Our formal organisations are built in familiar ways: we assemble functional teams, buy them computers, put a roof over their heads, connect them through technology, and hold them safe with rules. These are the building blocks that delivered the Industrial Revolution, and the Digital one. But the Social Revolution may require a different type of strength, less codified, more consensual, less formal, more Social. Undoubtedly diversified.
I describe the Dynamic Tension that exists in the Social Age: a tension between those things that formal systems do exceptionally well (collectivism, and achieving effect at quality and scale), and those that social systems do exceptionally well (community, innovation, and subverting outdated effect at scale). We need both systems: our challenge is not to replace one with the other, but to keep, empower, and enable, both, but that brings some innate tensions of it’s own, and it’s those tensions that i’m currently interested in exploring.
The functional building blocks enable us to describe control and collaboration, but the purpose led building blocks enable us to explore complex collaboration, and internal tensions. For example, how ‘rules’ and ‘creativity’ co-exist, or how ‘Reward’ relates to ‘Community’. HR may control reward, but that’s a different thing from unleashing the dynamic activity that reward may enable. Functional structures may keep us safe, but i suspect we don’t just need ‘safe’. We need subversive and innovative.