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[cp] Re: Examples of ghost town communities

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  • proudfit_bill
    All, I read recently that Tom Davenport said, The absence of participative technologies in the past is not the only reason that organizations and expertise
    Message 1 of 18 , Nov 30, 2009
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      All,

      I read recently that Tom Davenport said, "The absence of participative technologies in the past is not the only reason that organizations and expertise are hierarchical." (see Steward Mader's blog http://www.ikiw.org/2009/10/06/how-much-can-enterprise-2-0-change-the-way-we-work/) This was in the context that social networking tools are going to make hierarchies go away in organizations. Good for him for saying the obvious – the tools are not going to change organizations that much, as those of us know who went from memos on typewriters, newsletters and meetings to email, intranets and networking. It is what we are doing that will make a big change and what is now done with social networking seems rather thin and over-reaching much/some of the time. As Matt points out, it works if you have a 'strong facilitator' (code for hierarchy I think) in the social network. It may actually be a different sort of hierarchy I suspect from the formal variety we encounter in face-to-face organizations.

      Best regards,

      Bill Proudfit

      --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Matt Moore <innotecture@...> wrote:
      >
      > Sam,
      >
      > In contrast, folks associated with another km group (knowledgeboard) did actually write a book. Two in fact.
      >
      > Again I think the workload was a little uneven. You need a really strong anchor/editor/facilitator for these projects.
      >
      > Wikipedia has developed a strong (too strong???) core of editors but in many organisations these numbers don't scale down well.
      >
      > I believe you generally need some mix of emergence and control. Rarely one or the other.
      >
      > Btw going back to the original question, the tribalization of business survey from last year had some painful examples (including one on toilet paper if I recall)...
      >
      > Sent from my iPhone
      >
      > On Nov 29, 2009, at 10:45 PM, "Sam Marshall" <sam@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Jenny
      >
      > Many thanks for your reply - that's a fascinating example of the limits on
      > crowd sourcing. I remember a KM community, AOK, also tried to get members to
      > collectively write a book. Lots of people expressed an interest, but few
      > wanted to do the grunt work of taking it from ideas to an actual product.
      > For the same reason, I think there's a lesson in this for the social media \
      > Web 2.0 enthusiasts that argue we can do away with management inside
      > organisations.
      >
      > Best
      >
      > Sam
      >
      > Twitter: @sammarshall
      >
      > From: com-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:com-prac@yahoogroups.com]
      > Sent: 28 November 2009 08:55
      > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [cp] Digest Number 2164
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      > 1a.
      >
      > Re: Examples of ghost town communities From: meryla
      >
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      > communities
      >
      > Posted by: "meryla"
      > <mailto:jenny@...?Subject=%20Re%3A%20Examples%20of%20ghost%20town%20
      > communities> jenny@... <http://profiles.yahoo.com/meryla> meryla
      >
      > Fri Nov 27, 2009 6:46 am (PST)
      >
      > Sam
      >
      > This may not exactly be the example you are seeking but for me "We Are
      > Smarter < <http://www.wearesmarter.org> http://www.wearesmarter.org> " is
      > very instructive.
      >
      > If you recall the project was announced at the launch of MIT's Center
      > for Collective Intelligence (MIT CCI) late 2006:
      > <http://cci.mit.edu/launchPR.html> http://cci.mit.edu/launchPR.html
      >
      > The project had impressive sponsors including MIT CCI, the Wharton
      > School and Pearson Publishing as well as the commercial entity, then
      > Shared Insights, that became Mzinga.
      > See the Wikipedia entry
      > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Are_Smarter_Than_Me>
      > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Are_Smarter_Than_Me
      >
      > The ambition was great: crowdsource and co-create a book about how "We
      > are Smarter than Me".
      >
      > The Wikipedia entry provides the participation statistics that begin to
      > tell the story:
      >
      > * 4375 Registered Members
      > * 737 forum posts
      > * 250 wiki contributors
      > * 1600 wiki posts
      > I've heard Tom Malone, MIT CCI director explain how ultimately 6 writers
      > had to be hired to write the book. What the "We are Smarter" team
      > hadn't factored in was the facilitation needed to engage the diverse and
      > best talent, and generate the content in a way that would emerge as an
      > efficiently co-created product.
      >
      > For me "We are Smarter" has significant lessons for any company/brand
      > wishing to engage customers current or potential. It goes beyond your
      > "build it and they will come"" mentality falling flat" to the importance
      > of ensuring clear purpose, doing the work to ensure the goal can be
      > fulfilled and value created through open engagement.
      >
      > ~ Jenny Ambrozek
      > SageNet LLC & 21st Century Organization < <http://c21org.typepad.com>
      > http://c21org.typepad.com>
      > blog
      > Twitter @sagenet
      >
      > --- In <mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com> com-prac@yahoogroups.com,
      > "sam2marshall" <sam@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi All
      > > I'm looking for some examples of ghost town communities with a
      > marketing link e.g. discussion forums set up around a product or brand
      > that nobody is that interested in talking about.
      > >
      > > Ideally I want a site that hasn't been taken down and that's where
      > I'm struggling because whilst I'm sure that such sites exist, their very
      > lack of traffic makes them hard to hunt down.
      > >
      > > I'm not trying to name and shame any companies here, I just want to
      > make a point in a presentation about the "build it and they will come"
      > mentality falling flat.
      > >
      > > Thanks in advance
      > >
      > > Sam
      > > Director
      > > ClearBox Consulting
      > >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
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    • smithjd2teleport
      Sam and Jenny, I think this Clay Shirky s talk has some nice insights about emergence and openness and incomplete contracts .
      Message 2 of 18 , Dec 3, 2009
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        Sam and Jenny,

        I think this Clay Shirky's talk has some nice insights about emergence and openness and "incomplete contracts".

        http://gov2summit.blip.tv/file/2591940/

        The fallacy of "build it and they will come" is often about an incomplete contract that's somehow incorrect. He talks about how press releases about a wiki really took the oxygen out of an initiative.

        John
        * John David Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype & Twitter: smithjd
        * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
        * The book: http://bit.ly/DigitalHabitats by Wenger, White, & Smith
        * "One law for the lion and ox is oppression." - William Blake
      • sam2marshall
        Matt, Bill and John many thanks for your replies, some great thoughts! Sam
        Message 3 of 18 , Dec 4, 2009
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          Matt, Bill and John
          many thanks for your replies, some great thoughts!

          Sam
        • Fred
          Well, as the late Peter Drucker pointed out repeatedly over a span of many years, organizations can t function without some kind of authority system and
          Message 4 of 18 , Dec 4, 2009
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            Well, as the late Peter Drucker pointed out repeatedly over a span of many years, organizations can't function without some kind of authority system and authority systems are inevitably hierarchical in nature. (So, too, in my experience, are people.)

            Fred Nickols
            nickols@...

