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The Wiki way of Working

Inspiration and extracts from my colleague from i4j, Esko Kelpi.

 Esko is a key note speaker , researcher and international thought leader  in the topics of the networked based view of the firm, internet based business models and communication design based on the latest interaction technologies.

Physical tasks can be divided by assigning people to different smaller parts of the whole and managed to completion. Parts and jobs are arranged in the right way and project managed to optimize efficiency. (Eg building a house – architect plans , quantity surveyor sources and costs material , builder builds, interior designer furnishes . Real estate agent sells,)

How do you take intellectual tasks ( innovation creation) and complete them as a team – without an effective workflow? 

Innovation is often created through ideas and chaotic activity in an organised environment…. (brainstorming by many , international collaboration from many cultures – within an organised framework .)

The success and efficiency of an organization is often reflected in its RELATIONSHIPS and CONNECTIONS with the glue of TRUST, in relation to the contexts of value, and the things that matter to them.

Examples of possible effective environments

  • Masterminds, 
  • meetings, 
  • workshops, 
  • forums, 
  • universities, 
  • board meetings, 
  • huddles, 
  • hackathons, 
  • coaching clubs to name a few .
The wiki enables the above to happen online – at different times, creating an environment that effectively enables work and cooperation between people.

Wikis let people work digitally together in the very same way they would work face-to-face. 

In a physical meeting, there are always more or less the wrong people present and the transaction costs are very high. 

Email pushes copies of the same information to people to work on or edit separately

A wiki pulls non co-located people together to work cooperatively and inclusively, with very low transaction costs. 

Email and physical meetings are methods which exclude. They always leave people out. A wiki, depending on the topic, the context and the people taking part, is always inviting and including. 

The goal is to enable groups to form around shared contexts without preset organizational walls, or rules of engagement.

In 1995 Ward Cunningham described his invention as the simplest online database that could possibly work. 

An important principle of the wiki is the conscious emphasis on using as little structure as possible to get the job done. 

A wiki does not force a hierarchy on people. In this case, less structure and less hierarchy mean lower transaction costs. 
A wiki always starts out flat, with all the pages on the same level. 

This allows people to dynamically create the organization and, yes, also the hierarchy that makes most sense in the situation at hand.

People work together to reach a balance of different viewpoints through interaction as they iterate the content of work.

The wiki way of working is essentially a digital and more advanced version of a meeting or a workshop. It enables multiple people to inhabit the same space, see the same thing and participate freely. Some might just listen, some make comments or small edits, while others might make more significant contributions and draw more significant conclusions.

New work is about responsive, free and voluntary participation by people who contribute as little, or as much as they like, and who are motivated by something much more elusive than only money. 

Society has moved away from the era of boxes to the time of networks and linked, social individualism. 

Being connected to people, also from elsewhere, is a cultural necessity and links, not boxes, are the new texture of value creation.
Posted on April 14, 2015

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