E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Jazz and the New Models of the Enterprise

La Palma - Observatory - Roque de los MuchachosOver the course of the last few years there have been plenty of metaphors that people out there have been making use of to describe the transformation the traditional world of the enterprise is going through with the emergence of social networking tools to help improve the effectiveness of how we collaborate and share our knowledge across. Some of them have been incredibly helpful in describing how we are moving away from that traditional taylorism method of managing businesses top down driven by hierarchies into something a whole lot more liquid, permeable, flowing, flexible and network driven (A la Wirearchy). But if there is one metaphor out there that surely keeps grabbing my attention every time I bump into it is that one of associating the Enterprise with one of those creative activities that makes us all, humans, unique in this world: Music. 

It’s Friday afternoon, and I am sure plenty of people out there would be finishing up the first pretty packed up work week of the year. For me, the last day of the week that will see the end of my vacation, since next week I will be back at work as well after having enjoyed quite an amazing holiday recharging my batteries, unwinding, disconnecting (from almost everything) and, eventually, resuming my long time dormant blog and a couple of other things I have got on the side that I will be writing about shortly over here as well. But, first things first. How about finishing off your work for the week, and my last vacation week, with one of those videos that will not only inspire you tremendously (I am certain!), but that will also be a pure treat for your ears, just to get you in the mood before the weekend kicks off? That wouldn’t be too bad, right? 

Well, here you have it. Earlier on this week I bumped into this absolutely delightful YouTube video presentation from the one and only, Don Tapscott, that he did at the Association of Fundraising Professionals in Toronto, Canada, where he presented on The New Models of the Enterprise (With a slight touch on Philanthropy) covering a good number of relevant topics that have clearly set the stage of how the corporate world is slowly, but steadily, moving into that Open Business modus operandi. Key elements like Collaborative Innovation, Openness, Molecularisation, Self-Organisation, Interdependence or Dynamic Leadership were covered on that presentation by Don, but with a rather peculiar touch: playing some amazing jazz with an improvised orchestra lead by the brilliant Shannon Butcher

For the rest, I am afraid I no longer have words to describe how wonderful and inspiring was to spend a bit over 30 minutes going through each of those topics and how some very talented jazz musicians, and the heartwarming and rather touching voice from Shannon herself, make them their own when playing several songs together, even if they have never played together in the past at all, making you realise how unique that experience could well be. Well, it surely was! … Talking about creativity and intent with a purpose!

I am not going to add further more into this blog post other than highly recommending you all that if you are at the end of your work day, or perhaps way into your weekend already, take these 30 minutes to watch some pure brilliance of what makes us, human beings, unique in this world by letting music (Jazz in this case) do its magic, go through your ears into your brain, close your eyes and prepare to be wowed big time! on what the enterprise world could very well look like: 


See? If Open Business is all about this, and so much more!, I am all IN for it! And you? Hope you, too! 

What a stunning way of starting off the weekend! Have a good one everyone!

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    1. Hi Sam! Thanks a bunch for the heads up and for adding further up that lovely blog post, along with introducing me to the wonderful concept of liminal zone. I was not aware of it and after reading your blog post and looking back into Don’s presentation with Shannon, goodness!, it makes just perfect sense! Loving specially the flowing nature of the concept and that one as well of flexibility and improvise to achieve a certain goal, whether playing jazz or whatever else, that is. And when looking into a work context even more necessary nowadays in such a complex, uncertain business world. Just brilliant!

      Thanks again for noticing the post and for sharing along that great link! Way cool!

  1. This connection between organization structures and social collaboration is also discussed in “5th Generation Management” by Charles M Savage.
    He also introduces interesting new organization structure terms like “advocacy”.

    1. Hi Ian, thanks a lot for dropping by and for the great commentary, along with the very timely reference on Savage’s work! It’s rather interesting to see how we keep seeing all of these “movements” as evolution of what we have, much more than perhaps a revolution on its own. Good point, I guess, but unless we inject a bit of revolution into the mix, we may not be advancing fast and farther enough as we should. On “Advocacy”, for instance, isn’t that the same as “evangelism”, from way back in the last 90s with “tech evangelists”, perhaps? Sometimes I just keep wondering whether, after all, we are just reinventing the wheel.

      Perhaps we need completely new wheels altogether! 😉

      Thanks again for the great comment and here’s to pushing the limit a bit more than what we may have in the recent past … hehe

  2. Sorry auto correct on my iPhone changed the word, not advocacy but “adhocracy”, a term that describes an organization structure that consists off team consisting of people both within your organization & outside who collaborate to help you do your job

    1. Hi Randall! Goodness! What a difference, with regards to Advocacy! Huge, indeed! Silly auto-correct on the iPhone! Grrr

      Either way, glad you had a chance to drop by and share the concept of “adhocracy”. Love it! It’s pretty similar, it seems, to the concept other folks have been describing as the Liquid Workforce, where you would have a core group of employees (Those perhaps closer to the core of business operations in whatever sector) doing work together with freelances, trust agents, bidding to do the work, getting it done and then move on to the next one.

      Certainly, a redefinition of the corporate workplace and one that I know has been commented to have lots of disadvantages, but I keep seeing more and more advantages, mainly on two fronts: political corporate cultures will cease to exist and meritocracy. Very hard to earn, each day, but very easy to destroy. Just like trust.

      It would be rather interesting to see how it would pave out eventually… Thanks much for dropping by and for the wonderful comments!

      Much appreciated

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