The bump/cluster effect at work

My previous post touched on how mobile devices and new ways of working could have a positive effect on organistaional performance. The theory was based on the ability of workers to wander freely around their place of work, to choose locations and environments whish best suit their needs at that particular time. I began to think more about the ability of the individual worker to wander freely and started to seriosuly consider how the freedom of movement could have a positive effect on knowledge management and relationships within the organsiation.

And it’s amazing.

I’m just going to run through a few possibilities this new found freedom of movement combined with mobile devices can bring to an organisation. To me, work is mainly built on relationships. However, we only seem to have strong bonds built within our localised area, it could be a bank of desks or it could be a small office, but essentially all of the knowledge and relationships are restricted to a minute geagraphic area.

The other pillar of work is built on is knowledge. In the past knowledge has been past down through departments and through the hieracahry, current business thinking and the growth of social networks is that in order for an organisation to grow, acquire talent and be succesful, knowledge should be shared and a collaboratorive environment should be fostered. Currently, the solutions enabling this culture all seem to be based online, without the face-face element.

So what we have is essentially a small local area network of face-to-face contacts and a potenatially global wide network of contacts accessable online. Where is the medium? An location based network of contacts, say 1000 employees in one location.

This is where the freedom of movement and the devices will create an opportunity. Imagine if an employee choose to work in a new area of the building, with employees nowusing onlen profiles sismilar to facebook profiles. Tha emplyese will be able to (with the help of a smart database) to see who is around them and what work the other workers are enaging in. Profiles coudl be set so that people wokiing on similar projects can find each other easily and or even be notified when they are working near a person who includes similar topics as their area of experite. The opportinunity to build contacts and ‘real’ working relationhips is huge.

I would imagine thsi level of avaible data for employees would empower new clusters and new informal working groups to form outside of the normal structure. This is something forward looking cpmpnaies are loking to create- a culture of new ideas and innovative thinking. by allowing natural groups to gather and form clusters innovation can be achieved, knowledge can be shared and relationships can be built.

Yes, there is a problem with the ability to conduct more face-to face collaboration – where is the knowldge/data captured? If this was an online platform it woudl be there. How do you capture the knowledge shared in a face-to-face environment? I don’t know, if I knew I’d be as famous as Don Tapscott. But the whole scenario does have it’s benefits; more connection made and avenues widen, as more connections can be made by focuisng on liaction based data rather than subject based data and a quick evolution of ideas form importu meeings and knowledge sharing.

Ever organistaions needs to capture knowledge, and everu company needs to create envnironments where face-to-face contact can take place. The most advanced will figure out a way of capturing the knowledge whils enabling face-to-face