Anyone who has experience of working with a traditional organisation keen to move into a more dynamic and networked operating model will know that this is a big challenge – something in my more facetious moments I call Dinosaur 2.0. In his recent response to Digital Britain, Charlie Leadbeater's much more elegant metaphor of boulders and pebbles rightly identifies hybrid organisations as one of the key innovation drivers that will make up our digital future:
…hybrids - boulders that find ways to work with the pebbles or pebbles that grow to be boulders. Barack Obama made it to the White House thanks to a campaign which took organizing the pebbles to new heights. Obama’s web based campaign rewrote the rules on how to reach voters, raise money, organise supporters, manage the media and wage political attacks. Obama is now a boulder that speaks pebble. There are huge opportunities to create more hybrids like this, as large institutions seek to engage with their communities in new ways and selforganising communities go in the other direction, acquiring scale.
Our 2008 project with the RSA was one such opportunity and while the project execution was challenging, the learning work led by Sophia Park and Eleanor Ford that resulted was very rich indeed.
So if you want to learn some cutting edge insights into how organisations can support more networked forms of innovation, we recommend you peruse the report and the extensive video library that sits alongside it.
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Interesting stuff. Building on the findings of that report, I ran a workshop a couple of weeks ago in which a group of RSA Fellows made metaphorical models, in Lego, Plasticine, and other stuff, showing their ideas and aspirations for the network.
You can see a video about that process here: