Is Enterprise 2.0 About “Socializing Business Processes”? Let’s get serious

Read this post in: French

Business processes has recently became quite a buzzword among the Enterprise 2.0 community, notably since June’s Boston conference. It suddenly seems that the whole discourse has changed from a leadership-fueled point of view to a down-to-the-ground (and to the balanced scorecard) vendor’s one. Pragmatism? I rather think that this approach is severely flawed, in three places at least: core processes concepts, knowledge handling and customers’ consideration.

When cats are called dogs

I recently wrote about SAP StreamWork and the fact that, despite their claim, this new tool is not a collaborative decision-making solution, but allows for better collaborative problem analysis, which is not, and by far, the same. Mistaking the mean for the goal is a clever tactic: this allows for frictionless adoption of an otherwise useful tool into existing processes, with the added hype of 2.0 technologies.

In a much more subtler register, Bertrand Duperrin made a common mistake in one of his last posts ‘Community management and processes by the example’. What he calls “process” is in fact a resource lifecycle, describing who is involved, when, in relationship to whom, where a process is a matter of chained actions allowing to progress through this lifecycle. Substituting communities for individual along the flow is of course an improvement of the entire lifecycle, but has de facto no impact on the process design or execution. The difference is important, since processes were developed to minimize variability and risks, specifically facilitating and streamlining execution when different silos, different business logics, are working in parallel through complicated operations and/or organizations. Moreover, there are designed to be as people independent as possible. They are typically built to avoid “reinventing the wheel”; but what would happen if tapping into the networks comes out with a solution which doesn’t require a wheel at all? Predictability is processes’ mainspring and, unless breaking them into much smaller, adaptive, parts, which contradicts their efficiency chasing goal, socializing resources lifecycles won’t have any positive impact on existing processes, besides giving the opportunity to integrate 2.0 technologies into workflows. This clearly is a dead-end for anybody believing that Enterprise 2.0 is more than technology.

Processes are Taylorist knowledge

Cecil Dijoux recalled Michael Grives’ interesting distinction between processes and practices. Unfortunately, practices, built upon people’s behavior, and not upon the least variable output available, still fall short from giving us a way to harness collaborative work. When it comes to knowledge, they behave quite the same, fossilizing thinking into formal procedures.

Fostering the use of tacit knowledge, which represents 80% of available knowledge in an organization, requires a much more flexible framework than those given by processes and practices. Knowledge is variable, unfocused, complex, and messy. By building automatic workflow rules, by assuming that today’s conditions are the same as yesterday’s ones, processes segment knowledge into bits of repeatable information and decision making guidance, exerting a division of knowledge similar as the division of labour envisioned by Adam Smith. Socializing business processes won’t take advantage of collaborative work, but of specialized cooperative knowledge. The only feature of processes which might benefit from social integration is their ownership.

The customer-centric Enterprise

Besides owners, processes have customers. Dealing with internal customers is usually a matter of connecting dots, which often means offering predictable output through connected, repeatable, actions. This could be fine, regardless of the two precedent points, as far as external customers are not involved.  But the social web is transforming the way customers act and react in a radical way, and maintaining our business processes to engage and interact with customers is nonsense. If capturing internal tacit knowledge in a non obfuscating way is a challenge, ignoring customers knowledge about your products and services will soon become a deadly attitude. Business processes, with their inability to deal with uncertain, irreproducible knowledge, are the least suitable tools to establish and maintain any kind of relationship with your customers.

Wait, we need processes

Yes, we need business processes. Not as we know them today, driving our organizations from end to end, but we need them as an infrastructure, to free knowledge workers from complicated tasks, even collective ones. But they must now be considered as tools at our disposal, not as our organizations’ backbones. Besides that, not any company is destined to become a social business, not any product or service is meant to be discussed about on the social web. The future of business is both brands and commodities, and that will be the subject of my next post.

This entry was posted in As experimented, English and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Is Enterprise 2.0 About “Socializing Business Processes”? Let’s get serious

  1. Business processes are nothing more than a set a tasks that drives the transformation of raw material (even ideas or knowledge) into a final product or service. Depending on what the final product his, the nature of the raw material and the nature of work that has to be done, legal and quality constraints, they can be more or less flexible, more or less automated, more or less mandatory components.

