Monday 23 May 2005

Conductive organisations: Moving beyond automation to optimal collaboration

I've been playing with the idea of collaborative infrastructure and more recently collaborative ecology for a while now, however a new term in this field comes from Canadian KM guru Hubert Saint-Onge: Conductive Organisations.

A conductive organisation is one "that continuously generates and renews capabilities to achieve breakthrough performance by enhancing the quality and flow of knowledge and by calibrating its strategy, culture, structure, and systems to the needs of its customers and the marketplace."

That's the definition they provide anyway. If you want to learn more you can read the book (co-authored with Charles Armstrong) or have a look Saint-Onge's take on the conductive organisation from the CIO's perspective, which apart from being is free is perhaps a little more accessible.

I particularly like the point Saint-Onge makes in the article where he says "if all it took were wireless technology and data mining, every business would have the perfect collaborative environment. In fact, technology is absolutely required, but it's insufficient by itself to build an effective knowledge platform. The right approach and process must be put in place to harness the full potential of a technology-enabled collaboration system"

It fits in with my own ideas that "collaborative" ability and know-how is source of competitive advantage that can't be easily replicated with technology alone.

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