Wednesday, June 06, 2012

#iel12 Working Smarter in Networks

Presenter: Harold Jarche

Things are changing and getting very complex.

If you are in the learning biz - we have to do things differently
- A lot is about letting go

Artisans -> Hierarchies -> Networks
Artisans - stand-alone.
Hierarchies - think modern corporation. One decision maker.  Rest at bottom
Networks - people connecting and organizing with everyone else

Supply Chain -> ecosystems

79% of orgs say it is important to respond to change quickly
68% is ineffective at responding to change
50% - harder / longer to make critical decisions in the org
40% - takes MONTHS to make a decision critical to performance in the org

We conceptialize ourselves into hierarchies (still)
We Don't think of ourselves as nodes in networks

Organizations that use social media - increased speed of access to knowledge

Problem - human systems thrive on variety and diversity- Esko Kilpi
but institutions thrive on consistency

Work increasingly distributed over time and space
Work teams - structured and goal-oriented
Sharing complex - knowledge requires strong social ties - these social ties carefully built

Those social ties help people speak same language / build trust

Where are we getting out best ideas?
- outside the office - our external networks
- Social networks informal and opportunity driven

If we want to increase innovation - we need weak and diverse social ties.
"Chance favors the connected mind"
Innovation happens at the intersection of disciplines  Doesn't happen when your head down & working

Work / Learning
- Work teams structured and goal oriented
- External learning - weak ties and increasing innovation
- Problem:  the gap / firewall

The connector is communities of practice
- strong and weak social ties.
- Shared interest and motivation
- Real community of practice when it changes your practice

Why are you in that community?
- Do you give?
- What do you get?

Communities of practice are the bridge between working and learning
- This is the future
- can't be all internal or all external

Where do you do the experimentation?
- This is where we ask if others have done the same thing
- Get feedback on our models

Way people shared knowledge - talking about it
- we are not in one place
- how do we enable conversations within these communities of practice?
- if work team disconnected from the messy stuff - losing innovation

The enabler is narration of work
- If we are not in the same room - how do we tell people what we are doing
- How do we ask for feedback / share ideas / etc
- How do we get people to narrate their work?

Great thing about blogs - can refer back (ditto)
- he also does twitter search / best of his feed

At organization level
- lock down email account
- but if have community of practice and internal blogs - would have known who to connect with / gotten up to speed faster

Command / Control -> Encourage / Engage

Is your org doing this?
What are the barriers?

- Time
- Funding
- How to start?
- system support
- silos / "not my job"

A community of practice is like a garden

Blogging never became mass - it's tough.
- great sensemaking process

Tweet - 140 characters.  Each tweet a grain of sand
- Step back far enough, see patterns
- When start seeing patterns - reinforce those pattern

Can't learn how to use social media "academically".  Only learn by use
- Watch then participate

Modeling behavior is better than shaping others behavior.
- Lead by example

Reuben - other part of the equation is getting at the info.  How do you retrieve organizational memory.
The little snippit of org memory becomes "digital waste".  Right info / right time more critical
- Sifting through digital waste

Only way to do that - value on the edges
- Internet is good because it is dumb
- One man's digital waste is another's digital treasure

Communities of practice - simple rules work best

Reuben - only reason internet stayed as useful as it is it's become more intelligent
- dependent upon us feeding information
- dependent upon being able to retrieve from all that information

Remember - google is not the internet

Every over-designed system doesn't work

We should be in knowledge sharing and collaboration business
- It is really important to narrate your work
- People resist because people aren't used to it
- But then quickly see the value

Tony O'Driscoll
- We have Communities of Practice / Purpose / Interest
- Interest - where randomly moving through the ether
- Take time off - need to "reassemble the past"
- Need some contextual resonance
- In information-rich ecosystem - virtual timecards.  Context resonant to what happened.

 We need to keep more stuff rather than "clean the database"
- That information provides context - even if it is not "important" in and of itself

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