            --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "proudfit_bill" <bill.proudfit@...> wrote:
            >
            > All,
            >
            > I read recently that Tom Davenport said, "The absence of participative technologies in the past is not the only reason that organizations and expertise are hierarchical." (see Steward Mader's blog http://www.ikiw.org/2009/10/06/how-much-can-enterprise-2-0-change-the-way-we-work/) This was in the context that social networking tools are going to make hierarchies go away in organizations. Good for him for saying the obvious – the tools are not going to change organizations that much, as those of us know who went from memos on typewriters, newsletters and meetings to email, intranets and networking. It is what we are doing that will make a big change and what is now done with social networking seems rather thin and over-reaching much/some of the time. As Matt points out, it works if you have a 'strong facilitator' (code for hierarchy I think) in the social network. It may actually be a different sort of hierarchy I suspect from the formal variety we encounter in face-to-face organizations.
            >
            > Best regards,
            >
            > Bill Proudfit
            >
            > --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Matt Moore <innotecture@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Sam,
            > >
            > > In contrast, folks associated with another km group (knowledgeboard) did actually write a book. Two in fact.
            > >
            > > Again I think the workload was a little uneven. You need a really strong anchor/editor/facilitator for these projects.
            > >
            > > Wikipedia has developed a strong (too strong???) core of editors but in many organisations these numbers don't scale down well.
            > >
            > > I believe you generally need some mix of emergence and control. Rarely one or the other.
            > >
            > > Btw going back to the original question, the tribalization of business survey from last year had some painful examples (including one on toilet paper if I recall)...
            > >
            > > Sent from my iPhone
            > >
            > > On Nov 29, 2009, at 10:45 PM, "Sam Marshall" <sam@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hi Jenny
            > >
            > > Many thanks for your reply - that's a fascinating example of the limits on
            > > crowd sourcing. I remember a KM community, AOK, also tried to get members to
            > > collectively write a book. Lots of people expressed an interest, but few
            > > wanted to do the grunt work of taking it from ideas to an actual product.
            > > For the same reason, I think there's a lesson in this for the social media \
            > > Web 2.0 enthusiasts that argue we can do away with management inside
            > > organisations.
            > >
            > > Best
            > >
            > > Sam
            > >
            > > Twitter: @sammarshall
            > >
            > > From: com-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:com-prac@yahoogroups.com]
            > > Sent: 28 November 2009 08:55
            > > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
            > > Subject: [cp] Digest Number 2164
            > >
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            > > xMjU5Mzk4NDc0> Communities of Practice
            > >
            > > Messages In This Digest (1 Message)
            > >
            > > 1a.
            > >
            > > Re: Examples of ghost town communities From: meryla
            > >
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            > > 1a.
            > >
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/message/8316;_ylc=X3oDMTJxZW5sYnNuBF
            > > 9TAzk3MzU5NzE1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BG1zZ0lkAzgzMTYEc2
            > > VjA2Rtc2cEc2xrA3Ztc2cEc3RpbWUDMTI1OTM5ODQ3NQ--> Re: Examples of ghost town
            > > communities
            > >
            > > Posted by: "meryla"
            > > <mailto:jenny@?Subject=%20Re%3A%20Examples%20of%20ghost%20town%20
            > > communities> jenny@ <http://profiles.yahoo.com/meryla> meryla
            > >
            > > Fri Nov 27, 2009 6:46 am (PST)
            > >
            > > Sam
            > >
            > > This may not exactly be the example you are seeking but for me "We Are
            > > Smarter < <http://www.wearesmarter.org> http://www.wearesmarter.org> " is
            > > very instructive.
            > >
            > > If you recall the project was announced at the launch of MIT's Center
            > > for Collective Intelligence (MIT CCI) late 2006:
            > > <http://cci.mit.edu/launchPR.html> http://cci.mit.edu/launchPR.html
            > >
            > > The project had impressive sponsors including MIT CCI, the Wharton
            > > School and Pearson Publishing as well as the commercial entity, then
            > > Shared Insights, that became Mzinga.
            > > See the Wikipedia entry
            > > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Are_Smarter_Than_Me>
            > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Are_Smarter_Than_Me
            > >
            > > The ambition was great: crowdsource and co-create a book about how "We
            > > are Smarter than Me".
            > >
            > > The Wikipedia entry provides the participation statistics that begin to
            > > tell the story:
            > >
            > > * 4375 Registered Members
            > > * 737 forum posts
            > > * 250 wiki contributors
            > > * 1600 wiki posts
            > > I've heard Tom Malone, MIT CCI director explain how ultimately 6 writers
            > > had to be hired to write the book. What the "We are Smarter" team
            > > hadn't factored in was the facilitation needed to engage the diverse and
            > > best talent, and generate the content in a way that would emerge as an
            > > efficiently co-created product.
            > >
            > > For me "We are Smarter" has significant lessons for any company/brand
            > > wishing to engage customers current or potential. It goes beyond your
            > > "build it and they will come"" mentality falling flat" to the importance
            > > of ensuring clear purpose, doing the work to ensure the goal can be
            > > fulfilled and value created through open engagement.
            > >
            > > ~ Jenny Ambrozek
            > > SageNet LLC & 21st Century Organization < <http://c21org.typepad.com>
            > > http://c21org.typepad.com>
            > > blog
            > > Twitter @sagenet
            > >
            > > --- In <mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com> com-prac@yahoogroups.com,
            > > "sam2marshall" <sam@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Hi All
            > > > I'm looking for some examples of ghost town communities with a
            > > marketing link e.g. discussion forums set up around a product or brand
            > > that nobody is that interested in talking about.
            > > >
            > > > Ideally I want a site that hasn't been taken down and that's where
            > > I'm struggling because whilst I'm sure that such sites exist, their very
            > > lack of traffic makes them hard to hunt down.
            > > >
            > > > I'm not trying to name and shame any companies here, I just want to
            > > make a point in a presentation about the "build it and they will come"
            > > mentality falling flat.
            > > >
            > > > Thanks in advance
            > > >
            > > > Sam
            > > > Director
            > > > ClearBox Consulting
            > > >
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            > > Back to top
            > >
            > > <mailto:jenny@?Subject=Re%3A%20Examples%20of%20ghost%20town%20com
            > > munities> Reply to sender |
            > > <mailto:com-prac@yahoogroups.com?Subject=%20Re%3A%20Examples%20of%20ghost%20
            > > town%20communities> Reply to group |
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/post;_ylc=X3oDMTJxYXY3MzJzBF9TAzk3Mz
