An Overview of the Socially Dynamic Organisation

This is the second in a series of one page handouts i’m working on around core aspects of the Social Age: this one is about the Socially Dynamic Organisation, and how we build it.

Aspects of the Socially Dynamic Organisation - Diversified Strength

The Socially Dynamic organisation is adapted, able not just to survive, but to survive in times of constant change. This adaptation is not simply one of systems and processes, nor simply technologies, although it may involve all of those things. Rather this is about a new mindset and capability based upon Social Leadership, upon the support of many vibrant communities, a willingness to listen to the tacit, tribal, unheard wisdom of the organisation, to move beyond simple hierarchical power structures, to benefit from new kinds of knowledge, and to learn how to change constantly.

The Socially Dynamic Organisation

The Socially Dynamic organisation has a diversified strength.

A diversified strength is based upon diverging thought, held within unified values, respecting multiple opinions, and having a sense making capability that allows it to filter and select the most relevant. It has a mindset which is guided not governed, giving people the freedom they crave when they know that they are trusted, and providing spaces, permissions, and support for those communities to thrive.

The Socially Dynamic Organisation and Agility

The Socially Dynamic organisation recognises Social Leadership at every level, from the formal leaders who have worked so hard to build reputation and earned the Social Authority that they can now use, through to new graduates and starters, for whom we put a strong focus on developing their own Social Leadership capability, recognising that they are such an integral part of the communities that make us Dynamic.

The Socially Dynamic organisation is permeable to expertise, recognising that not all the answers will come from within, nor will they come from those people that the subject in their job title. There is a diversified strength if we are willing to listen to that unheard wisdom, to listen to, recognise, and reward the social voices.

To do so, we cannot rely on formal mechanisms, not formal communication channels, nor formal performance management and support approaches. Whilst we still need those, we must engage in parallel in the social aspects of the organisation. The people and communities. We must adapt every aspect of the organisation, from the ways that we learn, adopting Social Learning approaches, through to the ways that we perform, ensuring that we constantly #WorkOutLoud and narrate our learning as we go.

The Socially Dynamic organisation is truly agile, with a deep strength through its unconformity, its willingness to prototype and iterate its way to success, using stories to narrate the journey as it goes. It will be deeply fair, and have an embedded respect for every individual, as well as an embedded curiosity. There will be a democratised potential, where those who contribute most will be most deeply valued, but where everybody can contribute irrespective of formal role. It will rely on social filtering mechanisms surface the best solutions and will be highly fluid in the technologies that it uses and the ways that those technologies are chosen.

Most importantly of all, the Socially Dynamic organisation will have re-engineered itself, away from the Victorian architectures, where entities like HR, IT, legal, or compliance are experienced primarily as mechanisms of control, through to a new space, where these functions are deeply facilitating, earning trust and respect, and enabling us truly to be more effective.

Where do we find the Socially Dynamic organisation? The answer is simple: we build it, and that is the challenge that you face.

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About julianstodd

A learning and development professional specialising in e-learning and learning technology.
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28 Responses to An Overview of the Socially Dynamic Organisation

  1. tutormentor1 says:

    I enjoy your articles and how you use visualizations in them. Are you able to point to actual organizations implementing these ideas, and illustrating how they do it, with illustrated blog articles on their own sites?

    • julianstodd says:

      Hi, i do work with a range of organisations that are prototyping these ideas, although i’m not sure they have these written as case studies yet. Thanks for visiting, best wishes, Julian

  2. Julian how much of your work is influenced by self-organisation, i.e. Teal organisations?

    • julianstodd says:

      It’s something i’m increasingly interested in Julian, i have started exploring some aspects of this, for example, in the piece ‘beyond organisations’. I’m kicking off the Journal of the Social Age, as a place to share some writing around this space. Thanks for the pointer to Teal – that was new to me, best wishes, Julian

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