Radical Openness


radical-openness-coverDon Tapscott and Anthony Williams are brilliant thought leaders on how business, government, and society in the 21st Century can leverage technologies to achieve exciting new opportunities. Radical Openness is the latest in a series of books filled with real world examples to convey an insightful vision of the future. This quick read is broken into four parts:

  1. Why smart organizations embrace transparency with customers, stakeholders, and society to foster trust and accelerate business progress.
  2. Innovative and successful companies are dissolving corporate boundaries.
  3. How companies who tightly guarded their IP transition to a shared IP model, managed like a mutual fund portfolio.
  4. How the proliferation of global freedom and justice movements are shaking up the global balance of power.

They describe how digital technologies slash transition and collaboration costs allowing new ecosystems of companies and organizations to work together in new ways and tap a global pool of talent. Enabling users to participate in innovation improves company success rates and customer satisfaction. Focusing on dynamic platforms to provide opportunities for partners to contribute and collaboratively innovate. The advancement of IT in the Digital Age provides societies powerful insight into massive amounts of information. This access enables freedom, openness, integrity, and collaboration where everyone can participate in a sustainable global economy.

Radical Openness is a great read for those who want to develop strategies and leverage digital technology to effective lead an innovative enterprise.

Army Doctrine via Collaborative Web Based Tools

The Army plans to have a new, easy-to-use method for Soldiers to access manuals and other military publications by 2015.

The new 10-page Army Doctrine Publications will be available on videos. The more detailed Army Doctrine Reference Publications will be on interactive computer-based training. The Army Training Publications will be on a MilWiki site, a collaborative website that enables Soldiers to participate in doctrine development. The system will allow Soldiers at any level to access Army doctrine, references, field manuals and technical publications through various different digital outlets. These outlets include DVD videos, interactive multimedia instruction videos and a wiki site allowing Soldiers to participate in doctrine development.

Integrating doctrine with digital applications will allow doctrinal resources to be readily available to Soldiers and provides a new approach to how doctrine is used to support education, training, and operations, he said.  Users can locate Army publications specific to their jobs from an easy-to-use hierarchical process.

The redesign focus was based on guidance from Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno, who directed “a Doctrine Strategy to categorize our manuals differently, reduce their length, and number, and leverage emerging technology to make them more collaborative and accessible,”

By 2015, the Army plans to have only 50 field manuals on tactics and procedures. The rest of the doctrine will be in various pubs. The end result of Army Doctrine 2015 is to provide the user an easy way to access military publications via mobile devices, and other non-tradition methods, but the physical hard copies will still be available. It is expected the new streamlined system for delivering Army doctrine will be complete by 2015.

For more information, see Army Doctrine 2015

Collaborative Leadership in Government

The Partnership for Public Service study Best Places to Work Snapshot: The Federal Leadership Challenge highlights: “Leadership is the most important factor when it comes to driving employee satisfaction and commitment in the federal government.” While there has been positive trends over the last decade, only 50% of government employees are satisfied with their senior leaders.

  • 48% were satisfied with the information they receive from top management about what’s going on in their organizations
  • 43%  felt their senior leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment
  • 46% felt personal empowerment with respect to work processes

The survey broke out leadership rankings by 30 federal agencies. The Army finished 11th (T), Navy 12th, Air Force 13th, and OSD/Joint Staff 15th.  The Top 5 were the NRC, FDIC, NASA, State, and OPM while DHS finished last.

Leaders who focus on communication and empowerment will yield significant results from their workforce.

Senior leaders – how do you communicate to your organization?  How do you share your vision, assessment of the organization, industry trends, priorities, key programs, and initiatives?  If your employees wanted to learn more about these areas, how would they go about doing so?  What about your external stakeholders?

This is where collaborative web-based tools should play a central role to enable your communication strategy, beyond your weekly staff meetings and monthly/quarterly all-hands meetings.  Public websites, internal collaboration platforms, and a suite of tools should be part of your daily operations.

  • Leaders who blog regularly can effectively communicate across their enterprise and enable employees to ask questions, provide feedback and ideas, and collaborate among each other.
  • Wikis are powerful tools enable everyone to effectively contribute to and access their collective knowledge. From drafting a simple memo to compiling an enterprise-wide knowledge repository, wikis are rapidly taking hold within business operations.
  • Collaboration sites enable discussion forums and employees to self organize into groups based on areas of interest to engage on the organization’s challenges, projects, and innovations.

Leaders should aggressively explore how these sites and tools can transform your processes, policies, and culture to get your employees more actively engaged and committed to the organization’s mission, priorities, and outcomes.

Rebrand Enterprise 2.0 and Social Business as ‘Digital Business’

I propose Enterprise 2.0 and Social Business be re-branded as Digital Business.

Enterprise 2.0 is well known throughout the E20 evangelists, yet as I wrote on my old blog, the term Enterprise 2.0 has jumped the shark.

Web 2.0 migrated to Social Media, and leveraging the term, Social Business was adopted.  Executives, in my opinion aren’t receptive to those advocating a Social Business strategy as they associate it with social efforts for Marketing and Public Affairs (Gov’t) to develop Facebook pages, Twitter, and now G+.  Wikipedia’s Social Business page is about a business with a social objective, and points you back to Social Media for organizations designed around social tools and networks.  While Social Business outpaces Digital Business by 4:1 on Google Trends, the main SB post is on Zuckerburg’s draft strategy for Facebook.

Digital Business I believe has a strong brand that captures the key tenets of Enterprise 2.0 and Social Business by leveraging web-based tools to collaborate across the Enterprise.

MIT has the Center for Digital Business as a “research partnership with industry to provide leadership for faculty, students, and sponsors interested in Internet-enabled business”.

Don Tapscott wrote about Grown Up Digital and how Digital Natives are leading Digital Revolutions to transform nearly every long standing industry.

NYC has a Chief Digital Officer to reinvent how the city engages with its residents, primarily through social media. She recently published the Roadmap for the Digital City and NYC Digital.

So what do you think?  Digital Business.