            > > U5NzE1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BG1zZ0lkAzgzMTYEc2VjA2Rtc2
            > > cEc2xrA3JwbHkEc3RpbWUDMTI1OTM5ODQ3NQ--?act=reply&messageNum=8316> Reply via
            > > web post
            > >
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/message/8313;_ylc=X3oDMTM1c2VjanE1BF
            > > 9TAzk3MzU5NzE1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BG1zZ0lkAzgzMTYEc2
            > > VjA2Rtc2cEc2xrA3Z0cGMEc3RpbWUDMTI1OTM5ODQ3NQR0cGNJZAM4MzEz> Messages in this
            > > topic (3)
            > >
            > > Recent Activity
            > >
            > > . 2
            > >
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/members;_ylc=X3oDMTJmZGY5dHFiBF9TAzk
            > > 3MzU5NzE1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BHNlYwN2dGwEc2xrA3ZtYnJ
            > > zBHN0aW1lAzEyNTkzOTg0NzU-?o=6> New Members
            > >
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac;_ylc=X3oDMTJlMDZnajM5BF9TAzk3MzU5NzE
            > > 1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BHNlYwN2dGwEc2xrA3ZnaHAEc3RpbWU
            > > DMTI1OTM5ODQ3NQ--> Visit Your Group
            > >
            > > Share Photos
            > >
            > > <http://us.ard.yahoo.com/SIG=14h4clnhb/M=493064.12016255.12445662.8674578/D=
            > > groups/S=1705542024:NC/Y=YAHOO/EXP=1259405675/L=/B=1aPgHEPDhFs-/J=1259398475
            > > 211040/K=bXLKdT.uZteJy7bN4hGYtQ/A=4025373/R=0/SIG=12dtn7qjm/*http:/us.rd.yah
            > > oo.com/evt=44092/*http:/smallbusiness.yahoo.com/webhosting> Put your
            > > favorite
            > >
            > > photos and
            > >
            > > more online.
            > >
            > > Need traffic?
            > >
            > > <http://us.ard.yahoo.com/SIG=14hf58039/M=493064.12016308.12445700.8674578/D=
            > > groups/S=1705542024:NC/Y=YAHOO/EXP=1259405675/L=/B=1qPgHEPDhFs-/J=1259398475
            > > 211040/K=bXLKdT.uZteJy7bN4hGYtQ/A=3848644/R=0/SIG=131l83flq/*http:/searchmar
            > > keting.yahoo.com/arp/srchv2.php?o=US2006&cmp=Yahoo&ctv=Groups5&s=Y&s2=&s3=&b
            > > =50> Drive customers
            > >
            > > With search ads
            > >
            > > on Yahoo!
            > >
            > > Yahoo! Groups
            > >
            > > <http://us.ard.yahoo.com/SIG=14h06h3kp/M=493064.12016283.13564723.8674578/D=
            > > groups/S=1705542024:NC/Y=YAHOO/EXP=1259405675/L=/B=16PgHEPDhFs-/J=1259398475
            > > 211040/K=bXLKdT.uZteJy7bN4hGYtQ/A=5741393/R=0/SIG=11m8njht2/*http:/advision.
            > > webevents.yahoo.com/mentalhealthzone> Mental Health Zone
            > >
            > > Bi-polar disorder
            > >
            > > Find support
            > >
            > > Need to Reply?
            > >
            > > Click one of the "Reply" links to respond to a specific message in the Daily
            > > Digest.
            > >
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/post;_ylc=X3oDMTJlMzg1N29vBF9TAzk3Mz
            > > U5NzE1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA250cGMEc3
            > > RpbWUDMTI1OTM5ODQ3NQ--> Create New Topic |
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac;_ylc=X3oDMTJjb2dnNXA0BF9TAzk3MzU5NzE
            > > 1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA2hwBHN0aW1lAzE
            > > yNTkzOTg0NzU-> Visit Your Group on the Web
            > >
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/messages;_ylc=X3oDMTJla2RtN2g2BF9TAz
            > > k3MzU5NzE1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA21zZ3
            > > MEc3RpbWUDMTI1OTM5ODQ3NQ--> Messages |
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/files;_ylc=X3oDMTJmbXFkZGUwBF9TAzk3M
            > > zU5NzE1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA2ZpbGVzB
            > > HN0aW1lAzEyNTkzOTg0NzU-> Files |
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/photos;_ylc=X3oDMTJlMTRtaWhyBF9TAzk3
            > > MzU5NzE1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA3Bob3QE
            > > c3RpbWUDMTI1OTM5ODQ3NQ--> Photos |
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/links;_ylc=X3oDMTJmYTljb3U2BF9TAzk3M
            > > zU5NzE1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA2xpbmtzB
            > > HN0aW1lAzEyNTkzOTg0NzU-> Links |
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/database;_ylc=X3oDMTJja2NwOXJ2BF9TAz
            > > k3MzU5NzE1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA2RiBH
            > > N0aW1lAzEyNTkzOTg0NzU-> Database |
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/polls;_ylc=X3oDMTJmc3Z2N2pzBF9TAzk3M
            > > zU5NzE1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA3BvbGxzB
            > > HN0aW1lAzEyNTkzOTg0NzU-> Polls |
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/members;_ylc=X3oDMTJlbjYyZGR2BF9TAzk
            > > 3MzU5NzE1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA21icnM
            > > Ec3RpbWUDMTI1OTM5ODQ3NQ--> Members |
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/calendar;_ylc=X3oDMTJkcWxyazZhBF9TAz
            > > k3MzU5NzE1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA2NhbA
            > > RzdGltZQMxMjU5Mzk4NDc1> Calendar
            > >
            > > *-- The email forum on communities of practice --*
            > >
            > > MARKETPLACE
            > >
            > > <http://us.ard.yahoo.com/SIG=14k1chv0h/M=493064.13814333.13821539.13298430/D
            > > =groups/S=1705542024:MKP1/Y=YAHOO/EXP=1259405675/L=/B=06PgHEPDhFs-/J=1259398
            > > 475211040/K=bXLKdT.uZteJy7bN4hGYtQ/A=5922843/R=0/SIG=11ckn2mo6/*http:/advisi
            > > on.webevents.yahoo.com/green/> Going Green: Your Yahoo! Groups resource for
            > > green living
            > >
            > > _____
            > >
            > > <http://us.ard.yahoo.com/SIG=14kgcrj2i/M=493064.13814537.13821737.10835568/D
            > > =groups/S=1705542024:MKP1/Y=YAHOO/EXP=1259405675/L=/B=1KPgHEPDhFs-/J=1259398
            > > 475211040/K=bXLKdT.uZteJy7bN4hGYtQ/A=5922843/R=0/SIG=11ckn2mo6/*http:/advisi
            > > on.webevents.yahoo.com/green/> Going Green: Your Yahoo! Groups resource for
            > > green living
            > >
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/;_ylc=X3oDMTJkaWhiNTIxBF9TAzk3MzU5NzE1BGdycElkAzEzO
            > > TY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA2dmcARzdGltZQMxMjU5Mzk4NDc1>
            > > Yahoo! Groups
            > >
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/join;_ylc=X3oDMTJmYTNuYm9lBF9TAzk3Mz
            > > U5NzE1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA3N0bmdzBH
            > > N0aW1lAzEyNTkzOTg0NzU-> Change settings via the Web (Yahoo! ID required)
            > > Change settings via email:
            > > <mailto:com-prac-normal@yahoogroups.com?subject=Email%20Delivery:%20Indiviua
            > > l%20Email> Switch delivery to Individual |
            > > <mailto:com-prac-traditional@yahoogroups.com?subject=Change%20Delivery%20For
            > > mat:%20Traditional> Switch format to Traditional
            > >
            > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac;_ylc=X3oDMTJkcnVscDBiBF9TAzk3MzU5NzE
            > > 1BGdycElkAzEzOTY1NjkEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1NTQyMDI0BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA2hwZgRzdGltZQM
            > > xMjU5Mzk4NDc1> Visit Your Group | <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>
            > > Yahoo! Groups Terms of Use |
            > > <mailto:com-prac-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
            > > Unsubscribe
            > >
            > > <http://geo.yahoo.com/serv?s=97359715/grpId=1396569/grpspId=1705542024/msgId
            > > =2164/stime=1259398474/nc1=4025373/nc2=3848644/nc3=5741393>
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            >
          • sam2marshall
            Hi Fred, Bill & All I m intrigued that both your posts commented on a need for hierarchy (and I m inclined to agree). I m hearing lots of presentations
            Message 5 of 18 , Dec 7, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi Fred, Bill & All
              I'm intrigued that both your posts commented on a need for hierarchy (and I'm inclined to agree).

