Monday, September 24, 2007

My take on a Collaboration Maturity Model

Hierarchy versus informal knowledge sharing

Over the past few years companies have paid increasing attention to communication skills, have trained their employees and screened candidates to find people with appropriate skills. All this is generally being done so that current employees and new hires fit seemlessly into companies' organisational structure and easily adopt their culture. What is systematically overlooked, though, are the human assets represented by the informal communication patterns within the enterprise, or between entreprise colleagues and the outside world for that matter. Although, companies have representations of their hierarchical organisation, they do not have means to easily represent the patterns of communication, information sharing and value creation that are the actual paths towards getting work done effectively.

A framework for entreprise collaboration

A way to build views of the way a group or a company interact informally is to perform an organisational network analysis that will help quantify the shape, intensity and value of communication in support of business objectives.

The results will give insights about the maturity of collaboration in the company. I would define maturity of collaboration as the ability for a group or an entreprise to create sustaining value through an unfettered flow of information that can be generated to solve problems, develop products or markets or foster innovation.

Drawing from a number of sources (see linkography at the end of this post), I've been trying to depict a collaboration maturity model that would clearly describe the state of an organisation as well as give clear indications as to what needs to be done to move from one stage to another. I came up with this diagram:

The main conclusions that one can draw from this model are:
  • Collaboration moves from aphazard individual initiative to full blown enterprise strategy as we climb up the maturity ladder

  • Entreprise culture needs to evolve to nurture, recognize and reward values of openness, knowledge sharing, risk taking, trust and "crowd evaluation" (knowledge value emerging from assessment by the people in an interactive fashion)

  • The technical infrastructure needs to evolve towards content and people information accessibility, global metadata management and ultimately provide seemless access to intranet + extranet resources


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Career Transition

A lot has been happening in my professional life recently, all around transitioning. As our organisation has been changing, so do I have to find a new job opportunity at the same work place or... outside.

This is a good thing. Or it will be in the end. What's good about it is that it takes me to places I would not have dare go and ask questions that I feared to ask. Such as: at this point in time, what do I really want to do with my life? What makes me tick?

Well, what I am passionate about is people and the way they interact to create value in the society and in the enterprise. So I am going to talk about my progress in finding my ways to new project.

One idea is to start as a consultant, helping organisations assess the potential of their informal structure and make plans to foster a culture more conducive to collaborative performance. This should help them create more value while making the work place a better place to work in.

What makes it a compelling opportunity is that technology is here (see Peter H. Reiser - Web 2.0 applied in the Enterprise post) to provide a work environment that facilitates access to the "what" (information) and to "who knows what "social networks".

So how can I reach out to those organisations? One way would be to get to know HR consultant already operating in the field, first to learn about the potential market, then to better assess the idea and thirdly to find opportunities for partnership in consulting.

One step at a time. My current focus is on:
  • Due diligence (market research)
  • Networking
  • Refining my Organisational Network Analysis offering

More on these later.