I have been cognitively invested in Social Business, Business Process Design and the Future of Work for many years. I am quite interested in how we discover and develop working relationships across the organization; how we collaborate on activities and projects together; how we maintain balance across many responsibilities; how we determine competency and develop trust in others to getting the job done; and how we create value together within the organization and with external stakeholders.
This was a subject of my last book, Social Networking for Business (Wharton School Publishing/Pearson, 2010), and continues to be the focus of what I write in my Forbes Connected Business blog. In the years of research, and through involvement and leadership in transformation projects across global multinationals, I have found an even greater web of intriguing challenges to collaboration.
Thought leader Steve Denning and the great collaboratory of the Stoos Network has eloquently described the nature of the challenge as to why organizations need to be transformed. As Mr. Denning says, the opening of the 21st century is heralding a new Golden Age of Management through a wealth of thinking on better approaches to the way we work.
As business management guru, Don Tapscott, explains: “For a long time, [Industrial Age] institutions were great: they advanced humanity and prosperity around the world. But they are now unable to take us forward. So this is not a time for tinkering. This is a time of fundamental change.”
But this pressing need for change to avoid escalating the business calamities of the past decades. Successful organizational transformation begins with the individual. The complexity of this change seems insurmountable for each of us independently. It seems a Mount Everest to the individual. We need to find ways that allow each of us to affect change ourselves.
Yet, it doesn’t need to be a high mountain in a far country. Behavior change succeeds when it improves our current conditions for each of us individually, rather than just the allure of some promised future. We need to feel empowered to be able to make steps on our own towards that future, and to be to do so within our current cycles of work.
Social Architect Jon Husband defined the term wirearchy some years ago to describe an essential new core design principle of the organization. The wirearchy is a “a dynamic two-way flow of power and authority, based on knowledge, trust, credibility and a focus on results, enabled by interconnected people and technology”.
I have joined SaaS startup, Alynd, exactly for these reasons to empower the individual to be able to become a work hacker, an active agent of change and value creator for their organization, and to build systems that enable the flow of trust and credibility based on results.
When I left IBM at the end of June, I did so with the mind to seek out new approaches that address these challenges to people both as workers and organizations. Serendipity played her hand for me with a new startup, when serial instigator, and previously the co-founder of the Social Media Club, Chris Heuer intrigued me with a new approach to organizational and work dynamics. Together with Bill Sanders, a true master of Operations as Managing Director of Roebling Strauss, and a Product Manager extraordinaire with social business platform experience, as additional members of our core leadership team, we plan to embark on a new multi-phase project to tackle this Grand challenge.
Our new venture, Alynd, is a way of thinking about business relationships, how we personally manage ourselves and our work, and most of all, how we create and maintain trust with our co-workers. The goal is take the idea of engagement beyond just a session of a ropes course off-site, or a moniker of measurement of employees. We want engagement to embody our responsiveness, our integrity, and our performance, everyday in everything we do. The information we need to achieve this beguiles us to use software as our tertiary social memory, and as an enabler to balance our working relationships.
The foundation for Alynd is concrete, and for that matter we seemingly have an unfair advantage for a startup with the team we have built and the relationships we have in the industry. Not only do we have an experienced and influential set of founders, but we have leveraged our vast experience to create a software design that delivers the true potential of Social Business to build and maintain relationships. All of this, coupled with our all star Advisory Board that includes author, speaker and good friend Dave Gray, positions us for a great future ahead.
The company is still in stealth mode as development and other growth activities get underway, but rest assured, I will have more to say on this shortly. If you would like to hear more about it, please go to www.alynd.com and ask to be notified when we are ready.
Robyn Miller said:
Congratulations, Rawn. I look forward to hearing more about the venture and your adventures.
Alan Lepofsky (@alanlepo) said:
Congrats Rawn and team. I look forward to our first NDA briefing!
Rick Ladd said:
It’s good to hear change being written of as a matter of transformation rather than merely reformation. Too many people think a little window dressing and cleaning the carpets will somehow removed the stench of decay from the boardrooms and cubeopoli. It’s going to take far more than that. I believe Steve Denning understands it real well. The late Dr. Russell Ackoff was a big proponent too. I look forward to seeing what you folks are up to, expecting it will be exciting, educational, and (best of all) transformational. All the best. – Rick
I’m going to have to look into Russell Ackoff’s work as well. There is just so many who agree on the need for change that we simply find must find our way forward.
Rick Ladd said:
I think you’ll find his work an underappreciated treasure, Rawn. I’m reminded of Darwin’s quote here “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” The need for change has never been more imperative, IMO. I look forward to learning more about what you, Chris, and the others are up to.
They used to say “Knowledge is Power”, but my motto at Rocketdyne was “Knowledge Shared is Power Squared.” Of course, some of the mathematicians/engineers/scientists wanted to know how I could be sure it wasn’t cubed or some other power/factor. Always worthy of a facepalm. I look forward to your sharing of knowledge. My desire is to help amplify it to whatever power I’m capable. 🙂
Marshall Kirkpatrick (@marshallk) said:
Congrats Rawn! Looking forward to learning more! Have a wonderful adventure!
Riitta Raesmaa said:
Congratulations, Rawn! Sounds wonderful & interesting, I will follow the development!
Simon Scullion said:
Congrats Rawn! Sounds very exciting, look forward to catching up sometime soon and hearing all about it!
Chris Lamb said:
Good luck Rawn! Sounds like a fun venture.
Thank you all, Robyn, Alan, Rick, Marshall, Riita, Simon, and Chris, for your support. I can’t wait to tell you more.
Ari (@alightman) said:
Good luck Rawn, feel free to reach out if you want to discuss recruiting, student projects, collaborations, etc…
Bjoern Negelmann said:
All the best for this new venture! Looking forward to hear more about it.