Author: Luis Suarez
Posted: October 05, 2011 1152 views

Barcelona - Parque GüellContinuing further with that series of blog posts on meaningful and smarter work and how it is helping the corporate world redesign the future of the workplace to make it much more networked, interconnected, open, egalitarian, non-hiearchical, unstructured, porous, chaotic, trustworthy, engaging, transparent, agile, dynamic, empowering and whatever else you would want to add further up (Phew!) to realise the Social Enterprise dream, I thought I would go ahead and share a bit of special entry today where we can keep talking about it, although it’s not going to be me the one doing the talk, but one of the folks I have long admired and from whom I have learned tremendously over the course of years in the areas of Knowledge Management, Communities (Of Practice, a.k.a. CoPs), Complexity, Enterprise 2.0 and Social Computing. Of course, I am talking about the one and only: John Tropea, whose blog posts, tweets, plussings and tumblrs are always highly recommended reads and a must-subscribe, too!, in case you may not have done so just yet. You should. It’s worth every minute of your time.

Take, for instance, this particularly rich and very insightful conversation over at Google Plus, on the topic of Corporate Culture and whether we can exert some influence in changing it, or not, through social networking, collaboration and open knowledge sharing, all of it as a result of a follow-up conversation from a brilliant blog post that originated from my good friend Jack Vinson under “Culture is nebulous, focus on what you can change“. In it, John gets to share quite an amazing array of insightful comments, along with helpful links that surely help understand how changing the corporate culture of an organisation is definitely not as easy as one would expect. Plenty of food for thought for those internal social computing evangelists out there who feel they are on to another league trying to shift gears and change their corporate culture as they know it to start living social. Well, perhaps it is not as easy as what we have been told all along… Worth while a read, for sure!

However, the main purpose why i wanted to put together this blog post in the first place was to continue making that connection between previous blog entries on redesigning the Future of the Workplace that you folks have read over here lately, and in plenty of other places, I am sure, and build further up on it pointing you folks to what I think is probably one of the best blog entries you will read this year in 2011 around that very same subject. It surely has moved pretty quickly into my Top 3 favourite articles that I am definitely going to keep coming back over and over again to digest all of those hidden gems that keep coming up every time I read through it. Already done with my third reading of the post since it was first aired out yesterday and still learning new insights!

Go and have a look into John’s latest take on how wild ducks, trust agents and intrapreneurs are continuing to take the corporate world by storm gathering informally in groups, whether teams, networks or communities, amongst several others (John mentions a few of them as well!) to carry out that meaningful, smarter work that they themselves feel rather passionate about in the first place! Work, by the way, that’s not mandated from top-down, i.e. the strict organisational structure(s) we have all gotten so used to over the course of decades, but work that has been defined by those groups themselves, just because they share a common affinity, a bunch of free time and a passion to carry it out. Yes, something like finally being capable of freeing up the human batteries within each organisation, as in freeing up those free radicals that know why, what and who they network with in the first place, what John calls freelancing in the corporate world and which more and more seems to help define how work gets done nowadays, where the center of gravity, or power of decision, has been lowered down more than ever before and where being more agile, open, transparent, engaged, empowered, and networked seems to have set up the new rules of the workplace. And it is starting to look like it’s here to stay, too!

Indeed, not going to expand much further on this blog entry itself, since I’m sure you will be enjoying John’s article plenty more. It’s a long, extensive, brilliantly covered and rather comprehensive read on what that new freelance corporate work looks like and how we have already started the transition to it. In “The future of work is to freelance within an organisation – choose your task, assemble to work, then dissolve” you will see how there are plenty of numerous references to other thought leaders in this space and what they have been thinking about this particular topic for a little while now. And while it may look a bit overwhelming as you go through it, you will notice (As my good friend Jon Husband also mentioned in a comment) how there is some very nice momentum building up around it by multiple thought leaders and that can only mean that the shift towards that work model may have gotten started already and John has managed to capture it beautifully into one of those blog articles that would surely have a permanent home in our hearts, and brains!, for those of us who would want to see the Social Enterprise dream come true. And the sooner, the better!

Hope you enjoy reading through it, and from here onwards I just wanted to share a special Thanks! with John for having put together such amount of hard work in assembling all of those great insights and share them across in that outstanding, must-read, brilliant blog post. He’s done us all a huge favour and I can see the day where we will look back into that article as the seminal work that consolidated what a good bunch of us have been saying for a while now as well…

Intrapreneurship is here to stay! Are you ready, finally, to embrace it?

About the author >

Luis Suarez

Hi ! My name is Luis Suarez and I am a Knowledge Manager, Community Builder & Social Computing Evangelist in the IBM Software Group division. I have now been working for IBM for a bit over 11 years, the last 9 of those as a full time employee. Throughout all that time I have developed a passion for everything related to Knowledge Management (i.e. Learning & Knowledge, or Knowledge Sharing, whatever you would prefer to call it). That would include quite a few things that, as you may have noticed already, are part of the theme(s) I will be talking about here in my weblog: Collaboration (Specially remote collaboration), Expertise Location, Content Management, Communities and Community Building -whether we are talking about physical or virtual / online communities (Communities of Practice, of Interest, of Purpose, etc.), (e)Learning, Online Facilitation, Knowledge and Learning Tools, Social Computing, Social Networking, Social Software, Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, etc. In short, almost everything that has got to do with knowledge sharing and collaboration. But with a twist.

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