That’s What She Said

Michael Scott


Photo credit:

Shereef Bishay on open enterprise 

What would a new agreement of work look like? Do we all dream of having a exposed brick workplace that has a coffee maker named Darren that makes lattes for you with foam artfully crafted as a unicorn?

We all look wistfully at greener pastures. Some of us found out through our organizational communications theory course that our workplaces varied greatly in terms of how vertically or horizontally inclined they are.

Shereef got us jazzed on the open enterprise model. What would this upended structure of our workplace look like?

1. No job titles.  Just the label of Human Being. There can be a functional hierarchy where not everyone was leading at the same time.

Example of such a company–W.L. Gore.  You are an associate. You own part of the company. You are voted in as a leader.

2. Transparency. Making employee culture the number one thing. We then start to feel trust and ownership.

3. True meritocracy. Based on the merit of the idea itself, not from the person.

We need to invent these new and intelligent was to aggregate our work to have our tenets of democracy carry over to where we work.

Think about walking into work tomorrow if these 3 concepts were applied to your workplace. Would everything come to a crashing halt with the executives crying and curled up in the fetal position, mailroom ladies tipping over filing cabinets in a frenzied mob mentality?

This brings me to a not-so-real life example from The Office.  Concept #3 of a true meritocracy is definitely at play when Darryl from the warehouse is brought upstairs to the executive level. He brought up a great idea and was promoted on the basis of his idea alone on how to improve paper processes. Take a COMM506 break and chill out on the meritocracy of Scranton’s paper company.

Ah… it’s a good day when we can find a connection this straight up and big from The Office.That’s what she said.

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In reading Kadushin’s Chapter 8 on small network theory, it really reminds me of The Oracle of Bacon.  According to Kadushin, it should not be surprising at all that Kevin Bacon is well connected to all other actors. Druggies know druggies, execs know execs. It’s assortive distribution in action. Homophily- people with like attributes and interests-flock together.

Although what he delves into is mostly commonsense, his term of linker is an interesting one. How many linkers do you know? Prior to this I would have referred to these people as mavens.  I would think that Hummingbird604 is a linker, connecting otherwise isolated circles. It jumps me to Dianne’s blog, talking about the lego building and how there is crosspollination. A hummingbird is just that- helping the ecosystem spread and flourish, exchanging along its path valuable info.

I just had an great experience on Twitter- I found an exchange teacher from another province in Canada who tweets and blogs.  Check out his cool blog! In light of this course I was curating and adding people to my network. Okay, maybe it was a good distraction to doing other MACT assignments. In any case, I followed him, and now we have connected online. I supplied him with a list of our fellow bloggers who are on exchange, so now he can get a real bird’s eye view of going to live and teach in another country. Maybe now there will be a cross-pollination nationally…. wouldn’t that be cool. It would not even be that far-fetched that he would be on exchange close to where one of our Albertans would be assigned to, and they might be able to connect even before they go on their teaching assignment, building those valuable support networks.

Anyway, I think I smell bacon. Better go. No wait, that’s my brain frying…..

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