              I'm hearing lots of presentations recently about Work2.0, Enterprise 2.0 etc. that are advocating flat, networked organizations that make 'management' redundant. Euan Semple's recent blog post is one example I saw recently, though I wouldn't particularly single Euan out in this (http://euansemple.squarespace.com/theobvious/2009/11/8/the-bbc-enterprise-20-and-management-bollocks.html)

              So I'd be interested on the thoughts of this group about what's going on. Are the Work2.0 folk extolling a new Gen Y sentiment that we've seen work within CoPs and could work more widely? Should we embrace *leadership* but challenge management control?

              Best
              Sam




              --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Fred" <nickols@...> wrote:
              >
              > Well, as the late Peter Drucker pointed out repeatedly over a span of many years, organizations can't function without some kind of authority system and authority systems are inevitably hierarchical in nature. (So, too, in my experience, are people.)
              >
              > Fred Nickols
              > nickols@...
              >
              > --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "proudfit_bill" <bill.proudfit@> wrote:
              > >
              > > All,
              > >
              > > I read recently that Tom Davenport said, "The absence of participative technologies in the past is not the only reason that organizations and expertise are hierarchical." (see Steward Mader's blog http://www.ikiw.org/2009/10/06/how-much-can-enterprise-2-0-change-the-way-we-work/) This was in the context that social networking tools are going to make hierarchies go away in organizations. Good for him for saying the obvious – the tools are not going to change organizations that much, as those of us know who went from memos on typewriters, newsletters and meetings to email, intranets and networking. It is what we are doing that will make a big change and what is now done with social networking seems rather thin and over-reaching much/some of the time. As Matt points out, it works if you have a 'strong facilitator' (code for hierarchy I think) in the social network. It may actually be a different sort of hierarchy I suspect from the formal variety we encounter in face-to-face organizations.
              > >
              > > Best regards,
              > >
              > > Bill Proudfit
              > >
            • Cornejo Castro, Miguel
              IMHO a community is not a productive organisation (*). It can be part of it, or a part of several, but they are different beasts. - community leaders are not
              Message 6 of 18 , Dec 7, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                IMHO a community is not a productive organisation (*). It can be part of it, or a part of several, but they are different beasts.

                - community leaders are not neccesarily organizational leaders. Organizational leadership has to do with projects, goals and resources (which require targets and control); community with guiding dialogue and hosting the conversation. Some overlapping (community projects) are common but not neccesary.

                - leadership in a community is therefore either thought leadership, hosting-moderation, or project-work group management. Parts of that are traditional management. Parts are new.

                - organizational leadership requires formal authority (as it often deals with somebody else's resources, requires personal responsibility for results, and wields and coercitive authority to take people to task) whereas in communities leadership is usually emergent, almost self-appointed, and related to the voluntary willingness to shoulder work (and works by moral suasion, shared vision, and enablement).

                So "Work 2.0" is closer to home than some think... while substantially different from yesteryear's. More an addition than an evolution.

                Or at least that is how I see it. Best regards,

                Miguel

                (* - Productive organisation would be that which takes some inputs, including time, and produces outputs, meanwhile adding and capturing value in a very clear and divisible way).



                ________________________________
                De: com-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:com-prac@yahoogroups.com] En nombre de sam2marshall
                Enviado el: lunes, 07 de diciembre de 2009 13:38
                Para: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                Asunto: [cp] Hierarchy vs networks in orgs (was Examples of ghost town communities)



                Hi Fred, Bill & All
                I'm intrigued that both your posts commented on a need for hierarchy (and I'm inclined to agree).

                I'm hearing lots of presentations recently about Work2.0, Enterprise 2.0 etc. that are advocating flat, networked organizations that make 'management' redundant. Euan Semple's recent blog post is one example I saw recently, though I wouldn't particularly single Euan out in this (http://euansemple.squarespace.com/theobvious/2009/11/8/the-bbc-enterprise-20-and-management-bollocks.html)

                So I'd be interested on the thoughts of this group about what's going on. Are the Work2.0 folk extolling a new Gen Y sentiment that we've seen work within CoPs and could work more widely? Should we embrace *leadership* but challenge management control?

                Best
                Sam

                --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com<mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com>, "Fred" <nickols@...> wrote:
                >
                > Well, as the late Peter Drucker pointed out repeatedly over a span of many years, organizations can't function without some kind of authority system and authority systems are inevitably hierarchical in nature. (So, too, in my experience, are people.)
                >
                > Fred Nickols
                > nickols@...
                >
                > --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com<mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com>, "proudfit_bill" <bill.proudfit@> wrote:
                > >
                > > All,
                > >
                > > I read recently that Tom Davenport said, "The absence of participative technologies in the past is not the only reason that organizations and expertise are hierarchical." (see Steward Mader's blog http://www.ikiw.org/2009/10/06/how-much-can-enterprise-2-0-change-the-way-we-work/) This was in the context that social networking tools are going to make hierarchies go away in organizations. Good for him for saying the obvious - the tools are not going to change organizations that much, as those of us know who went from memos on typewriters, newsletters and meetings to email, intranets and networking. It is what we are doing that will make a big change and what is now done with social networking seems rather thin and over-reaching much/some of the time. As Matt points out, it works if you have a 'strong facilitator' (code for hierarchy I think) in the social network. It may actually be a different sort of hierarchy I suspect from the formal variety we encounter in face-to-face organizations.
                > >
                > > Best regards,
                > >
                > > Bill Proudfit
                > >





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Steinvorth, Christel B.
                I find Miguel´s comments insightful and appropiate in terms of making distinctions between community leaders and organizational leaders. I also believe, that
                Message 7 of 18 , Dec 7, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  I find Miguel´s comments insightful and appropiate in terms of making distinctions between community leaders and organizational leaders. I also believe, that some type of management is needed for effective coordinated action to take place but do not agree with those that equate "managing" with being "hierachical". Also, in relation to authority, it can be formal or informal. Formal authority can more easilya adopt a hierarchical expression but those at the bottomo of a hierarchy, so to speak, can also have "informal" authority, ie. influence what others think and do despite, for example, their official position in an organizational structure. A "strong" facilitator to me, means a good facilitator, not a hierarchical figure but what who supports others in reaching their goals. And yes, change needs to be driven by someone or many, it won´t happen alone.

                  ________________________________
                  From: com-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:com-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Cornejo Castro, Miguel
                  Sent: Monday, December 07, 2009 10:57 AM
                  To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [cp] Hierarchy vs networks in orgs (was Examples of ghost town communities)



                  IMHO a community is not a productive organisation (*). It can be part of it, or a part of several, but they are different beasts.

                  - community leaders are not neccesarily organizational leaders. Organizational leadership has to do with projects, goals and resources (which require targets and control); community with guiding dialogue and hosting the conversation. Some overlapping (community projects) are common but not neccesary.

                  - leadership in a community is therefore either thought leadership, hosting-moderation, or project-work group management. Parts of that are traditional management. Parts are new.

                  - organizational leadership requires formal authority (as it often deals with somebody else's resources, requires personal responsibility for results, and wields and coercitive authority to take people to task) whereas in communities leadership is usually emergent, almost self-appointed, and related to the voluntary willingness to shoulder work (and works by moral suasion, shared vision, and enablement).

                  So "Work 2.0" is closer to home than some think... while substantially different from yesteryear's. More an addition than an evolution.

                  Or at least that is how I see it. Best regards,

                  Miguel

                  (* - Productive organisation would be that which takes some inputs, including time, and produces outputs, meanwhile adding and capturing value in a very clear and divisible way).

                  ________________________________
                  De: com-prac@yahoogroups.com<mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:com-prac@yahoogroups.com<mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com>] En nombre de sam2marshall
                  Enviado el: lunes, 07 de diciembre de 2009 13:38
                  Para: com-prac@yahoogroups.com<mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com>
                  Asunto: [cp] Hierarchy vs networks in orgs (was Examples of ghost town communities)

                  Hi Fred, Bill & All
                  I'm intrigued that both your posts commented on a need for hierarchy (and I'm inclined to agree).

                  I'm hearing lots of presentations recently about Work2.0, Enterprise 2.0 etc. that are advocating flat, networked organizations that make 'management' redundant. Euan Semple's recent blog post is one example I saw recently, though I wouldn't particularly single Euan out in this (http://euansemple.squarespace.com/theobvious/2009/11/8/the-bbc-enterprise-20-and-management-bollocks.html)

                  So I'd be interested on the thoughts of this group about what's going on. Are the Work2.0 folk extolling a new Gen Y sentiment that we've seen work within CoPs and could work more widely? Should we embrace *leadership* but challenge management control?

