#WorkingOutLoud on Capability

This week i am developing work around Social Learning and our broader view of capability within Organisations. I should stress that this is early stage work and i am sharing it as it comes, not with a specific overarching narrative.

The illustration draws upon previous work which asks whether we view capability as structural or emergent: do we consider that Organisations hold capability and ‘plug people into’ that structure, or that capability can ‘grow out of’ the people: in that previous work i represent the building and the tree, and so carry that analogy forwards here.

Structural capability, on the bottom left, will be visible within a system, it’s what we hold within systems, and recruit into. It’s the clearest view of how we engineer an Organisation: assemble diverse individual capability within a system that connects it up.

The second aspect is emergent capability, which speaks to emergent features founded in the dynamic interconnection of the social structure. So to an extent this lies beyond formal control or oversight, and yet is tangible and effective. It relates to this idea of collective capability and may sit both within but also between the vertically segmented domains of the Organisation. Indeed, the top left and bottom right dimensions are really the two aspects i wanted to look at most closely: they relate to the collective and permeable aspects of capability – beyond systems.

To employ someone today is to also gain access to their networked potential: or at least it is if we earn that right. So in a real sense we move to a multi dimensional view of the Organisation, in the first sense as the entity that is structural, that we can see, map, and control. And secondly as the entity that is tribal and collective, which transcends domains and is permeable between systems, through social networks.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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