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Category: Posted: May 25, 2012 0 comments

For some time now, I’ve been trying to identify the thread that ties together all the different topics I write about here on AuthenticOrganizations. Other than the fact that they interest me, what is the underlying theme that links topics as different as:

After hashing it out with colleagues (thanks to to Cali, DebWhitney, and Anne) the link seems to be emerging.

All of these topics have to do with ‘building positive capacity’ in individuals, organizations, and economic networks. They all have to do with building a ‘boost’ into some part of the individual/organizational/community economy....  Read the article
Category: Posted: May 19, 2012 0 comments

How do we get and keep more women in technology-related careers?
How do we increase the number of women creators, makers, designers, and coders?

Why not just add more women to the mix, and go from there? 

Faucet by darylgarzaWhen all we do is “add women and stir”, without simultaneously and deliberately changing that system, we aren’t going to succeed. This tactic leaves untouched the cultural and structural parts of the system that continue to sustain gender bias.

“Add Women and Stir”

The “add women and stir” tactic works on the logic that simply adding more women to a particular event, school, company, or profession, will ultimately lead to a higher number of women staying on that career path.

We see this tactic at almost every point of the career “pipeline“. Well-meaning people aim to increase theoutput of the...  Read the article
Category: Posted: April 04, 2012 0 comments

What level of change do you really want from social business?

Do you want a little bit, or a whole lot?

Do you want process improvement? Or,

Do you want organizational transformation?


Social technology means organizational change.

Social Business and social technologies are indeed bringing changes into your organization. That we know.

But what we don’t know is–what kind of change will ‘social’ bring? ...  Read the article
Category: Posted: March 21, 2012 0 comments

Why doesn’t every piece of cake come with two forks?

There’s no fixed reason why the cake can only come with one fork. But, having only one fork is an obstacle to sharing, even for the most generous of potential dessert-sharers.

Why not bring me a second fork, to make it easy for me to share?

Even better, why not serve every piece of cake with two forks?

Why not make it easy for everyone to make sharing their default behavior? ...

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Category: Posted: March 15, 2012 0 comments

With the growing interest in social business and how social technology can change organizations, we’re starting to hear more and more mainstream business commenters weigh in with their opinions.

While these new and novice commenters won’t drown out the voices of the well-established experts (especially those who have corporate support behind them), the increase in commenters may make it harder for you to find independent voices with unique perspectives. These independent voices are important, because these are the folks who are shaking up the conversation and asking us to think broadly about what social technology could do.

Here are 7 experts whose views on social technology will change how you think about “social” in organizations. ...  Read the article
Category: Posted: February 03, 2012 0 comments

Can you help me out with a messy research-related question?

What are the best ways to set boundaries around subsets of an “extended organization”, and then give these subsets names so that they are easy to talk about?

The problem seems on the surface looks like a question of semantics (i.e., what to call it). But it’s more than that, since the terms of expression need to be founded on some kind of principle of composition. I need help with both the semantics and the principle(s).

When we’re talking about a network of coordinated, interdependent economic actors, how do we decide which of these actors should be...  Read the article
Category: Posted: January 12, 2012 0 comments
Networks of people and organizations are usually either networks or “communities”.

It bothers us that networks fit one or the other model of working together, because we envision something more –something both market and community –  in one network.

We are often disappointed when markets don’t exhibit a commitment to any values other than maximizing profits. And, while we treasure communities where we create collective meaning and build relationships, we often shy away from using these relationships to help each other make a living. We ask too much of the market format, and.. Read the article
Category: Posted: December 15, 2011 0 comments

While it’s true that I’m an unabashed advocate for social technologies as tools for transforming organizations, there are lots of reasons why we’d want social technologies in our workplaces and ‘together places’. Social technologies help increase engagement and make organizational democracy easier — just to name the topout offocus light.jpg two reasons.

But the biggest reason to like social technologies? They can help us keep the big picture in mind, even as we pursue our own local goals and tasks.

My personal favorite bit of social technology is the social intranet– a socially enabled organizational commons, where people can find the resources they need to get their work done. I like social intranets because they help build community and connection from the organization’s core,allowing everyone (not just a few early adopting departments) to get a taste of active connecting to the community.

From a social psychological perspective, there’s a lot about ... Read the article
Category: Posted: November 12, 2011 0 comments

When it comes to discriminating against women, you’d think that only sexist organizations would be involved.   But did you ever imagine that meritocracies would encourage managers to discriminate against women?

Research conducted by Emilio Castilla and Stephen Benard, published last year inAdministrative Science Quarterly, documents a disturbing dynamic that the authors call“The Paradox Of Meritocracy”. In their rigorous set of empirical studies, they found ... Read the article
Category: Posted: October 27, 2011 0 comments

We can get to4292126780_03806f6deb_o.jpg social organization on 4 basic paths:

            1. Technology
            2. Social Business
            3. Collective Values
            4. “Product” Resonance

Two of these paths get a lot of attention, and two of them are under-appreciated. Can you guess which two will lead to the most positive transformation?

1. Technology

The Technology path is the classic model, where the availability of technology leads to the desirability of that technology which leads to implementing that technology. Social media tools exists, we like them, we are able to add them to our enterprise 2.0 systems and so we do. Besides, they’ll make work more efficient, reduce waste, increase speed, etc.

Technology-driven ‘social’ seems most prominent in... 

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