A former colleague recently asked me about online communities at work, their value in supporting strategic activities and how to make the most of them. Kirsten Wagenaar and I discussed this and I decided to write a blog as a summary of that discussion.
Meeting the demands of the digital age will require a new way of working. Take for instance the decision-making process. Organizations no longer have the time traditionally taken up by this process through a decision tree. The future belongs to organizations which are made up of multiple autonomously operating communities forming part of the larger whole (so-called pods).
The larger and more formal the organization, the more resistant to change it will be. What this means for communities or social intranets is that, after implementation, it will still take a long time to change employees’ behaviour. So should the organizational culture be changed first, before investing in a social platform? No – this blog will show you that giving employees a social platform is instrumental in any large-scale organizational change.
By now, we’re all familiar with the reality that anyone can take on the role of online reporter at any time. This is also referred to as citizen journalism. What’s new is that professional journalists are soliciting help from their readership when writing articles, and this is largely where journalism will be headed in the future.
I sometimes find myself wondering why schools have not adopted online communities across the board yet. A school’s core business is to teach study skills and collaboration, which are exactly the kind of skills which enable a good community.