Social Business Forum 2011 – Communities or Organisations – The New Collaboration Ecology

Gran Canaria - Puerto de Mogan in the winterA couple of months back you would remember how I put together a couple of posts over here in this blog where I shared some of the highlights from the recent Social Business Forum 2011 event, which took place on June 8th in Milan, Italy. Well, a couple of weeks ago my good friends from Open Knowledge announced that the video recordings from the different keynote and breakout sessions are now available for public viewing over at the Social Business Forum Agenda Web site. So I thought I would put together this quick entry to point you all to the main site where you would be able to find them all, including the recording of the breakout session I did on Organisations or Communities.

If you have been reading this blog for a while now you would remember how, over the course of time, I have been musing all along that one of the major key drivers of social software adoption within the enterprise, and beyond, is not necessarily individuals themselves, i.e. knowledge workers, as individuals, but the informal groups they form, based around a common topic or affinity; basically, informal networks and communities of individuals gathering around about specific subject matters they are truly passionate about, wanting to share their knowledge across, their passion as well as keep learning along the way.

This major driving force of adoption of much more powerful and emergent collaboration and knowledge sharing tools results in a massive shift of how corporations operate, both internally and externally, transitioning from the old concept of project teams, imposed from high above to top down by the organisation itself, to different collaboration patterns, or personas that clearly reflect the complexity of the working environment we have been exposed to over the last few years. After all, when was the last time you were working on a single project, with a single project team, in the same building, or location, or even country? Probably a long while ago, I can imagine, specially, since it looks like nowadays most knowledge workers are working on multiple teams, with multiple projects and initiatives and perhaps now more distributed than ever all over the world.

This new dynamic of how work gets done is basically the main premise of what I tried to describe on that particular breakout session I did at the Social Business Forum event, where I basically explained how Social Computing tools are taking by storm the corporate world to define the whole concept of the Social Enterprise as more and more businesses are transitioning from Globally Integrated Enterprises into Socially Integrated Enterprises.

From there onwards I also spent a few minutes talking about some piece of research that my colleagues from the IBM Almaden Research Lab (Specially, Tara Matthews and her extended team) have been conducting over the course of the last few months on the topic of Collaboration Personas, or Types, that clearly define how the traditional concept of collaboration amongst small groups of knowledge workers is transforming itself, breaking down the silos, where it may be more appropriate and suitable, into a much more complex collaborative environment where multiple sets of contexts are helping redefine how we are collaborating amongst each other in a much more open, public, transparent and effective manner.

Thus, with all of that said, as a quick and short introduction, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the links to the video recording as well as the presentation materials themselves, stored in Slideshare, so that you can have a look and explore further the concept of whether communities and networks are slowly, but steadily, taking over the traditional concept of organisation, or not, and how work that used to get done in the recent past in locked down, protected silos is now transitioning into a new method of engagement, where collaboration and knowledge sharing are no longer nice things to have, but overall business imperatives that every company should prioritise as critical for their own survival in today’s knowledge economy.

Here is the embedded code of the video recording:

Organizations or Communities? – Luis Suarez from SocialBizForum on Vimeo.

And here is the presentation materials themselves that I used for that presentation:

Hope you have enjoyed watching it throughout and please do take a minute or two to share in the comments, whether you are also starting to witness such social transformation, or not, within your own organisation with those emergent networks and informal communities to help redefine the future of the workplace. Our workplace. I would love to know more …

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