As I pointed out at the time however, an architectural view is a valuable artifact for depicting the discrete €” and essentially physical €” elements of a subject with clarity. But this view doesn’t describe the dynamic aspects €” or the processes we must engage in €” that fully bring a new way of working to life. For this to happen here, we must delve into and understand the operations of a social business. Therefore, contained below, is our current understanding of how organizations are activating upon and becoming fundamentally social organizations over time, culled from our experiences with clients in the field, case studies, and other research sources, including the Social Business Council.
In general, we can break down the processes of a social business into four broad categories. The first category is the totality of an organization’s human activities including any conversations that involve it or are relevant, both inside and outside of the business
These include the day-to-day business processes that keep the organization running, the ad hoc and informal processes of knowledge workers involved in creating new information or dealing with exceptions and edge cases of operations, as well the main digital engagement cycle of the business itself as it interacts with itself and all of its many and varied stakeholders.
The third category, unlike the first two which are largely continuous and constant, is the process of deliberate and intentional enablement of social business at a functional level (as opposed to the people considerations, such as culture change.) We call this social business design.
designed changes to the way that business processes work to be more social, and the creation of new organizational capabilities, infrastructure, architecture to support social business. This is a much more punctuated set of processes that have high-level of activity while change is taking places, but generally settles down to a much lower level otherwise
That process is likely to be somewhat messy, have some dead-ends, and be painful at times, but the outcome is a sustainable, resilient business that can outcompete those who haven’t made the same moves in their industry.
“Our team survey of over 4,000 people working in large organisations tells us that they spend two days a week in meetings and 50 percent is irrelevant; and they receive around 70 emails per day, of which over 75 percent are irrelevant. “
But what if teamwork is the problem not the solution? Do we really need to share all of this information? Does teamwork actually improve results? Are collective decisions better decisions?
Star groups are made up of a number of individuals with similar skills, reporting to the same boss. In star groups one-to-one communication between individuals and their boss at the centre in a hub and spoke pattern is usually enough, there is little need for them to collaborate collectively as each individual is doing their own work.
Spaghetti teams are where everyone is connected to everyone else, people have complementary skills and need to work intensively together to achieve a truly collaborative result. This type of spaghetti team working is really important, but it is relatively rare. In reality most work is done by individuals getting on with their own jobs.
By getting rid of star group topics that should be handled one-to-one, you could win back a day a week of your precious time.
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