                  Best
                  Sam

                  --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com<mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com>, "Fred" <nickols@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Well, as the late Peter Drucker pointed out repeatedly over a span of many years, organizations can't function without some kind of authority system and authority systems are inevitably hierarchical in nature. (So, too, in my experience, are people.)
                  >
                  > Fred Nickols
                  > nickols@...
                  >
                  > --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com<mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com>, "proudfit_bill" <bill.proudfit@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > All,
                  > >
                  > > I read recently that Tom Davenport said, "The absence of participative technologies in the past is not the only reason that organizations and expertise are hierarchical." (see Steward Mader's blog http://www.ikiw.org/2009/10/06/how-much-can-enterprise-2-0-change-the-way-we-work/) This was in the context that social networking tools are going to make hierarchies go away in organizations. Good for him for saying the obvious - the tools are not going to change organizations that much, as those of us know who went from memos on typewriters, newsletters and meetings to email, intranets and networking. It is what we are doing that will make a big change and what is now done with social networking seems rather thin and over-reaching much/some of the time. As Matt points out, it works if you have a 'strong facilitator' (code for hierarchy I think) in the social network. It may actually be a different sort of hierarchy I suspect from the formal variety we encounter in face-to-face organizations.
                  > >
                  > > Best regards,
                  > >
                  > > Bill Proudfit
                  > >

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Fred
                  I m not sure what you mean by management becoming redundant. In the sense that it duplicates (or attempts to duplicate) mechanisms already in place it has
                  Message 8 of 18 , Dec 8, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I'm not sure what you mean by management becoming "redundant." In the sense that it duplicates (or attempts to duplicate) mechanisms already in place it has been redundant for many years now, especially in relation to the performance of people in the workplace.

                    The much talked about and wrestled with "shift to knowledge work" was actually a shift in the mix of working activities for many people. All work is some mix of prefigured or "canned" routines and configured or "crafted" responses. For most people for much of the last century, work consisted mainly of prefigured or "canned" routines. Beginning in the 1920s and proceeding apace through the 1980s, the mix of work began to be dominated by configured or "crafted" responses. A great deal of the work that was previously dominated by "canned" routines has been automated, mechanized or off-shored. We are left, then, with a situation in which much of the remaining work and most of the work that matters is performed by people who, by and large, determine for themselves how best to realize the results for which they are accountable. Moreover, in many cases, they report to people who couldn't do their work if their lives depended on it. Yet, all this occurs in the context of the same old hierarchical system of authority that has been with us for thousands and thousands of years. And it ain't gonna go away.

                    So, we are stuck as it were with two realities: (1) the nature of work and working - indeed, the locus of control over those two - has undergone a deep and fundamental change and (2) we have with us still a hierarchical system of authority. How then to reconcile the two?

                    For my money, the reconciliation point - also the leverage point - is what Peter Drucker called "the practice of management." There is - in all organizations and across all organizations - a practice area known as "management" - and it is at the heart of that shadowy, dimly visible CoP that has as its members those who view themselves as part of the community of managers. For many years now, that community of practice has been focused on codifying and disseminating the practice of management - the neglect of advancing that practice. It is time for that community to shift its focus from capture and dissemination to a focus on advancing the practice.

                    If as the evidence suggests, only the employees who perform the work are truly in control of it, how do managers manage in that context? If workers control the work, how do managers obtain useful, valuable results on a reliable, ongoing basis? (I happen to think there are lots of avenues open but that's a matter for a different day because, frankly, it doesn't matter what I think; what matters is what managers think.)

                    Is the hierarchy going to go away? No. Nor should it. There are ways to obtain meaningful, valuable contributions from employees in a hierarchical system - and ways that don't impede performance; indeed, they facilitate and support it. But the practice of management will have to undergo a major overhaul before they are widespread. And, last time I looked, it was the members of a CoP who control a practice.

                    The issue, then, is how to get managers to reexamine the practice of management.

                    Regards,

                    Fred Nickols
                    Managing Partner
                    Distance Consulting, LLC
                    nickols@...
                    www.nickols.us

                    "Assistance at a Distance"



                    --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "sam2marshall" <sam@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Hi Fred, Bill & All
                    > I'm intrigued that both your posts commented on a need for hierarchy (and I'm inclined to agree).
                    >
                    > I'm hearing lots of presentations recently about Work2.0, Enterprise 2.0 etc. that are advocating flat, networked organizations that make 'management' redundant. Euan Semple's recent blog post is one example I saw recently, though I wouldn't particularly single Euan out in this (http://euansemple.squarespace.com/theobvious/2009/11/8/the-bbc-enterprise-20-and-management-bollocks.html)
                    >
                    > So I'd be interested on the thoughts of this group about what's going on. Are the Work2.0 folk extolling a new Gen Y sentiment that we've seen work within CoPs and could work more widely? Should we embrace *leadership* but challenge management control?
                    >
                    > Best
                    > Sam
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Fred" <nickols@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Well, as the late Peter Drucker pointed out repeatedly over a span of many years, organizations can't function without some kind of authority system and authority systems are inevitably hierarchical in nature. (So, too, in my experience, are people.)
                    > >
                    > > Fred Nickols
                    > > nickols@
                  • proudfit_bill
                    Drucker as almost always provides some good practical management advice. A CoP of managers on the theme of the practice of management is an excellent idea.
                    Message 9 of 18 , Dec 9, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Drucker as almost always provides some good practical management advice. A CoP of managers on the theme of the practice of management is an excellent idea. Hierarchy and management will not go away and nor should they. Yes, this is a good and true statement. I believe many managers do want to examine their practice of management. We see much evidence of this in the popular business press.

                      There is a pervasive belief in knowledge management generally and CoP development specifically that says 'exclude management' they will stop what 'we' want to do. I've never quite understood why we would want to exclude management because it seems that most knowledge workers are managers in one way or the other. We seem to want to exclude ourselves. This has its beginnings in the those knowledge management reports that sought to 'reveal the true organization'.

                      Knowledge management and CoP research could benefit from looking at historical business practices. I caution on the presumption that the hierarchal system of authority to control work we have seen grow up since the mid 18th century is in some way indicative of the 'thousands of years of hierarchy' that preceded it. The organization of work before the Industrial Revolution was significantly flatter and the relationship between worker, owner, organizer and community were fundamentally different from what came later. Peter Laslett's excellent book, "The world we have lost", is a very good reference on this topic.