    The mistake is to think they should either be rigid and automated or disappear. In the future BPs will designate a multiplicity of ways of delivering things, and will apply to many different situations. They will be needed for anything because business needs direction but with different levels of flexibility depending on what they’re applied to.

  2. Jon Husband says:

    You are both aware, I am sure, of Sig Rinde’s concept of BRP (Barely Repeatable Processes), and how today’s technology is beginning to enable and “capture” same ?

  3. Jo Jordan says:

    Generally agree with you but I might add two further points.

    People frequently muddle the essential components of Weberian organization, reflected a little in Fayol’s principles with Taylorian thinking. Taylor worked on reducing predictability as an early and successful attempt to make tacit knowledge explicit. Within the times he worked, it made sense to experiment with processes that way and pass on knowledge to people with no or little knowledge of the practice.

    Weber was talking about something different – legitimacy. A public official, including a manager representing an organization must make decisions a) in a manner consistent with lawful authority and b) in a way that someone else can implement. Take a lawyer, for example. They write a will. You want another lawyer 30 years’ later to work with the document. Far from being S-R work, this work is highly skilled and requires the person on the spot to make a complex decision applying professional rules usually learned over 6-10 years total training to a specific situation taking into account situations that might arise. The need for this work continues.

    Now I don’t recall the second point. It might have been something to do with supply chain networks where the solution arises from interaction and not the “demand” of one group. The point of our time is that our technology is too complex for any one person to know everything. I understand no one knows how to make a Rolls Royce engine in a jet. But it is made. If Taylor was alive today, that’s what he would be studying.

  4. Now, we are talking. This topic came up (albeit briefly) during my wrap-up session at #e2conf Boston. Business processes are vestiges from an industrial economy focused on eliminating surprises and maximizing predictability (think: meeting quarterly earnings). In the information/knowledge economy, I suggest we stop focusing on caving operational cow-paths.

    Every innovative, valuable advance in nearly every industry has been effected by the creation of a new way of doing things. Social business is about what’s new, not what’s old. (And by the way, the old ways have led us to a near economic collapse in several of our largest industry sectors.)

    • Thierry de Baillon says:

      I totally agree, Susan. I still think that Social business need processes, but those have to be put at their real place, not at the core of business as they are now.
      I recently compared them to an exo-skeleton, which keeps old models alive while keeping them from growing and evolving. It’s not the bones which are corrupt, but the way the business skeleton is set up.

  5. I agree with Jon. E20 can be of some help with Easily repeatable processes and is the perfect catalyst for Barely repeatable ones. But in both cases they are BPs.

    • Thierry de Baillon says:

      Yes, Thingamy and BRP are great concepts. But the very notion of process has to be challenged. BRP or ERP, they sketch operational models built to mitigate risk by defining as reproducible as possible inputs and outputs, even if the actual flow of actions is not.

      The main problem is that output cannot be considered as predictable anymore… But processes? Why not considering this Merriam-Webster definition: ” a continuing natural or biological activity or function “.

  6. This is an interesting post and one with which I disagree quite fundamentally. You say “processes were developed to minimize variability and risks” and that processes are Taylorist knowledge.

    I take my cue for understanding process from Karl Weick. He speaks about flows of behaviour and describes units of interlocked behaviours as being the basic elements that make up dynamic processes. If the word ‘process’ is good enough for him to use in that context, it is certainly good enough for me.

    This highly dynamic, fluid and complex view of process sits Janus-faced and simultaneously alongside business processes that might be designed with a Taylorist work philosophy in mind or from a sociotechnical philosophy, which promotes autonomy and self-management.

    Ralph Stacey talks about the “murky relationship” between an organisation’s legitimate system, where attempts are made to direct business processes through strategic, operational and control mechanisms – as Stacey puts it “to steer the organisation’s primary task performance towards predictability”, and the shadow system of spontaneous and unofficial relationships where people act and do as they will.

