It’s a common place to say that enterprises organized in silos are counter-productive and that a new kind of organization has to be found. And, as a consequence, that walls have to be knocked down inside the orgazation.
Knocking down all the walls…seriously, you really believe it ?
Let’s make an analogy with a bulding. Imagine an appartment with a wide open space, with toilets near the kitchen, the study next the place children play…all that without walls ! We may also imagine the same for the frontage !
Reading that, we can undestand, although the fact some walls have to be knocked down is acknowledged, some managers may be reticent to do that.
Let’s follow : the wall that really bothers me is the one in the middle of the dining room, that makes it impossible for me to see all the people I’m dining with, and talk with them. At the opposite, the wall between toilets and kitchen makes me comfortable, as well as the frontage (even if we can envisage a more more windows…it has to keep it’s protective role).
And, above all, would you think about knocking down load-bearing wall ?
It’s the same in an organization : walls that prevent circulation, exchange, life, and that are in contradiction with principles of efficiency, agility have to be knwocked down. But everything protective or load-bearing has to be kept.
This means that the enterprise’s interest is to anticipate and organise its internal space with projets with precise guidelines, obvious stakes, defined communities. At these conditions, social computing will be a great opportunity.
Because the risk, if there’s one, is to ignore the phenomenon, and let employees make things under the radar, assuming the risk to knock down load-bearing walls.
Talking about social computing, inertia is the real risk. Anticipated and mastered change is opportunity.