                      --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Fred" <nickols@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > I'm not sure what you mean by management becoming "redundant." In the sense that it duplicates (or attempts to duplicate) mechanisms already in place it has been redundant for many years now, especially in relation to the performance of people in the workplace.
                      >
                      > The much talked about and wrestled with "shift to knowledge work" was actually a shift in the mix of working activities for many people. All work is some mix of prefigured or "canned" routines and configured or "crafted" responses. For most people for much of the last century, work consisted mainly of prefigured or "canned" routines. Beginning in the 1920s and proceeding apace through the 1980s, the mix of work began to be dominated by configured or "crafted" responses. A great deal of the work that was previously dominated by "canned" routines has been automated, mechanized or off-shored. We are left, then, with a situation in which much of the remaining work and most of the work that matters is performed by people who, by and large, determine for themselves how best to realize the results for which they are accountable. Moreover, in many cases, they report to people who couldn't do their work if their lives depended on it. Yet, all this occurs in the context of the same old hierarchical system of authority that has been with us for thousands and thousands of years. And it ain't gonna go away.
                      >
                      > So, we are stuck as it were with two realities: (1) the nature of work and working - indeed, the locus of control over those two - has undergone a deep and fundamental change and (2) we have with us still a hierarchical system of authority. How then to reconcile the two?
                      >
                      > For my money, the reconciliation point - also the leverage point - is what Peter Drucker called "the practice of management." There is - in all organizations and across all organizations - a practice area known as "management" - and it is at the heart of that shadowy, dimly visible CoP that has as its members those who view themselves as part of the community of managers. For many years now, that community of practice has been focused on codifying and disseminating the practice of management - the neglect of advancing that practice. It is time for that community to shift its focus from capture and dissemination to a focus on advancing the practice.
                      >
                      > If as the evidence suggests, only the employees who perform the work are truly in control of it, how do managers manage in that context? If workers control the work, how do managers obtain useful, valuable results on a reliable, ongoing basis? (I happen to think there are lots of avenues open but that's a matter for a different day because, frankly, it doesn't matter what I think; what matters is what managers think.)
                      >
                      > Is the hierarchy going to go away? No. Nor should it. There are ways to obtain meaningful, valuable contributions from employees in a hierarchical system - and ways that don't impede performance; indeed, they facilitate and support it. But the practice of management will have to undergo a major overhaul before they are widespread. And, last time I looked, it was the members of a CoP who control a practice.
                      >
                      > The issue, then, is how to get managers to reexamine the practice of management.
                      >
                      > Regards,
                      >
                      > Fred Nickols
                      > Managing Partner
                      > Distance Consulting, LLC
                      > nickols@...
                      > www.nickols.us
                      >
                      > "Assistance at a Distance"
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "sam2marshall" <sam@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Hi Fred, Bill & All
                      > > I'm intrigued that both your posts commented on a need for hierarchy (and I'm inclined to agree).
                      > >
                      > > I'm hearing lots of presentations recently about Work2.0, Enterprise 2.0 etc. that are advocating flat, networked organizations that make 'management' redundant. Euan Semple's recent blog post is one example I saw recently, though I wouldn't particularly single Euan out in this (http://euansemple.squarespace.com/theobvious/2009/11/8/the-bbc-enterprise-20-and-management-bollocks.html)
                      > >
                      > > So I'd be interested on the thoughts of this group about what's going on. Are the Work2.0 folk extolling a new Gen Y sentiment that we've seen work within CoPs and could work more widely? Should we embrace *leadership* but challenge management control?
                      > >
                      > > Best
                      > > Sam
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Fred" <nickols@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > Well, as the late Peter Drucker pointed out repeatedly over a span of many years, organizations can't function without some kind of authority system and authority systems are inevitably hierarchical in nature. (So, too, in my experience, are people.)
                      > > >
                      > > > Fred Nickols
                      > > > nickols@
                      >
                    • John David Smith
                      It seems to me that some of the confusion about communities excluding management or being against hierarchy may be due to the fact that communities of
                      Message 10 of 18 , Dec 9, 2009
                      • 0 Attachment
                        It seems to me that some of the confusion about communities excluding
                        management or being "against hierarchy" may be due to the fact that
                        communities of practice tend to negotiate local hierarchies based on local
                        competence or reputation. Those local hierarchies are somewhat independent
                        of the surrounding hierarchical structure. And that's as it should be,
                        isn't it? That's what legitimate peripheral participation means: some kind
                        of fluidity as we move toward the center, to become recognized as "knowing
                        something."

                        Communities that don't have enough hierarchy can be flat: there are no
                        recognized experts, nobody to thumb your nose at when you're feeling
                        irritable. (Conversely, I've seen communities that are TOO hierarchical as
                        well -- and rigid in their hierarchical relations.)

                        John
                        * John David Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype & Twitter: smithjd
                        * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
                        * Our book: http://bit.ly/DigitalHabitats by Wenger, White, & Smith
                        * "One law for the lion and ox is oppression." - William Blake
                      • asif.devji
                        Fascinating discussion -- hits at the heart of what a community is and is not -- and why it is so difficult to mesh community culture/organizational culture.
                        Message 11 of 18 , Dec 15, 2009
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Fascinating discussion -- hits at the heart of what a community is and is not -- and why it is so difficult to mesh community culture/organizational culture.

                          I'd like to throw in my two cents by referring to the Copenhagen climate change conference currently underway -- the dynamics of which I think provide a spectacular example of community culture and its relationship to organizational culture.

                          The protests in the street represent community culture -- individuals on the front line who have self-organized and evolved a 'natural' hierarchy. The community has discussed, negotiated and produced proposals to deal with an organizational problem.

                          The delegates in the conference centre represent organizational culture -- individuals distanced from the front line who have been politically ranked according to a pre-existing imposed hierarchy.
                          The community leaders arrive with proposals for the organizational leaders...and what happens?

                          Community perspectives that challenge political objectives are marginalized and suppressed -- even when those community perspectives hold solutions to organizational problems -- in favour of organizational politics -- even when those politics threaten to damage the organization (not to mention the community) itself.

                          This, to me, is a typical dynamic played out in organizational CoPs.

                          And for me, the key difference is the type -- rather than the fact -- of hierarchy. Self-organized hierarchies versus institutional hierarchies.

                          Another way of saying this is to ask the question: Would a manager who had worked their way up through the ranks be more open to community perspectives than one who had been parachuted in from above?

                          Thanks,
                          Asif


                          --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Fred" <nickols@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > I'm not sure what you mean by management becoming "redundant." In the sense that it duplicates (or attempts to duplicate) mechanisms already in place it has been redundant for many years now, especially in relation to the performance of people in the workplace.
                          >
                          > The much talked about and wrestled with "shift to knowledge work" was actually a shift in the mix of working activities for many people. All work is some mix of prefigured or "canned" routines and configured or "crafted" responses. For most people for much of the last century, work consisted mainly of prefigured or "canned" routines. Beginning in the 1920s and proceeding apace through the 1980s, the mix of work began to be dominated by configured or "crafted" responses. A great deal of the work that was previously dominated by "canned" routines has been automated, mechanized or off-shored. We are left, then, with a situation in which much of the remaining work and most of the work that matters is performed by people who, by and large, determine for themselves how best to realize the results for which they are accountable. Moreover, in many cases, they report to people who couldn't do their work if their lives depended on it. Yet, all this occurs in the context of the same old hierarchical system of authority that has been with us for thousands and thousands of years. And it ain't gonna go away.
                          >
                          > So, we are stuck as it were with two realities: (1) the nature of work and working - indeed, the locus of control over those two - has undergone a deep and fundamental change and (2) we have with us still a hierarchical system of authority. How then to reconcile the two?
                          >
                          > For my money, the reconciliation point - also the leverage point - is what Peter Drucker called "the practice of management." There is - in all organizations and across all organizations - a practice area known as "management" - and it is at the heart of that shadowy, dimly visible CoP that has as its members those who view themselves as part of the community of managers. For many years now, that community of practice has been focused on codifying and disseminating the practice of management - the neglect of advancing that practice. It is time for that community to shift its focus from capture and dissemination to a focus on advancing the practice.
                          >
                          > If as the evidence suggests, only the employees who perform the work are truly in control of it, how do managers manage in that context? If workers control the work, how do managers obtain useful, valuable results on a reliable, ongoing basis? (I happen to think there are lots of avenues open but that's a matter for a different day because, frankly, it doesn't matter what I think; what matters is what managers think.)
                          >
                          > Is the hierarchy going to go away? No. Nor should it. There are ways to obtain meaningful, valuable contributions from employees in a hierarchical system - and ways that don't impede performance; indeed, they facilitate and support it. But the practice of management will have to undergo a major overhaul before they are widespread. And, last time I looked, it was the members of a CoP who control a practice.
                          >
                          > The issue, then, is how to get managers to reexamine the practice of management.
                          >
                          > Regards,
                          >
                          > Fred Nickols
                          > Managing Partner
                          > Distance Consulting, LLC
                          > nickols@...
                          > www.nickols.us
                          >
                          > "Assistance at a Distance"
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "sam2marshall" <sam@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Hi Fred, Bill & All
                          > > I'm intrigued that both your posts commented on a need for hierarchy (and I'm inclined to agree).
                          > >
                          > > I'm hearing lots of presentations recently about Work2.0, Enterprise 2.0 etc. that are advocating flat, networked organizations that make 'management' redundant. Euan Semple's recent blog post is one example I saw recently, though I wouldn't particularly single Euan out in this (http://euansemple.squarespace.com/theobvious/2009/11/8/the-bbc-enterprise-20-and-management-bollocks.html)
                          > >
                          > > So I'd be interested on the thoughts of this group about what's going on. Are the Work2.0 folk extolling a new Gen Y sentiment that we've seen work within CoPs and could work more widely? Should we embrace *leadership* but challenge management control?
                          > >
                          > > Best
                          > > Sam
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Fred" <nickols@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > Well, as the late Peter Drucker pointed out repeatedly over a span of many years, organizations can't function without some kind of authority system and authority systems are inevitably hierarchical in nature. (So, too, in my experience, are people.)
                          > > >
                          > > > Fred Nickols
                          > > > nickols@
                          >
                        • fgossieaux
                          I like the concept of self-organized hierarchies. This is how the Research Center at NASA Langley organized itself (http://bit.ly/6E4Rin). I agree that you
                          Message 12 of 18 , Dec 15, 2009
                          • 0 Attachment
                            I like the concept of self-organized hierarchies. This is how the Research Center at NASA Langley organized itself (http://bit.ly/6E4Rin).