    People, in my view, are the biggest source of variability in any system. They never were compliant, even in the most Taylorist systems. That is unless they choose to engage with processes as they are designed.

    The shadow system can be either destructive or highly creative. It is this relationship between what is intended and what happens in practice that I find fascinating. And this is where I think that social technologies have such potential, in nurturing healthy and creative shadow systems (for which read self-organised, social and informal learning environments) where shared tacit knowledge and collective intelligence have the opportunity to flourish.

    • Thierry de Baillon says:

      Anne Marie,
      I really like the shadow system notion, which depicts so well the reality of many businesses. But I also wonder if the existing dichotomy between rigid systems (as designed or as accidentally evolved – most business are more shaped by successive intents than really designed on purpose) and informal collaborative environments is a necessary paradox, or if this is only a side effect of a paradigm shift at work.

  7. Gagan Saxena says:

    Thierry does mention that social business processes may not be for every business or industry. I am curious about his thoughts elaborating that – and his next post on branding & commoditization.

    Good point by Jon re Sig’s Barely Repeatable Processes. And wonderful explanation by Anne Marie highlighting how people are the unknown, unpredictable factor in any system – creating ‘shadow’ systems. This is the fertile area for social technologies and new organization paradigms.

  8. Hyoun Park says:

    Great post. My take on business processes are that they are both vital to the enterprise and that our ability to automate business processes is increasing both in complexity and velocity.

    However, this is immaterial to the real value of Enterprise 2.0. Communication is an important part of this process, but the difference between email, RSS feeds, microblogging, activity streams and other messaging standards are more dependent on the number of inputs. All of them can be obsoleted if they’re filled with too much information that can’t be adequately sorted and prioritized. There’s no doubt that the variety of information sources can create better collaboration, but to what point?

    The concepts of collaboration, expert identification, crowdsourcing, and innovation can’t simply be used to drive down and commoditize standard processes. The concept should be to harness human intelligence, accelerate our access to intelligent people, and ensure that our smartest employees/colleagues are working on the hardest and most appropriate problems. Technology has a role there, but it’s ultimately runs into a barrrier to add business value depending on how smart and creative your network of people may be. This is one of the most exciting aspects of the research I’m currently conducting, but it also seems to be one of the most misunderstood by observers who simply compute that MORE = BETTER without thinking about the overcommitment of resources and information that exist in successful organizations.

  9. I recently came across the concept of “adaptive case management”, which seems to me to be a smart way to combine free form emergent knowledge and activities with the need for some structure to advance a thing forward. Threw the salient definition up on Posterous:

    http://bhc3.posterous.com/adaptive-case-management-sounds-very-well-sui

    Key lines:

    “Case Management is a technique that is useful when processes are not repeatable. A case represents a situation without necessarily requiring a process.”

    • Thierry de Baillon says:

      Thanks for pointing me to Case Management, Hutch. Great concept and food for thought.

      Interestingly enough, “case management” comes from the health sector, and its related definition includes a collaborative work between service providers and the client (customer?).

      ” The goal is to empower the client and ensure that they are involved in all aspects of the planning and service arrangement in a dynamic way.”
      http://www.cmsa.org.au/definition.html

  10. Pingback: Is Enterprise 2.0 About “Socializing Business Processes”? Let's … « Social Computing Technology

  11. Pingback: Twitted by cecildijoux

  12. ceciiil says:

    Thierry,

    Thanks for the link. I guess that rather than going against BUsiness process, Enterprise 2.0 is a great opportunity to challenge the existing processes as I mention in the blog post you linked to.

    Anne-Marie, people are the variable source of the system especially when their managers fails into making sense out of their contribution. Problem with business process : managers focus on them rather than on people and on making sense out of their contribution. Hence you get clueless collaborators with variable contribution.

    Remember the Leffert law (http://www.scottberkun.com/blog/2008/the-lefferts-law-of-management/) : it’s the manager fault.

    Remember the

    • Thierry de Baillon says:

      Hi Cecil,
      While I agree on the imperative necessity to challenge existing processes first, and therefore to challenge management, it is obvious to me that those processes have at least two major flaws which prevent them to efficiently tackle a new way of work (eg social business).

