Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Social Transparency

Recent posts by Luis Suarez on making Enterprise2.0 matter and another by Jeremiah Owyang on Facebook have got me thinking about the new transparency requirement organisations now need to consider. Right now employers have a choice of walling in employees, blocking access to streaming media, blogs, Facebook, virtual worlds(VWs) and even instant messaging.
So what does productivity really mean? Should organisations be thinking more about the need to teach time and technology management to their employees, rather than fencing them in?
I am a big believer in the value of sharing knowledge. Iron sharpens iron, as they say. The value within "social capital" will become enormous and I believe IT departments will soon bow down to pressure from employees and managers alike. It might be a choice now, but will it become a demand - a right - from the next generation?
Collaborative social networks of wikis, blogs, virtual worlds are facilitating real time knowledge sharing. I just look at the small group of VW bloggers I am now following in twitter (and now Facebook) and the type of ambient knowledge collective it offers. What if my friends started to embrace these technologies also? What difference would it make to their relationships, their projects, their customers?
I think one day we will see a far more transparent social dynamic enter the workforce. Less demand on intranets, more focus on social networking using web2.0 groups as the benefits of collaboration are realised.

2 comments:

Tinu said...

This lack of understanding is why I began to move away from corporate life in 1998. What middle-managers don't seem to understand is that people tend to get their work done faster and more efficiently so that they can "goof-off" or... evangelize on the Net on behalf of their company!

Particularly in the US, we're brand-loyal people, and that brand includes whatever organization we work for at the time.

It also bring up the issue of whether the nine to five structure of coming in and working at the office each day truly works. In Europe, they're far more advanced in telecommuting and shrinking the work week...

Not everyone uses company resources for good, it's true, but those that do -- or get their work done better and faster in order to use them - should be rewarded, not penalized, particularly if they're contributing positively to the company.

Wonderwebby said...

Hi there Tinu thanks for stopping by!

Brand loyalty is important and allowing employees to engage in networks outside of their own company to discuss work related interests can benefit the intellectual pool of information to the company, creating an even stronger brand.

It is up to an(any) organisation to educate employees on company values, ethics, loyalty within a framework of self-organisation, innovation and talent (try to minimalise the goof-off factor and breed a loyal collaborative culture!)I hope I am one of those people who use company resources for good :)


And yes, telecommuting is great - it is happening more and more down under too, companies are facing new pressures to meet the demands of skill shortage in a maturing workforce seeking flexibility. Although I am not sure it shrinks the working week, it does shrink transit time which means more time to work!

Tinu, how do you think employees could be recognised and rewarded for using company resources to contribute positively back to the company?