The thesis I picked from the Cluetrain Manifesto‘s 10th Anniversary Project reflects my recent work on collaboration with “cloud” tools – #94 says that:
To traditional corporations, networked conversations may appear confused, may sound confusing. But we are organizing faster than they are. We have better tools, more new ideas, no rules to slow us down.
Part of what I’ve been spending all of my free time writing about these days is the fact that we can easily circumvent the corporate pecking order and create our own conversations with anyone at all – just by using the tools that are freely available on the ‘net today. It may be considered by some to be subversive, true, but if you are active on Facebook and your boss’s boss is on there too, why not consider Facebook a valid way to communicate with him? If you have co-workers that are on Facebook, why not use the tools provided to work together in a way that the corporate hierarchy may not be ready for? We can do so much more as employees of a corporation (or as freelancers, self-employed business owners or members of a charitable or non-profit organization) if we cut through the traditional chains of communication in an institution and use the somewhat more freewheeling communication methods made available by Facebook, Twitter and blogging.
Of course, this assumes that your boss’s boss is on Facebook – if he or she considers networked conversations confusing and chaotic, however, Facebook probably isn’t one of his or her daily visits…
Corporate rules about how to contact people and who to contact for a particular project don’t have to be adhered to in this Web 2.0 environment. You can directly contact anyone who has a social networking account much more directly than in the past – and get an answer back to a question or feedback on an idea much more quickly!
The general rules against “facebooking” at work show that the folks in charge of traditional corporations don’t understand how much more productive being able to contact the right person, at the right time, about a potential problem can make us. (1) Until the people at the top of the corporate food chain understand this, the people in the trenches who are tasked with doing the work of the business will be forced to come up with ways of getting around these social site bans so that they can do their work more effectively than they could in a traditional, hierarchically structured organization.