      Opening the doors -and more than the doors- to customers is unavoidable, which will introduce a new level of complexity into organizations. From a complexity POV, processes miss:
      – unrepeatability. The BRP paradigm address this, but not our present processes
      – uncertainty. Even BRP relies on a more or less predictable output to fulfill customer’s expectations, which is okay when dealing with an internal client, but not with Mr Smith who has unique experience of service provided, and might not react as expected (every customers relations dept knows about that). Processes will get in the way of a service-dominant business logic.

  13. Jon Husband says:

    I recently compared them to an exo-skeleton, which keeps old models alive while keeping them from growing and evolving. It’s not the bones which are corrupt, but the way the business skeleton is set up.

    Before this whole E2.0 / Social / Collaboration-based / Participative / Transparent business hootenanny is over, we are going to HAVE to discuss the issues of work / role design and the limitations of current job evaluation and compensation methodologies and practices.

    If processes are an exo-skeleton, then these current (and increasingly obsolete) methods are the bones, ligaments, etc. of the organism .. and unfortunately, some of the mental-model effects have come close to fusing with the “DNA” (side note: I, for one, do not believe organizations / companies have DNA .. that notion is bandied about much too easily by too many people who should know better. I know it’s a “metaphor” but still … ).

    Individual people relate to their jobs, their placing in the organization (often known as the “pecking order”), their levels of pay, etc. If the methods that address these issues are not re-thought in relation to collaboration and social computing as generic work processes, then an important piece of the puzzle will have been missed.

    It’s also, I believe, the case that these issues are dry, boring or at a minimum not sexy. I am not aware of many people thinking or writing about them.

  14. Jo Jordan says:

    Jon I think people aren’t talking about job evaluation because of the so-called talent war.

    1) A talent war presupposes an open organization where skills are not only source but created outside the organization.
    2) The talent war is not a talent war at all. It’s an excuse to pay outrageous salaries. Job evaluation would reveal the lack of logic.

    I’ve given a lot of thought to how to structure grade levels in a networked organization and it strikes me that nothing will have changed. We have steps to pull people through to create talent. That’s when the organization is large enough.

    There is also a possibility that employment law itself will change. “Employees” presuppose a relationship to capital and a willingness of capital to play a role in taking long term responsibility for people and to collect government taxes. I don’t think either of these conditions apply any more!

    If everyone was seen as a producer, job evaluation would be less relevant and many people may go quite simply on to a form of student wage, novice wage, first bounce, partner.

    We are spending a lot of time talking about organizations that are likely to go the way of the newspapers.

    How many of readers are paid enough by these organizations to devote some much of your time and energy to them? And in your career model, how long do you believe those organizations will continue to pay?

    Just wondering?

    • Jon Husband says:

      Hi, Jo.

      I agree with your point re: talent war, and I also agree that for the most part it is a red herring. Organizations would be better served working seriously at a more effective and open culture to get the benefits of “talent” than pretending there’s a war for it.

      Extant employment law i a large obstacle, to be sure. people do not talk much about that either.

      Deeper issue still .. what people have been socialized to expect from work, career and ‘why’ they do what they do for work.

      Networks imply some degree of ‘constant’ more-flat-than-before, and in a for-purpose (work) network, there will be agreements (which may become the structures) about who does what, when and why .. and that ‘conversation’ will become more and more of a flow.

      I do not know how to solve the issue of pay if we discuss it in the current mental models of capitalism and efficiency-oriented organizations. In a for-real flatter and results-oriented organization, I think there would be only three or four levels of salary, and the rest of peoples’ pay would be obtained through forms (for example) of gainsharing or other tangible measures of contribution to the purpose(s) of the network(s) in which any given employee is working.

      It is a fertile field for exploration and experimentation. I still think today’s methods can and do create dissonance and resistance wrt the large potential gains that seem to be accessible.

  15. Jo Jordan says:

    Underlying this discussion seems to be the assumption that things will continue as they are and our role is to move in and improve them (with due status, recognition, etc.) It is almost as if we are trying to sell them a better office chair or a corporate weekend.

