The one where it’s only just begun

Yesterday I mentioned watching a TEDx video of a session delivered by Professor Lynda Gratton of the London Business School. If you want to watch it just flick back one post. I talked about it starting two streams of thought and here goes with the second.

In the second section of the session Professor Gratton begins to talk about how the states of existence that we can choose from and how they can inform our role in the future. She uses some great pairs to illustrate the polar options. The 3 pairs are:

  • Fragmentation vs. co-creation
  • Isolation vs. Connection
  • Exclusion vs. Engagement

And uses all of them to illustrate three shifts the second of which is towards greater collaboration which she illustrates like this:

o|o vs. o-o

Her thoughts caused me to reflect on my own experiences with social media and networking both online and in-person but also how we as HR professionals have such an important role to play in helping people and organisations in getting over their barriers to move from the left of those pairs to the right.

For me personally the last 4 years have been transformational in the way I engage with people generally but more specifically now my network has grown and keeps growing. Whilst social media has played a huge part in that the really great stuff has been when those online people have become real and have been part of a conversation whether it be just for fun or about something more grow’d up. Yes, social media was part of it but the great stuff was real!

For organisations, with respect to social media, I think we in HR can either kill experimentation stone dead with a well crafted policy and a culture of fear or we can help the organisation ‘blow the doors off it’ by empowering and supporting the education of those within the business to understand how they can use it both for their own and the business’ benefit. Lots written about that and no need to rehash it here

The real shift that will need support I believe is going to be helping individuals within organisations to collaborate both internally and externally. Helping them overcome the barriers – internally power and politics and externally the competitive edge and business confidentiality, to understand how people and organisations can and on occasion MUST work together. This is not just for the ‘right on’ reason of being more collaborative but the absolute necessity of survival.

Professor Gratton talks about recent changes in technology as the biggest shift ever seen (she admits to it being bigger than the industrial revolution her previously highest ranked shift) and my personal opinion is it’s only just begun. Coming back to the thoughts of yesterday you can either walk into blindfolded or have a carefully crafted future but whichever you do people’s capability to adapt and deal with what’s coming has to be key to the people professionals.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The one where it’s only just begun

  1. Reblogged this on johnahibble and commented:
    I like the use of polar opposites to illustrate concepts like fragmentation vs co-creation – nothing is ever that black and white so a spectrum works well.

    I think HR needs to have a key role in developing community-building and collaboration capability. These go hand in hand.

    I also agree with the point about needing to collaborate both internally and externally – the organisation is part of an ecosystem and does not operate in a vacuum. Diverse and fresh perspectives which are important for innovation frequently come from co-creating with those who exist beyond the organisation’s boundaries.

  2. So, if this is HR’s role going forward; what does HR need to leave behind in order to fulfil this?

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