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5 Social Business Truths


Meritocracy trumps hierarchy: Companies don’t get a “pass” on Wall Street or the London Exchange becauswe they’re been around way before new companies. Political candidates aren’t immune from beingf being upended when they don’t perform. Why should work be any different? Companies that focus on the meritocracy are focused on growth. Those that pay too much attention to hierarchy are limiting their growth.

Knowledge and ideas want to be free: When you learn something new, ever feel the urge to share it? When you know something that can help, don’t you want to answer a question? When you have an idea, isn’t it great to bounce off others? From a behavioral and technological perspective, we want knowledge and ideas to be free. Why lock ‘em down?

Cognitive surplus must be a competitive advantage: Cognitive surplus – knowledge, perspectives, heuristics – is perhaps one of the most wasted assets organizations have. Each person’s surplus can be applied to a much greater range of problems and opportunities than what defines the daily tasks of her day. It’s a shame if employees go home every day without going beyond their job titles at the office.

Social and interest graphs generate positive returns: Activity streams, notifications, public interest spaces, recommendations – these new tools are exposing people to a greater range of relevant information than ever before. We’re not limited to our immediate cubicle neighbors. We are part of larger social and interest graphs. This increases the diversity of inputs, which increases our own, and organizational, odds of finding optimal solutions.

Transparency raises organizational IQ: When the left hand knows what the right hand is doing, we operate more effectively. Knowing the different initiatives, information and problems affecting other parts of the organization makes us better prepared in our own work. Operating in a vacuum sucks, because you get knocked over hard by things you don’t know. Transparency of information and conversations makes everyone smarter in their own work.

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About Hutch Carpenter
Senior Consultant for HYPE Innovation (hypeinnovation.com)

One Response to 5 Social Business Truths

  1. Maxine Horn says:

    Knowledge generated utilising public sector funds should arguably be disseminated and available free. Ideas generated within an organisation should be freely shared with colleagues.

    Concept innovation, developed & articulated ideas & knowledge brought into an organisation from external sources that holds an instrinsic commercial value cannot be considered ‘free’.

    To do so removes any motivation for innovators to share their knowledge and ideas if those gaining from it commercially do not share those rewards.

    If the author spent two years or more, or less researching, learning, developing and articulating an innovation concept/commercial idea and disclosed to an organisation who commerciliased it, & earned revenues from it without any remuneration or credit for his work – he might have a different perspective on his recommendation that all knowledge and ideas should be free.

    Unarticulated, notional ideas and all knowledge without direct commercial application that enables people to learn, think, innovate should arguably be made available

    But a line needs to be drawn between knowledge and ideas that enable the generation of innovation and learning from those that have a commercial application of financial benefit to a money-making organisation.

    Whilst the assertion that all ideas and knowledge should be free is propogated, without distinction, it serves as a barrier to innovation not an enabler.

    Creators and Innovators operating as individuals, in micro and SME companies who seek not to launch businesses but to enable, under license or other form of remuneration, larger and better positioned businesses to commercialise, need assurance when disclosing that their years of work will not be utilised for the sole commercial benefit of that larger organisation.

    If those assurances are not given & vulnerability remains high many innovative advancements will not see the light of day.

    Trust based safe-disclosure and ethical trading terms is all that is required to open up innovation not restrict it.

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