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  • Doug Belshaw 2:20 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , networks, organisation   

    Under circumstances of rapid technological change, the management challenge is not better planning and control, but creation of protocols that make possible openness to possibilities. By creating and integrating more relationships, the networked business broadens its opportunity space dramatically. The only common goal the nodes of the network have is the growth of the network.

    Esko Kilpi
  • Doug Belshaw 2:12 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , organisation, ,   

    Perhaps we just don’t know how to measure ‘productivity’, anymore. Or said differently, the nature of work may have changed so much that the tools we use don’t measure all the outputs.

    Stowe Boyd
  • Doug Belshaw 1:56 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , decentralisation, , neoliberalism, organisation   

    The bossless, decentralized Zappos model has been proffered as a liberatory answer to the soul-crushing environments of places like Amazon. However, while Amazon’s punitive, highly-surveilled workplace indeed sounds nightmarish, it’s perhaps the new breed of bossless office that illuminates the dystopian endgame of work under neoliberalism. Imagine, in other words, a labor-extraction apparatus so well-oiled that bosses are obsolete because every worker is one; that is, willing to oversee and discipline both their own production and that of their peers in service of capital. If managers are, as economist Frédéric Lordon has described them, “strange employees, materially on the side of labor but symbolically on the side of capital,” we might also call them neoliberalism’s model worker.

    J.C. Pan
  • Doug Belshaw 1:54 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , New Republic, organisation, remote work   

    Gilles Deleuze envisioned a transition from Michel Foucault’s enclosed disciplinary societies to “societies of control” that superficially appeared more open and amenable to free movement. Power is no longer only exercised through the top-down power structures, but is increasingly manifested in the cloud’s capacity to include or exclude. In an excellent analysis of round-the-clock capitalism, Jonathan Crary argues that while indeed now that our lives are organized by machines, a perfect storm awaits us; rather than one evil (technological determinism) replacing another (the boss), Deleuze’s society of control actually enhances Foucault’s disciplinary society and accelerates us towards a hyper-monitored world, where the all-seeing, all-knowing managerial dashboard keeps us in check by making use of computerized panopticons. Jen Pan astutely notes that the cost of having a flat, or bossless, work environment is that the work of management (and attendant surveillance) spreads throughout the workforce; when no one is the boss, everyone is. The office as a cyberized version of Hotel California: You can clock-in anytime you like but you can never clock-out.

    Tokumitsu & Mol
  • Doug Belshaw 1:47 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , organisation, ,   

    Technologies — which are generally considered as non-ideological props in our lives — are designed objects, built with a populated world in mind. Behind their shiny machinery are designers with histories, blinders, and agendas. Even the simplest team task tool is contrived around a social schema of how businesses are structured, people interact, and what is more or less important. Tools have opinions. Tools have biases. And just as with people, being aware of a bias doesn’t counter it. Although gaining that awareness is a necessary first step to sidestepping bias. Our necessary next step is to realize tools are biased, not impartial or objective, and to select or build tools that push us to where we want to go, and away from what we want to leave behind.

    Stowe Boyd
  • Doug Belshaw 1:46 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , organisation, ,   

    We’d like to believe — and we are intensely sold on — the notion that if we use better tools for communication, coordination, and cooperation then we will be more productive, more engaged, and more personally fulfilled. This is what I call techism. It’s odd that although we are using work technologies more than ever our productivity has slowed in the past 10 years or so, after an initial surge following the emergence of the internet. So the thesis of techism is unproven. And of course, these technologies are wildly different, and don’t necessarily play nicely with each other. Maybe we have too many tools, and a smaller number of dominant ones — like email in the early days of the Internet — could make things easier, if not better in some deeper sense?

    Stowe Boyd
  • Doug Belshaw 1:45 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , management, network, organisation   

    The distributed network is simply a different form of organization, one with its own special brand of management and control

    Alexander Galloway
  • Doug Belshaw 1:42 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , open offices, organisation, ,   

    The official story is that today’s workplace is designed to increase the likelihood of serendipity, creativity, innovation, and human happiness, but the hard reality is that most companies are decreasing the square footage of offices to save money, even when evidence suggests that many people are less happy, and less productive in open spaces, especially introverts.

    Stowe Boyd
  • Doug Belshaw 1:39 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , organisation, ,   

    Culture is not an object to be designed and built, despite contemporary efforts to the contrary. Culture is the outgrowth of the independent interactions and decisions of those living within the culture, while efforts to ‘build stronger culture’ in business is a form of coercion or propaganda, intended to impose or justify selected norms. Work culture is bottom up, while company cultures are top-down. As a result work culture is persistent, while company culture falls apart without constant monitoring and manipulation. Work culture is rooted outside any specific company, and represents the shared beliefs and common principles of the community of working people at large, and people bring work culture with them as them move from company to company.

    Stowe Boyd
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