de-humanizing. We have to start treating people like people. Emotion-driven business is the new frontier. That is why I want to shoehorn another network into Clark’s matrix for The Coherent Organization: the Personal Network.

More and more of my work involves making introductions. Sometimes a project consists of completing the dots and making the connections. For me, work/life balance is a fiction. Without my personal network, I’d cease to function.

Your personal network is where you shape your aspirations, validate what’s important to you, and let your emotions play out.

This will put a lot more boxes on Clark’s matrix but that’s a topic for next time.

Please add your two cents worth.