Every day, we can see new evidences that our society is broken. More than ever, we live on the edge of an era, without knowing if the present unstable equilibrium will collapse into a dystopian future or lead us to a better world. The digital revolution grants us instant access to informational cornucopia, while slowly weaving around us an universal virtual panopticon. Technology, at the very same time it allows the rise of collective intelligence, is accelerating the dawn of many professions. The landscape of work is rapidly shifting, but are we aiming at the right target? Today, I feel more assailed by doubt than filled with confidence…
Thierry de BaillonTransitive Society
0 comments 319 readsPosted on 2013-11-06
0 comments 1,093 readsPosted on 2013-09-02
For once, I would like to tell you a little story. When, my wife and me, we arrived the other day at our country house, we found a little letter from our water supply company in the letterbox. It merely said that, having been unable to read the meter for several years, they had cut water supply. The water meter, which is located inside the garden, thus behind a closed gate, is usually read once a year. Before we met, my wife lived there for several years, but we now occupy the house only for weekends and some holidays. Needless to say, we keep on consciously paying the monthly bill based on the last meter reading, and, frankly, as our water consumption seriously decreased, I guess that the water company owes us a bunch of...
0 comments 284 readsPosted on 2013-05-28
Co-evolution of organizations, technology and people is even more a fact we have to assess and embrace than a necessity. Yet, most of present social business anthems focus more on the adoption of emerging technologies, to cope with the change happening in our life, as consumers or as employees, than with core organizational change, implying that adaptation will follow adoption, diving into causal illusion.
Structural or anecdotal change?
In many places – with just a touch of caricature -, business transformation is reduced to setting back the customer and the employee side by side in the front passenger seat, after having let them in the back seat for many years, while driving a car powered by the same four-stroke internal combustion engine. In its recent paper, ...
0 comments 350 readsPosted on 2013-04-29
Our world is changing. Fast. Radically. To cope with this pace of evolution, or to simply avoid disruption, organizations must evolve. The Glorious Thirties, these years which embodied the Golden Age of mass production and standardized consumption, are definitely behind us, and let place to what Nilofer Merchant calls the Social Era, an age both of hyper connectivity and extreme individuality, characterized by versatility of markets and uncertainty of consumers’ behaviors. In this context, evolution is no more a choice.
In reality, evolution has always taken place,...
0 comments 303 readsPosted on 2013-04-08
I was recently invited to participate to a session during the Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Paris, along with Jon Husband and Richard Collin, on the theme of “frameworks for the networked organization”. I won’t give here my thoughts about the Summit, as you can already find some insightful articles around the web, but will instead try to explore and develop further the ideas from my short talk.
A matter of terminology
0 comments 3,644 readsPosted on 2013-02-04
Most of today’s organizations are powerful productive machines, which were founded and grew up during an era where mass production was the norm, and planning was the course of action. This era is over for good, and social business, or enterprise 2.0, or connected company, or whatever you want to call it (the level at which most people from this field do not want to be tagged with a specific term is amazing) aims at building and providing an actionable business framework for our times ridden with complexity.
To survive in a more and more unpredictable environment, to thrive in economically challenging times, organizations must reinvent themselves at every level. On the internal side, they have to leverage business nimbleness by adopting more modular and networked structures (to become what Dave Gray calls podular companies), and empower the individual creativity and intrapreneurial spirit...
0 comments 1,065 readsPosted on 2013-01-21
I know, we are now in 2013, and announcing anything for a past date falls short from being a prediction. But as we are struggling to help organizations transform to adapt to uncertainty, I often find myself thinking that we already did that and went there before, when considering where social business is heading to. Whether on the technological or on the conceptual side, much buzz is made which takes us back from the future. There are many reasons for that, the simplest one being the necessity to survive in present industrial logic while setting the basis to allow businesses to thrive in a wirearchy. New technologies and emergent behaviors must make their way into our dominant top-down, production-based, model before being able to give birth to a model well-suited to complexity and to a knowledge-based era. Yet, most of the trends which shape the social business landscape seem to pull us back into a “déjà vu” draped in new clothes...
0 comments 684 readsPosted on 2012-12-18
Technology is influencing more than the way we work, it also deeply changes the notion of workplace. As IBM wrote in 2011 in its The new workplace: are you ready? white paper:
“Today’s workplace is a virtual and/or physical environment, characterized by connections, collaboration and user choice, that enables the worker to be more agile and perform activities anywhere, anytime -ultimately creating greater enterprise value”.
Collaboration, as mediated by social software, is on the agenda of every CEO, or should at least be. A widening array of synchronous and asynchronous communication tools, available on almost any device you might think of, allows workers to access resources and knowledge wherever they are, eliminating the necessity to maintain a unified physical workspace. Technology itself is becoming nomad, ubiquitous, pervasive and affordable,...
0 comments 2,312 readsPosted on 2012-11-01
Reconciling Organizational Improvement and Reinvention Through Social Business Design
This post is the second of a two-parts article on innovation and social business co-written with Ralph-Christian Ohr (@ralph_ohr).
A striking change of focus in the social business arena occurred during the last five years. Despite the fact that Andrew McAfee’s original definition specified its scope as «within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers», infant Enterprise 2.0 was mainly concerned by internal collaboration. The teaser from one of the major events of this early period, the Boston 2007 Enterprise 2.0 Conference, talked about “(…) the technologies and business practices that liberate the workforce from the constraints of legacy communication and productivity...
0 comments 2,834 readsPosted on 2012-10-18
Business Model Innovation as Wicked Problem
We live in an age where emergent technologies continue to have massive effects on business and society. Rising complexity requires companies and economies to cope with increasingly interlocking systems. If we keep on considering systems in a traditional, isolated way, this would lead to a totally locked view of business....