Eventually every customer will be a connected customer, adopting new technologies faster than companies can keep up. This causes current organizational structure confusion and disarray. – Dave Gray, author of The Connected Company
This applies not just to companies, but to Cooperative Extension and other organizations.
Dave Gray, author of The Connected Company, will discuss how to transform your organization into the “The Connected Organization.” The free webinar, being held Thursday, June 27 @ 1 pm ET, will provide opportunity for questions and discussion.
Why You Should Attend
Many of us working within large organizations feel the tension brought about by rapid changes in technology and social networking. Gray’s work illustrates how we can become more agile and innovative by becoming more connected to each other and the world around us.
As you can see, Gray is a visual communication genius. If you follow Gray, you’ll see he knows visual thinking is a language unto itself.
His work has been instrumental to me and others in bringing Extension professionals together to work as teams and eXtension Communities of Practice. For example, I’ve seen how drawing (instead of verbally explaining) how groups are related to each other can help them leap from, “OK, how are we related?”, to “OK, maybe we could work together like this…” (See Gray’s “How to Know What to Draw” video for great ideas on how to draw relationships and connections).
Working in cross-disciplinary teams
Gray has seen how to draw out the best from cross-disciplinary teams through collaborative meeting games he calls Gamestorming. In The Connected Company (pg 159) he calls this a pattern language for cross-disciplinary design, which helps teams to connect around collections of common standards.
Colleague, Amy Hays and I found out firsthand how productive using Gamestorming techniques could be at the first Feral Hogs team content meeting. We did not know if this “meeting game” would veer us off the course or help us complete the task at hand.
Using a few sticky notes, and insights from team members, we assigned about 75 unique article titles to 15 members in about 75 minutes.
Not only did the group leave feeling productive, they assigned themselves articles they were most qualified (and empowered) to write. They then took this energy one step further and added a list of videos and webinars that would meet their clientele’s needs. (For information on our game methodology, click on the photo to see the notes on Flickr).
Tapping into “Connected Company” Insights For our Connected Organizations
So, how do these great and productive ways of communicating and teamwork actually help us transform to a connected company or organization?
In Connected Company, Grays transforms nebulous network ideas into tangible insights by visually articulating otherwise difficult-to-explain concepts (see Gray’s The Connected Company sketches).
Gray stresses that being connected and the diversity of the connections are important, that strategies must adapt and evolve (not become new processes), and leadership must act as pollinators of change. Netweavers can be agents of change, but will not make connected organizations.
Gray offers suggestions for building structures for more agile and innovative work, helping those hesitant to let go of control grab the power of the network.
Let’s Discuss Being Better Connected
Having supported two nationally collaborative blogs and social media efforts, here at Military Families Learning Network and at the Extension Master Gardener blog, I’ve seen the effects of when teams, partners and organizations do or do not connect.
While insights from Gray’s books have certainly been helpful. I’m looking forward to hearing Gray discuss connected concepts during the The Connected Organization Virtual Keynote Thursday, June 27 @ 1 pm Eastern via Google+.
I’m also looking forward to exchanging insights at the front line of communication from other organizations wrestling with how to be better connected too…so please show up, bring your questions, and invite others that may be interested!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.