How collaboration can simplify
Collaboration adds simplicity in a complicated world.
Simplifying through collaboration is the topic of a Ted talk by Yves Morieux, embedded below, in which he gives us 6 rules to simplify work. Watch the talk to get the context, but here are his 6 rules (with more explanation here)
- Ensure people in the organisation full understand what others really do.
- Look for cooperation – reinforce managers as integrators, by removing layers so that managers are closer to the real work.
- Empower everybody to use their judgement and intelligence.
- Create tight feedback loops that expose people to the consequences of their actions.
- Increase reciprocity, by removing the buffers that make us self-sufficient.
- Reward those who cooperate and blame or sanction those who don’t cooperate.
Do these sound familiar? Rules 1,2,4,5 and 6 are all components of Knowledge Management, and Knowledge Management is needed to support Rule 3. Yves is not reinventing KM, but showing how a knowledge enabled, connected and collaborative organisation is like an adaptive nervous system rather than a rigid skeleton of roles and structures.
Yves explains that as these 6 rules are brought into play, organisations begin to be able to manage complexity not through adding more and more complex structures and requirements, but by allowing people to take ownership of issues and sort them out together, rather than passing them on to someone else.
Yves finishes his talk by explaining how CEOs can help support the 6 rules of complexity, and gives us this story, which should resonate with all KM practitioners
The CEO of The Lego Group, Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, says, blame is not for failure, it is for failing to help or ask for help. This changes everything. Suddenly it becomes in my interest to be transparent on my real weaknesses, because I know I will not be blamed if I fail, but if I fail to help or ask for help.
This is very similar to Elon Musk’s email to his staff. Both give the vision of an organisation empowered and obliged to seek knowledge from wherever it may be found. And this is the basis of Knowledge Management.