Connecting technology systems and systems-thinking.
From Michael Helfrich’s weblog: Technology Confined Collaboration?
Collaboration is about people. Collaboration needs technology frameworks that support adaptive, ad hoc interactions. Adaptive from the sense of extending functionality on the fly and securely embracing new members on the fly. Simply put, it’s the swarming culture fused with adaptive technology.
Also from the article:
The IT lady summed it up best when she said, “web collaboration doesn’t work the way people do.” Technology was confining the natural human collaborative process. This particular product was forcing these folks (all 26, 000 of them) into working with a fixed set of tools, which was the real problem. If your problem didn’t fit almost exactly into the function set the tool provided, you were forced to change the way YOU work. Compound this by being forced to work within the firewall and the need to have IT set up a space and the point is made.
This from the folks at Groove. We’re starting to see a richer view of how technology, organizational culture, and work practices interact. David Gurteen has some relevant observations on this, as have Matt Mower, and Terry Frazier.
Slowly, we’re beginning to learn how to put together the insights of software and technology developers with the insights of systems level thinkers. One starting point on systems thinking is a great paper by the late Donella Meadows, Places to Intervene in a System (pdf file).[McGee’s Musings]