                            I agree that you need some hierarchy/process for knowledge to flow, just as Prof Cohendet suggested in this paper: http://bit.ly/89HuLw.

                            Lastly, you may want to check out this research project from MIT where they look at the impact of unstructured communities of fixed processes (http://bit.ly/8tXOwI). There are some other studies along the same lines but I cannot find it just now.

                            Francois
                            -------------------------------
                            Francois Gossieaux
                            Partner, Beeline Labs
                            e. francois@...
                            w. http://www.beelinelabs.com
                            b. http://www.emergencemarketing.com
                            c. http://www.marketingtwo.net
                            p. http://www.cmotwo.com


                            --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "asif.devji" <asif.devji@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Fascinating discussion -- hits at the heart of what a community is and is not -- and why it is so difficult to mesh community culture/organizational culture.
                            >
                            > I'd like to throw in my two cents by referring to the Copenhagen climate change conference currently underway -- the dynamics of which I think provide a spectacular example of community culture and its relationship to organizational culture.
                            >
                            > The protests in the street represent community culture -- individuals on the front line who have self-organized and evolved a 'natural' hierarchy. The community has discussed, negotiated and produced proposals to deal with an organizational problem.
                            >
                            > The delegates in the conference centre represent organizational culture -- individuals distanced from the front line who have been politically ranked according to a pre-existing imposed hierarchy.
                            > The community leaders arrive with proposals for the organizational leaders...and what happens?
                            >
                            > Community perspectives that challenge political objectives are marginalized and suppressed -- even when those community perspectives hold solutions to organizational problems -- in favour of organizational politics -- even when those politics threaten to damage the organization (not to mention the community) itself.
                            >
                            > This, to me, is a typical dynamic played out in organizational CoPs.
                            >
                            > And for me, the key difference is the type -- rather than the fact -- of hierarchy. Self-organized hierarchies versus institutional hierarchies.
                            >
                            > Another way of saying this is to ask the question: Would a manager who had worked their way up through the ranks be more open to community perspectives than one who had been parachuted in from above?
                            >
                            > Thanks,
                            > Asif
                            >
                            >
                            > --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Fred" <nickols@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > I'm not sure what you mean by management becoming "redundant." In the sense that it duplicates (or attempts to duplicate) mechanisms already in place it has been redundant for many years now, especially in relation to the performance of people in the workplace.
                            > >
                            > > The much talked about and wrestled with "shift to knowledge work" was actually a shift in the mix of working activities for many people. All work is some mix of prefigured or "canned" routines and configured or "crafted" responses. For most people for much of the last century, work consisted mainly of prefigured or "canned" routines. Beginning in the 1920s and proceeding apace through the 1980s, the mix of work began to be dominated by configured or "crafted" responses. A great deal of the work that was previously dominated by "canned" routines has been automated, mechanized or off-shored. We are left, then, with a situation in which much of the remaining work and most of the work that matters is performed by people who, by and large, determine for themselves how best to realize the results for which they are accountable. Moreover, in many cases, they report to people who couldn't do their work if their lives depended on it. Yet, all this occurs in the context of the same old hierarchical system of authority that has been with us for thousands and thousands of years. And it ain't gonna go away.
                            > >
                            > > So, we are stuck as it were with two realities: (1) the nature of work and working - indeed, the locus of control over those two - has undergone a deep and fundamental change and (2) we have with us still a hierarchical system of authority. How then to reconcile the two?
                            > >
                            > > For my money, the reconciliation point - also the leverage point - is what Peter Drucker called "the practice of management." There is - in all organizations and across all organizations - a practice area known as "management" - and it is at the heart of that shadowy, dimly visible CoP that has as its members those who view themselves as part of the community of managers. For many years now, that community of practice has been focused on codifying and disseminating the practice of management - the neglect of advancing that practice. It is time for that community to shift its focus from capture and dissemination to a focus on advancing the practice.
                            > >
                            > > If as the evidence suggests, only the employees who perform the work are truly in control of it, how do managers manage in that context? If workers control the work, how do managers obtain useful, valuable results on a reliable, ongoing basis? (I happen to think there are lots of avenues open but that's a matter for a different day because, frankly, it doesn't matter what I think; what matters is what managers think.)
                            > >
                            > > Is the hierarchy going to go away? No. Nor should it. There are ways to obtain meaningful, valuable contributions from employees in a hierarchical system - and ways that don't impede performance; indeed, they facilitate and support it. But the practice of management will have to undergo a major overhaul before they are widespread. And, last time I looked, it was the members of a CoP who control a practice.
                            > >
                            > > The issue, then, is how to get managers to reexamine the practice of management.
                            > >
                            > > Regards,
                            > >
                            > > Fred Nickols
                            > > Managing Partner
                            > > Distance Consulting, LLC
                            > > nickols@
                            > > www.nickols.us
                            > >
                            > > "Assistance at a Distance"
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "sam2marshall" <sam@> wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > Hi Fred, Bill & All
                            > > > I'm intrigued that both your posts commented on a need for hierarchy (and I'm inclined to agree).
                            > > >
                            > > > I'm hearing lots of presentations recently about Work2.0, Enterprise 2.0 etc. that are advocating flat, networked organizations that make 'management' redundant. Euan Semple's recent blog post is one example I saw recently, though I wouldn't particularly single Euan out in this (http://euansemple.squarespace.com/theobvious/2009/11/8/the-bbc-enterprise-20-and-management-bollocks.html)
                            > > >
                            > > > So I'd be interested on the thoughts of this group about what's going on. Are the Work2.0 folk extolling a new Gen Y sentiment that we've seen work within CoPs and could work more widely? Should we embrace *leadership* but challenge management control?
                            > > >
                            > > > Best
                            > > > Sam
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Fred" <nickols@> wrote:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Well, as the late Peter Drucker pointed out repeatedly over a span of many years, organizations can't function without some kind of authority system and authority systems are inevitably hierarchical in nature. (So, too, in my experience, are people.)
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Fred Nickols
                            > > > > nickols@
                            > >
                            >
                          • Asif Devji
                            Hi Francois, Thanks for your response on the boards regarding self-organized hierarchies, and for the links. I spent a lot of time studying the Cohendet paper
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jan 26, 2010
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Hi Francois,

                              Thanks for your response on the boards regarding self-organized hierarchies, and for the links.

