(Co-Authored with Steven A. Cavaleri)
New solutions to problems are always inventions, however humble. They don’t become innovations however, until they’re communicated to people, and get used in practice. In an Open PSP organization, new ideas are communicated by interpersonal and electronic means in four categories of communication (or integration) activity: broadcasting, search and retrieving, teaching, and sharing, In each of these categories open communication in an organization is characterized by:
– high internal transparency,
– a high extent of distributed access to means of communicating information and knowledge,
– a high extent to which the organization is open to seeking problems in new solutions created in the PSP,
– at least a moderate level of trust in the communications activity category,
– high quality of electronic and interpersonal methods of communication,
– a high extent of collaborative integration in communicating solutions,
– short cycle times in integrative activities,
– a relatively low ratio of messages received to messages sent, and
– a relatively high velocity of communication activities.
These conditions can be realized to a great extent if success is achieved in creating openness in seeking, recognizing, and formulating problems, in coming up with new ideas and in evaluating and selecting among them. When people create new ideas in interaction with others, they also simultaneously communicate about both old and new solutions. When the new ideas are evaluated, they’re communicated to still other people. And when they’re selected and stored in knowledge bases along with the track record of their evaluation, they’re then made available far beyond the local context of their creation, to still others having access to the knowledge base, who may not have been part of the local process of solution making.
Also, Enterprise 2.0 technology such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, collaborative tagging, RSS feeds, social networking, social bookmarking, mashups, folksonomies, and Interactive Media applications involve not only creation of new ideas, but also broadcasting and the necessary foundation for sharing solutions — providing accompanying search and retrieval technology is adequate, and “open access” to the cultural products of these applications exists. Developing Web 3.0-based search technology promises to make search and retrieval much more effective in the future than it is at present. The continued development of social computing and social media through Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 generations creates new and larger social networks that fuse interpersonal and electronic methods of interaction in such a way that opportunities for sharing solutions globally, and for stimulating both agreement and disagreement with them are greatly facilitated. Groups can more easily self-organize around problems, and developing solutions can be shared with those who can recognize that their own problems are similar to already identified problems.
In contrast to older best practices and lesson learned systems, cultural artifacts arising out of 2.0 and 3.0 IT environments are organized by problem domain and can include reasoning, deliberations, and outcomes of problem solving efforts. Such artifacts provide much more context than classical best practice and lessons learned systems for those looking for previous solutions that may be relevant to their specific decision making contexts, or to their own problems.
In brief, the same group structures, cultural changes, knowledge bases, and Web and Enterprise 2.0 and 3.0 and other IT applications that support the Open PSP in other areas discussed (See previous blogs in this series), also go far towards creating the above conditions. They create a combined social and IT system ecology supporting communication/integration of the new solutions produced in the organization. Pursuing such changes as an over-arching approach, defines an ecological approach to PSP management; an approach which enhances communication/integration as well as the problem seeking, recognition, and formulation, and creating and selecting solutions areas discussed in previous posts.
To Be Continued