Don Tapscott: collaboration and the age of networked intelligence

In his foreword of the white paper ‘The great technology take-up’, Don Tapscott makes the case for collaboration, co-creation and a new set of business principles. Tapscott, among others known as the author of Wikinomics looks at the changing paradigms in increasingly connected times.

When we use the term ‘connected’, we often immediately think about technologies, the Internet and social media. However, the world is more connected than ever before in other ways too. In his foreword, Don writes ‘the challenges of sovereign debt, economic malaise, youth unemployment, social unrest, resource scarcity and other problems are all connected’.

He’s right. And while we can think about the role technology has played (and is playing) in globalization and the interdependency of people, institutions, economies and human challenges, it’s clear that several institutions start to fail as Don reminds us.

So, why do these institutions fail? The remarkable thing is that, while we live in a connected era whereby we can feel the impact of what happens in markets far away, that same phenomenon of connectedness sometimes alienates us but also opens new doors to rethink the ways we live, work and do business.

While I think it’s important to distinguish between the private individual, in relationship to the ‘connected’ others and institutions, it seems pretty obvious that many institutions start failing because they keep the walls up, the doors closed and the ‘others’ outside.

Collaboration and transparency: your opportunity

However, these walls and the boundaries they represent, have become so porous that organizations and institutions face the inevitable challenge of redefining the ways in which they function. Look around you: transparency, involvement, collaboration and co-creation are not hype words, they are real or better: organizations that embrace them do better.

Although we don’t understand the full impact of all this yet (in the white paper many experts share their views) it’s indeed time to look at ‘engagement’, openness and collaboration as opportunities instead of dangers, certainly on an organizational level whereby the faceless organization is replaced by a human one with many faces, ears, brains and voices.

“This is not an information age. It’s an age of networked intelligence.”

That’s what Don says. Think about it. Together.

‘The great technology take-up’ white paper presents the views of experts with various backgrounds on how unified communications is changing the way we work. It also looks at dynamics of co-creation, success principles of collaboration, mass collaboration and more. You can get it here.

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