Niel Van Meeuwen Kessels & Smit, The Learning Company

Niel Van Meeuwen
Organization 2.0: It’s all in the Transformation!

Prepare yourself for an unequalled transformation! Organizations as we know nowadays, will no longer exist within 20 years. Today, we’re only at the beginning of an era where information and communication technology will have their great impact. Interaction will be the buzz-word for the near future, and connectivity will be the key element. The rising of organizations 2.0 and knowledge workers 2.0 is a fact!

The last few months, I attended a lot of lectures and workshops around the use of social media in our daily life and professional life in specific. ‘I am enthusiast and scared at the same time’ is an often heard reaction. ‘I can see which impact these social media have, but I don’t know what I have to do with it. I have the feeling that I’m outdated and walking behind.’ This confusion is not that strange. We live in turbulent times, in which we say goodbye to the industrial era in high speed. Since about the end of the 20th century an unknown reversal is happening. The digitalizing of our existence is heading into a new digital era, with the world wide web and its social media as representatives. What first started as a communication network between universities has now developed to a world on its own, a digital world who is like morning mist above our physical world.

“Society, community, family are all conserving institutions. They try to maintain stability, and to prevent, or at least slow down, change. But the organization of the post-capitalist society of organizations is a destabilize. Because its function is to put knowledge to work – on tools, processes, and products; on work; on knowledge itself – it must be organized for constant change.”
Peter F. Drucker

In January 2011, over 1,9 billion were online (Internet World Stats, 2011). The biggest part of them is connected online in social networks, where they communicate, play, do business, make content etc. with each other. They do this, without any need on interventions of organizations. That a lot of people and organizations have to get used to this transition is not staggering because the industrial era has taken almost 250 years. Our society and economy are fully designed on that. Generations long we have worked on the improvement of processes. We are simply a genetically charged product of this era.

The transition into organizations 2.0 and knowledge workers 2.0 is not progressing very easy. For that, we still have to pull down a lot of walls that were build the last 100 years between departments and organizations. But by doing that, we put a lot of tension on the powerful and well established concepts of the industrial era: manageability and hierarchic structures, fixed functions and workflow, control, procedures. These concepts no longer work in a society were flexibility, globalization, diversity, network, knowledge work and sharing, passion, autonomy and authenticity play a role of growing importance.

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Name: Niel

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Bio: Social Media, Knowledge Work, Learning and Development, Organization 2.0, Appreciative Inquiry, Creative Designer, Kessels & Smit, The Learning Company