Communities and networks have become core elements of many organizations

The "Next Generation" of Organization
The structure and boundaries of many organizations are changing as a result of the confluence of world-changing factors; digital infrastructure, global supply chains, the information explosion, the rise Europe and Asia leading economic powers, big science, global labor cost, and decades of relative peace in most of the world.  As a result, many companies are simultaneously becoming both more globally distributed and more deeply interdependent. Knowledge work, such as engineering, science, IT, even medicine, is following similar global distribution patterns that we saw in manufacturing a decade ago. 

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The Human Infrastructure
Current revolutions in digital infrastructure, such as Service Oriented Architecture, make it possible to standardizing and outsource linear, routine aspects of knowledge work. But success with these widely distributed knowledge work processes, whether within or outside the organization, need some degree of human integration. 

Some organizations have learned to navigate this sea change in creative ways, establishing communities of practice to integrate stable inter dependencies, collaborative networks with partner companies and self organizing dialogues through open social media (Web 2.0). All of these provide less expensive integration than the more formal structures they replace. Each serves a different purpose and requires different actions to be effective. All are elements of effective globally distributed interdependence.


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McDermott Consulting
A thought leader in developing the idea of communities, teacher of organizational design, and leading researcher on communities and networks, we help clients choose integrating structures that fit their needs and get the best return on their effort.

 

 
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