Could the barrier to coherency be one of connectedness? “The underlying concept of a coherent organization is that organizations and their people are members of many different types of networks, for example, communities of practice, the company social network, and close-knit collaborative work teams. A coherent organization requires a single unifying framework, not two operating systems.” (Harold Jarche, 11/26/12).
I think the term “operating system” is indicative of the need we have in overcoming traditional barriers and the challenges faced in cooperating across the enterprise. Why are apps being developed for the mobile operations team “owned” by a digital marketing group? Because they are the mobile “public” face? Why are LMS systems sometimes “owned” by IT and other times by an L&D group? Could it be that we have not faced the fact that without being connected, at the ground level, we might not be able to communicate, collaborate, and cooperate? I think we need a digital performance strategist!
Jarche’s framework is focused on people and I reflected that increasing collaboration and cooperation are the right steps in that direction. I believe that most organizations already have a common framework (let’s start with email) however have added new “operators” as the level of technical complexity combined with the level of communication increased. And because the “operators” are the inventors of the new system they have a high degree of ownership. With complete transparency, I admit that in my past I was convinced that the “old guys” didn’t get the new tech so I claimed responsibility too. I think we should look back so we can move forward smoothly.
As we increased our social connectedness (Social Networks, SoNets) we added new and increasingly complex and media rich tools to share thoughts, ideas, and conversations. “The coherent organization is our way of creating a framework to look at organizational performance. It is based on the fact that governance, work, and learning models are moving from centralized control to network-centric foundations.” (Harold Jarche, 11/26/12) Our networks support our emails to IM to .mov to webcams, to immersive reality so now we can see and visualize each other and the issue/solution in new ways. The same is true as we moved from databases to knowledge management systems to the semantic web; we are working and living in a complex, global communication ecosystem. This doesn’t mean that one system is better than another however many organizations have built up multiple “operating systems”, I know of enterprises whose web conferencing systems do not connect with the phone system, where multiple LMS vendors serve different parts of the business, different authoring tools are used across the enterprise, and end users in the field helping customers can’t access procedures stored in the content repository.
The connected organization has to focus on analyzing existing tools, maximizing the strengths of the current systems and support teams, integrating new tools into the technological ecosystem, and focusing on logical frameworks allowing users to focus on their strengths be it system support, content creation, user access, or creative consumerism! And we can focus on building out our personal learning networks as we work towards meeting the common business goals and objectives by connecting seamlessly with others internally and externally collaborating and cooperating – maybe even doing it coherently!