Communication Power and the Social Intranet

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Presented at IntraTeam Event 2013 - Copenhagen - March 7, 2013

Power has been an underdeveloped concept in the rhetoric surrounding the use of many-to-many intranets. Expressions like "liberation" and "enhanced collaboration" and "freedom" are common in marketing, but is this really the case? How does power really work on the social intranet? Who is in control? What are the opportunities of this new model? What are the risks? Does the social intranet make employees more or less powerful? Using ideas developed by communications philosopher Manuel Castells, Gordon introduces how leaders and managers can understand network power inside of their organizations, and identify both opportunities and risks

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Communication Power and the Social Intranet

  1. 1. COMMUNICATION POWER &THE SOCIAL INTRANETMarch 7, 2013IntraTeam Event CopenhagenGordon RossVP Strategy & Co-foundergordonr@thoughtfarmer.com
  2. 2. ! WARNING 
 THIS IMAGE DEPICTS THE REAL GLAMOUR OF WHAT SOCIAL INTRANET CONSULTING LOOKS LIKE"! YES, THAT’S A BOTTLE OF RED WINE
 NEXT TO MY LAPTOP (AND NIBS)"
  3. 3. !TRANSFORMATIVE"COMMUNICATIVE"COLLABORATIVE"ENGAGEMENT ORIENTED"
  4. 4. WHAT WOULD IT MEAN
TO TRANSFORM?"
  5. 5. organizational effectiveness! interdivisional collaboration!celebration & recognition! transparency!accessibility! empowerment!innovation & creativity! trust!participation! ownership!!
  6. 6. WHAT IS NEEDED
TO TRANSFORM?"
  7. 7. culture of learning!its okay to make mistakes!employees demonstrate responsibility!willingness to share!willingness to ask questions!managers walk the talk!
  8. 8. WHAT ARE THE 
BARRIERS?"
  9. 9. !people dont know whats permissible!
  10. 10. !knowledge is power 
(why would I share? this usurps my power)!
  11. 11. !culture of risk aversion!
  12. 12. !culture of control!
  13. 13. !paternal culture / work style!
  14. 14. !fear of imperfection!
  15. 15. !lack of authority to decide!
  16. 16. !lack of trust in employee judgment!
  17. 17. !varying interpretation of whats acceptable!
  18. 18. !knowledge 
I dont know how to participate!
  19. 19. !authority
what / where am I able to collaborate?!
  20. 20. !effort
I’ve got my own priorities!
  21. 21. !hierarchy 
whats my role? 
who can I speak to?
what am I permitted to say?!
  22. 22. !authority
power trip!
  23. 23. "US "
  24. 24. WHY? "
 "WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
  25. 25. !STRUCTURES"RULES"BEHAVIOURS"PATTERNS OF CULTURE"
  26. 26. ""ORGANIZATIONS ARE PLACES OF 
DIVERGENT  "INTERESTS
  27. 27. ""ORGANIZATIONS ARE PLACES OF 
CONFLICT "
  28. 28. ""ORGANIZATIONS ARE PLACES OF 
POWER"  
  29. 29. MANUEL 
CASTELLS
  30. 30. THE NETWORKSOCIETY "
  31. 31. "
POWER "
  32. 32. !RELATIONAL CAPACITY TO"INFLUENCE ASYMMETRICALLY"OTHER SOCIAL ACTORS"
  33. 33. !COERCION"CONSTRUCTION OF MEANING"
  34. 34. Weber Foucault
  35. 35. "DOMINATION "POWER EMBEDDEDIN INSTITUTIONS " 

  36. 36. "BUT A RELATIONSHIP "POWER IS NOT AN ATTRIBUTE
  37. 37. EMPOWERMENT!
  38. 38. "THEIR EMPOWERMENT "AGAINST OTHER SOCIALACTORS
  39. 39. THE POWER TO DO SOMETHING AGAINST SOMEONE"
  40. 40. ""NETWORK "
  41. 41. NODE" "NODE NODE " " NODE " NODE " NODE
  42. 42. NODE "NODE" TIE" NODE " TIE" TIE" TIE" NODE " TIE" TIE" " NODE NODE "
  43. 43. ACTOR" "ACTOR ACTOR " " ACTOR ACTOR" " ACTOR
  44. 44. !FLEXIBILITY"SCALABILITY"SURVIVABILITY"
  45. 45. !"POWER + NETWORKS"
  46. 46. !NETWORKING POWER"NETWORK POWER"NETWORKED POWER"NETWORK MAKING POWER"
  47. 47. !BUNNY POWER"DOG POWER"SHEEP POWER"COW POWER"
  48. 48. !"NETWORKING POWER"
  49. 49. !"WHO IS IN / WHO IS OUT"
  50. 50. !"WHO IS IN / WHO IS OUT
OF YOUR SOCIALINTRANET?"
  51. 51. !"NETWORK POWER"
  52. 52. !"THE RULES OF INCLUSION"
  53. 53. !"PROGRESSIVE ELIMINATION OFTHE ALTERNATIVES"
  54. 54. !"NETWORKED POWER"
  55. 55. SOME ACTORS HAVE POWER OVER OTHERS"
  56. 56. !""
  57. 57. !"NETWORK MAKING POWER"
  58. 58. !"ABILITY TO FORM NETWORKSPROGRAM / RE-PROGRAM NETWORKS"
  59. 59. !"GOVERNANCE"
  60. 60. What kind of organizational politicalform do we want to be a part of, toresolve the divergent interests that arebound to happen? !
  61. 61. AUTOCRATICALLY"Well do it this way""BUREAUCRATICALLY "Were supposed to do it this way""TECHNOCRATICALLY "Its best to do it this way""DEMOCRATICALLY "How shall we do it?"
  62. 62. TAK
THANK YOU!!@gordonr "@thoughtfarmer"!

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