                              I spent a lot of time studying the Cohendet paper over the holidays -- found it quite useful. Wanted to formulate a useful response for the discussion boards, but I'm still wrestling with the concept of self-organized hierarchies (or communities) within institutionally-imposed hierarchies (or communities).

                              Trying to think about the idea visually -- -- what would this dynamic look like in a Cmap or an organigram or a network flow?

                              I also really liked Cohendet's focus on cognitive distance (btwn communities) and/versus cognitive dissonance (destabilization as a motivator for learning).

                              So I wanted to let you to know that your contribution was appreciated, and that it's having ripple effects :-)

                              If I do make any more headway on this, I'd certainly like to request your feedback on what I come up with.

                              Thanks,
                              Asif




                              ________________________________
                              From: fgossieaux <francois@...>
                              To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Tue, December 15, 2009 1:06:25 PM
                              Subject: Re: [cp] Hierarchy vs networks in orgs (was Examples of ghost town communities)


                              I like the concept of self-organized hierarchies. This is how the Research Center at NASA Langley organized itself (http://bit.ly/6E4Rin).

                              I agree that you need some hierarchy/process for knowledge to flow, just as Prof Cohendet suggested in this paper: http://bit.ly/89HuLw.

                              Lastly, you may want to check out this research project from MIT where they look at the impact of unstructured communities of fixed processes (http://bit.ly/8tXOwI). There are some other studies along the same lines but I cannot find it just now.

                              Francois
                              ------------ --------- --------- -
                              Francois Gossieaux
                              Partner, Beeline Labs
                              e. francois@beelinelab s.com
                              w. http://www.beelinelabs.com
                              b. http://www.emergenc emarketing. com
                              c. http://www.marketingtwo.net
                              p. http://www.cmotwo. com

                              --- In com-prac@yahoogroup s.com, "asif.devji" <asif.devji@ ...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Fascinating discussion -- hits at the heart of what a community is and is not -- and why it is so difficult to mesh community culture/organizatio nal culture.
                              >
                              > I'd like to throw in my two cents by referring to the Copenhagen climate change conference currently underway -- the dynamics of which I think provide a spectacular example of community culture and its relationship to organizational culture.
                              >
                              > The protests in the street represent community culture -- individuals on the front line who have self-organized and evolved a 'natural' hierarchy. The community has discussed, negotiated and produced proposals to deal with an organizational problem.
                              >
                              > The delegates in the conference centre represent organizational culture -- individuals distanced from the front line who have been politically ranked according to a pre-existing imposed hierarchy.
                              > The community leaders arrive with proposals for the organizational leaders...and what happens?
                              >
                              > Community perspectives that challenge political objectives are marginalized and suppressed -- even when those community perspectives hold solutions to organizational problems -- in favour of organizational politics -- even when those politics threaten to damage the organization (not to mention the community) itself.
                              >
                              > This, to me, is a typical dynamic played out in organizational CoPs.
                              >
                              > And for me, the key difference is the type -- rather than the fact -- of hierarchy. Self-organized hierarchies versus institutional hierarchies.
                              >
                              > Another way of saying this is to ask the question: Would a manager who had worked their way up through the ranks be more open to community perspectives than one who had been parachuted in from above?
                              >
                              > Thanks,
                              > Asif
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In com-prac@yahoogroup s.com, "Fred" <nickols@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > I'm not sure what you mean by management becoming "redundant." In the sense that it duplicates (or attempts to duplicate) mechanisms already in place it has been redundant for many years now, especially in relation to the performance of people in the workplace.
                              > >
                              > > The much talked about and wrestled with "shift to knowledge work" was actually a shift in the mix of working activities for many people. All work is some mix of prefigured or "canned" routines and configured or "crafted" responses. For most people for much of the last century, work consisted mainly of prefigured or "canned" routines. Beginning in the 1920s and proceeding apace through the 1980s, the mix of work began to be dominated by configured or "crafted" responses. A great deal of the work that was previously dominated by "canned" routines has been automated, mechanized or off-shored. We are left, then, with a situation in which much of the remaining work and most of the work that matters is performed by people who, by and large, determine for themselves how best to realize the results for which they are accountable. Moreover, in many cases, they report to people who couldn't do their work if their lives depended on it. Yet, all this
                              occurs in the context of the same old hierarchical system of authority that has been with us for thousands and thousands of years. And it ain't gonna go away.
                              > >
                              > > So, we are stuck as it were with two realities: (1) the nature of work and working - indeed, the locus of control over those two - has undergone a deep and fundamental change and (2) we have with us still a hierarchical system of authority. How then to reconcile the two?
                              > >
                              > > For my money, the reconciliation point - also the leverage point - is what Peter Drucker called "the practice of management." There is - in all organizations and across all organizations - a practice area known as "management" - and it is at the heart of that shadowy, dimly visible CoP that has as its members those who view themselves as part of the community of managers. For many years now, that community of practice has been focused on codifying and disseminating the practice of management - the neglect of advancing that practice. It is time for that community to shift its focus from capture and dissemination to a focus on advancing the practice.
                              > >
                              > > If as the evidence suggests, only the employees who perform the work are truly in control of it, how do managers manage in that context? If workers control the work, how do managers obtain useful, valuable results on a reliable, ongoing basis? (I happen to think there are lots of avenues open but that's a matter for a different day because, frankly, it doesn't matter what I think; what matters is what managers think.)
                              > >
                              > > Is the hierarchy going to go away? No. Nor should it. There are ways to obtain meaningful, valuable contributions from employees in a hierarchical system - and ways that don't impede performance; indeed, they facilitate and support it. But the practice of management will have to undergo a major overhaul before they are widespread. And, last time I looked, it was the members of a CoP who control a practice.
                              > >
                              > > The issue, then, is how to get managers to reexamine the practice of management.
                              > >
                              > > Regards,
                              > >
                              > > Fred Nickols
                              > > Managing Partner
                              > > Distance Consulting, LLC
                              > > nickols@
                              > > www.nickols. us
                              > >
                              > > "Assistance at a Distance"
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > --- In com-prac@yahoogroup s.com, "sam2marshall" <sam@> wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > Hi Fred, Bill & All
                              > > > I'm intrigued that both your posts commented on a need for hierarchy (and I'm inclined to agree).
                              > > >
                              > > > I'm hearing lots of presentations recently about Work2.0, Enterprise 2.0 etc. that are advocating flat, networked organizations that make 'management' redundant. Euan Semple's recent blog post is one example I saw recently, though I wouldn't particularly single Euan out in this (http://euansemple. squarespace. com/theobvious/ 2009/11/8/ the-bbc-enterpri se-20-and- management- bollocks. html)
                              > > >
                              > > > So I'd be interested on the thoughts of this group about what's going on. Are the Work2.0 folk extolling a new Gen Y sentiment that we've seen work within CoPs and could work more widely? Should we embrace *leadership* but challenge management control?
                              > > >
                              > > > Best
                              > > > Sam
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > --- In com-prac@yahoogroup s.com, "Fred" <nickols@> wrote:
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Well, as the late Peter Drucker pointed out repeatedly over a span of many years, organizations can't function without some kind of authority system and authority systems are inevitably hierarchical in nature. (So, too, in my experience, are people.)
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Fred Nickols
                              > > > > nickols@
                              > >
                              >







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