Organisational management through transparency

On the way into work Tom and myself were talking about blogs again! We got onto the subject of organisational management and how difficult it is to get true transparency (a much overused word) in projects and organizations. Superficially, conferencing systems (such as First-Class) appear to offer this, but anyone who has used then for a substantial period of time will realize that this isnít the case. What they do is enable folk to claim there is transparency because all of the information is there somewhere! However, what I am doing, what my colleagues are doing, what the project and organization are doing isnít well shared in a form that is ëdigestibleí and in a form that can be internalised ñ in short we probably have no more than the sketchiest and fragmented idea of what is going on.

Another organizational issues that is notoriously difficult to crack is that of performance management (PDP, appraisal, etc), again a great idea and undoubtedly if done well it can have a positive impact for both individuals and for organizations. However, the process is time consuming and somewhat cumbersome and I would argue doesnít work particularly well in complex situations (and we are increasingly in a world of ësupercomplexity) where impact is not easily measured and related to work outputs.

Briefly to recap some of the characteristics of Blog’s (previous posting) :
– they empower individuals removing ëgatekeepersí from the equation
– they are quick and easy to contribute to
– they are readily accessible and are inherently ëtransparentí in nature
– they are person centric

So back to the Blog, what might it offer in terms of combining elements of performance management and transparency of an organization or at least projects within an organization? A project Blog that pulls together (syndicates) contributions and:
– enables individuals to be identified as having particular responsibilities derived from overall project aims and articulated as project objectives and share the current ëstate of playí
– enables individuals to share the particular tasks they are engaged upon and to share their progress including issues and difficulties
– support based on a ëcritical friendshipí model; that is working in small teams
– peer ëappraisalí through the active interest of colleagues and those with projet responsibilities

Clearly for the above to work, there is much in terms of the culture of an organization that needs to be right. However, if only a fraction of the potential is realised it would I believe be a powerful use of technology for managing modern organisations with ICT.

2 thoughts on “Organisational management through transparency

  1. Richard Millwood

    ” Stephen writes” I comment!

    “they empower individuals removing ‘gatekeepers’ from the equation” as long as you can set up your own blog.

    “they are quick and easy to contribute to” maybe.

    ” they are readily accessible and are inherently ‘transparent’ in nature” except when they are private.

    “they are person centric” as a culture, rather than technology.

    The one thing you don’t mention is the very stong link with time – helpful in seeing the ‘narrative’ in other lives.

  2. Stephen Powell

    Thanks Richard, interesting points….

    ” as long as you can set up your own blog.”
    and this is free and easy, many online services offered

    this is my experience

    “except when they are private”
    Yes well, thats a choice, and sometimes a useful option to take.

    “as a culture, rather than technology.”
    In terms of ownership, this is my Blog and I have control over it. I can permiisions, preferences, etc. This is empowering for me as a user of technology.

    “The one thing you don’t mention is the very stong link with time – helpful in seeing the ‘narrative’ in other lives”
    True, a good addition.


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