    I don’t think our product is saleable. We are asking people who capture very fine rents to give up systems they have worked hard to dominate. They will resist and they will win. But the organizations will not survive.

    Under normal circumstances, students would learn new ideas and they would seep into business over 10, 20, 30 years. I don’t think there is time this time. New business formations will put them out of business before the students get to positions of power. Even the Catholic church is under considerable pressure. I never thought I would see that happen. BP? And the NHS (the world’s largest employer). The British love the NHS so much I thought it would be the last to be touched.

    my best bet is that change will happen in the old establishments by dint of (predictable) but almost random events like the oil spill. NHS will change because of the random (from their point of view) event of a massive deficit and Tory government.

    In the meantime, exciting stuff is happening elsewhere. The Dreamliner landed here this weekend. A 20 page spec for a whole plane. We can be sure traditional methods will not be used to produce that plane – or if they are, that the plane will be overtaken quickly by something better.

    We want to be careful that we aren’t the orchestra playing as the Titanic sinks; or are we the holloi polloi rioting on the lower decks? Unless of course we know we are going down so we may as well go down playing music. If you have a chance, be a rat, leap off the side, and catch a ride on anything. Anything will be better than the sure catastrophe that follows outfits that no longer respond to their external environments?

    Decide what business is worth being in and build your own ship?

  16. Jon Husband says:

    I don’t think our product is saleable. We are asking people who capture very fine rents to give up systems they have worked hard to dominate. They will resist and they will win. But the organizations will not survive.

    I agree with you.

    That said, it’s at least a decent bet that large corporations have, and can acquire, much influence over the laws and operations of the society(ies) in which they operate. They, like governments, have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo that enures to their benefit.

    It may well be that we will all go forward in a form of what I call ‘soft fascism’ .. corporatism and governments dedicated to their last breaths to maintaining the control they have managed to accumulate thus far. This is what I called ‘the dark side’ of wirearchy about a decade ago. Wirearchy as an emergent organizing principle is neutral .. electronic surveillance and compliance can be (or are) as much a part of it as is decentralized and distributed power and authority.

    There will be lots of edge-dwellers, too .. that, I think is for sure.

  17. Jo Jordan says:

    A decade ago that was true. But we are seeing big organizations go down like nine pins.

    The edge isn’t the edge any more. A decade ago we didn’t have the technology to purposely run emergent systems except in training rooms.

    That’s changed. Imagine GPs in UK purchasing services like the electricity grid? I wish i had paid more attn to my Kiwi colleagues who specialized in these dynamic markets in the commons!

    The opportunity is in the interfaces. You simply have to pick an interface, any interface, and start working. The rest will come. Is coming. So fast that it is incredible.

  18. Jon Husband says:

    The edge isn’t the edge any more

    Your edge may not be my edge, or others’ edges.

    But … your point is well taken.

    The opportunity is in the interfaces. You simply have to pick an interface, any interface, and start working. The rest will come. Is coming. So fast that it is incredible.

    Yes. I think it is inevitable that the kinds of issues we are talking about will become important, and mainstream. I have often stated that I believe that 90 % of what we think of as “real change” is still ahead of us.

    “They” aren’t sending any crews out to take the Internet down .. yet.

    • Thierry de Baillon says:

      “They” aren’t sending any crews out to take the Internet down .. yet.

      You are right Jon, but is there still a “they” anymore? Resistance to change is not that much due to people, but due to the system itself.
      To get back to the beginning of this thread, to jobs evaluation and compensation, for example: present (and future even more) work and business conditions, as well as the yet to come new business formations, impose that people mostly get fixed-term contracts. Permanent contracts will soon be a vestige from the past, but you usually (in France at least) cannot afford a loan without one.
      As Jo says, our product isn’t salable. But are we deemed to sit and watch big orgz failing one after another before being able to be of real help?

      • Jo Jordan says:

        Thierry, you are also saying they and an even more pernicious way. You’ve dropped the actors from your sentences.

        Let’s rewrite this. Let’s imagine I am the HR Director in a consortium. My job is to anticipate skill needs and to figure out how to source those skills on the external market and to grow them within.

        Skills are growing so fast they are outdated even before students graduate. So I need a critical mass of people interacting. I don’t just need them to be available. I also need them interacting to produce the skills. I don’t just need them to keep up either. They are going to produce skills presently unknown so I have to give them their head and arrange quite peripheral parameters to encourage interaction.

        How do I secure their attention? Do I have enough money to say ‘drop everything else you are doing. Come here everyday “(physically or online – it scarcely matters).

        And if I have this concentration of capital, where does it come from? Whose surplus have I extracted and how? What are these businesses that create such high levels of profitability and under what terms do they operate to be so profitable? Does BP make its profits from oil or from financial arbitrage for example? And what is protecting these businesses? You can see where this going. This isn’t a business that rests on developing skill. It is a business that rests on protecting privilege. They’ll survive a while but their fundamental drive is not excellence. There efforts go to the seige which is real because they defined it so. Bit like apartheid South Africa.

        So lets get real. How do we relate to businesses that we work with? With good but limited and iterative contracts up and down the supply chain. We don’t want the contracs long term because they hobble creativity and slow down the reallocation of capital (they are one player of many.) Someone signing to a long term contract is mad. They will be deskilling so fast within a year or two they have little to offer anyone else. You see this in employment. Almost all jobs above entry level are hiring you for a) your client list or b) you willingness to use force against subordinates.

        So what happens to individuals? They need to be drivers of their own prosperity. They are not small one person outfits but they chose each project because they are inspired by the interactions with others and see something, still undefined, emerging. At a certain point, they “pass the parcel” and work on another projec.

        What happens to taxes, social security, pensions, etc.? Those are downstream from a model of business. Always have been. The process of choosing, investing doesn’t stop on a predetermined age. It carries on till the day we die – like the Queen of England for example! Though of course she has huge personal wealth in property. But even her “employment income” and “expenses budget” is plummeting!

        Thierry, big organizations will fail because their fundamental social model privileges capital. Capital is now concentrated in the hands of the few. They don’t know what to do with it. If money doesn’t circulate, like blood it rots.

        A strong country and economy is strong in the middle. A few very rich for us to entertain us with their antics. A few casualities whom we can protect at the level of family. And a deep rich middle where we trade and trade and trade. There are differences in wealth but they should be as fluid as a sports game -one way one minute the other way the next. Up one season down another but all still playing each other and collectively getting better.

        How do we get from A to B? I would say be example. Do it. Govts will take their taxes from you and continue to provide welfare. But to wait for a grand plan? That won’t happen. And then it will be too late.

        A big company who is inclined to move in your direction will seek you out when you are successful. That is their nature. They don’t develop. They take. They will only listen with that motivation. Make them jealous, in other words.

  19. Fine post Thierry!

    I agree wholeheartedly. Processes are collections of repetitve predictable tasks and can either be automated or at least workflowed (using people in stead of machines)
    And that’s 180 degrees from what Social will bring and demand. John Hagel’s Power of Pull describes that perfectly: the old Push will be challenged by the Pull coming towards us from the RWW and social networks in particular

    On top of that, we’ll be subjected to what I call “The M:M Customer Crush” (http://www.martijnlinssen.com/2010/07/scrm-mm-customer-crush.html) – the many internal employees will be confronted by many external customers: management as we know it will change from vertical to horizontal

    We must sink our business processes of today into the infrastructure so we can build “social business processes” (just making that up) on top of them. Because, as you rightly say, our organisation’s backbone is (continually re(formed)) out there

    • Thierry de Baillon says:

      Thanks Martijn.
      Management, for sure, will have to undergo the biggest change. Will it even survive throughout the transformation? Managers are the guardians of the temple, the processes owners, the last (more or less) stable piece of today’s structures, where they have to become empowerers, to foster self-organization and drive (not command) the orchestra.

