There are two aspects of an organisation: the ‘Formal‘ dimension, those things that are visible, codified into hierarchy, system, process, assets and infrastructure, and the ‘Social’ dimension, which is about communities, reputation, Social Authority and Social Leadership, co-creation and trust. These two have always existed, but previously, the formal ruled. Today, technology has crashed the wall between them, but it’s the evolved sociology that really counts: we have unleashed the powers of connected and democratised creativity. In the Social Age, amplification rules, communities are owned by nobody, and networked forms of power prevail.
We are in transition: no longer in the old state, but not settled into a new one, possibly because the new state will be one of constant change. Wherever we end up, one thing is for sure: the divide between formal and social is gone for good: any new balance will be precisely that. A balance.
I’m working on a few ways of representing this new space, either to include in the Change book early next year, or to form a standalone publication around ‘The Socially Dynamic Organisation’.