Can Social Business Reshape the Organization?

social fish
social fish

This is a great slide deck by Rawn Shah, social business strategist at IBM, one of the most social organizations we know of – from his presentation at the Social Business Forum in Milan last week.  (Read this pensive post by John Stepper for more on that event). The description of this deck is “A business-anthropological look at changes to the organizational due to social business and collaboration.”

Rawn kindly shared these notes with me to accompany the slides below.  Have a look – and see if this sparks any questions, perhaps we can get Rawn to comment.

  • Niall Ferguson, Harvard Univ. History and Business management professor asked in his TED talk, if the West has lost its work ethic, showing how the major Western nations have rapidly fallen in the number of hours worked compared to countries like South Korea, Singapore and China.
  • It raises the question is work ethic something that should still be measured in Hours Worked? Why not?
  • The classic model of the organization is focused on the premise of industrial production of goods, ideal for manufacturing, but poor for knowledge work
  • Slide 15 – the industrial model is focused on specialization and focused function, systematic repetitive workflow
  • Slide 16 – knowledge work is multidisciplinary, pragmatic, variable workload
  • Without a reliance on process alone, it relies on networks applied per pragmatic tasks
  • So what are the tasks on a social level?
  • Slide 21 – 24 – marketing processes in a social world are moving from department level standardized communications to individuals building relationships with others.
  • Slide 25 – However in an industrial company, forming a relationship is really the duty of the sales people, and maintaining the duty of the customer service people, not marketing.
  • We start to see the overlap of the roles and silos of the industrial model at this first level
  • What happens when we hit Slide 28, where the organization wants anyone in company to form their relationships
  • Slide 29 – a larger aspect, we are now moving from Work-Life balance issues from ‘Please Take your work home’ to ‘Please bring your Life to work’
  • Slides 31-15 – Learning is also changing from Mentorships (Accrual of Experience) to Education (Accrual of Knowledge) to Dynamic awareness (Accrual of Awareness). The skills we need to teach are also changing. The last step it focuses on teaching people how to learn, how to process info they see, decide for themselves what is worthwhile, etc.
  • Slide 37-end – In the end to rebuild the work ethic we need to change how we treat the enterprise as an operational animal. We need to decentralize a number of different elements: Relationships, Knowledge (development), Process, and Control/Motivation. Examples of each (Relationships = slides 21-28); Knowledge (TD Bank, SXC Healthcare), Process (diagram shown), Control (Soft Power talk by Joe Nye, former dean of Harvard School of Govt)
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