  20. Pingback: Lesetipps für die Tage 22. Juli bis 25. Juli | Netzpiloten.de - das Beste aus Blogs, Videos, Musik und Web 2.0

  21. Rotkapchen says:

    All these comments and there’s still a gaping hole to drive a fleet of semi-trucks through. We’re talking knowledge work here. That’s where the differentiation begins. And indeed our first goal should be to design out the wheel. How do we do that?

    I’m only discovering details of the same right now as I go through one case. For knowledge work the goal is to facilitate the formation of tributaries — flows of conversation upon which work can travel. While you can choose to start in a variety of places one place to start is with critical knowledge artifacts — things people rely on to get their job done. In manufacturing it might be designs.

    Then you have to determine the “context of use” for these artifacts and establish a framework whereby these artifacts can be served up in various contexts without having to be locked into a process. They can flow through states using tags/metadata and can otherwise be ‘raised to attention’ by various means.

    We seem to forget that process is a vestige of the business and how it operates. We’re shifting to the realm of the individual and how they operate.

    Martin: A HUGE issue with the book “Pull” — the concept of the title is flawed (everything else is great, buy it, but translate it as you read). In physics push/pull are equal exertions of energy. The more useful, meaningful term would be “Draw”, where the elements attract one another or repel one another, as is relevant to their respective goals. In the realm of complexity, it’s “energy for free”.

    And who is this Jo Jordan? I’m completely smitten. Wearing sunglasses to tolerate the brilliance.

    • Thierry de Baillon says:

      We’re shifting to the realm of the individual and how they operate.
      You perfectly nail it, Paula, and describe very well what we are facing in our daily practice.

      Collaboration, and tributaries, can only fit into processes when they are considered as a whole, not as contextual interactions or built around informal ever-evolving artifacts. Those are built layer upon layer, and cannot -shouldn’t- be rationalized at global level.

      Not only are processes a vestige of how business operates, but they also a reminder of how closed businesses used to be. Socializing processes means optimizing internal operations, up to the point where we get perfect black boxes. As Martijn said, directly facing (I don’t like the word BTW) customers involves adopting new behaviors. ‘Internal’ is more and more losing any meaning, as business changes focus from production to knowledge flows exchange.

  22. Paula,

    are you constructing a framework for the Unknown Unknowns? 😉
    I agree it all should be able to be Organised so it fits into an Orgnaisation – E1.0 or hiveminded network or anything in between

    I’m a hardcore linguist and fairly ignorant in science and physics, but I get your point. Attraction is a fine word I think! But, to please you, I did some reading and came up with Strong Interaction (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strong_interaction) as the New Force

    And, by the way, Jo Jordan has made some very fine comments and points here indeed. She is @jobucks on Twitter (http://twitter.com/jobucks)

  23. Rotkapchen says:

    Thierry said: “Collaboration, and tributaries, can only fit into processes when they are considered as a whole, not as contextual interactions or built around informal ever-evolving artifacts. Those are built layer upon layer, and cannot -shouldn’t- be rationalized at global level.”

    Tell me more about this, because most of it seems stated in the reverse of what I’d expect. I’m trying to make sure I understand what you’re saying and why.

    • Thierry de Baillon says:

      “Collaboration” is as much generic as “a decision”, and is too often meant as a global goal, out of context, without the specific informal-cultural-ad hoc perspective which can fit a specific company. thinking of collaboration this way, trying to rationalize for efficiency’s sake is a dangerous shortcut of course. There is no *global* collaboration, but an adaptive lattice of local conversations. This local and ever-changing landscape of knowledge cannot be trapped into processes.

  24. Paula, “Martijn: Indeed, may the force be with us. Do we start an academy?” Oddly enough the Council (an academy of practitioners I guess) uses the levels of Jedi Knight for our experience points on Jive. Newbies start out as Youngling/Initiates then it scales…Padawan/Apprentice > Knight > Master > Grand Master. All the Masters and Grand Masters got prizes this year at our annual dinner. 🙂 You can have fun with this too, in other words.

  25. Pingback: Strong Processes, Weak Culture « #hypertextual

  26. MartinKaw says:

    Hi All im rookie here. Good article! Thx! Love your stories!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading Facebook Comments ...