Not only is the book “Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything” one of the three most profound books on business in the last 25 years (as I championed in an earlier post), it is, in fact, a key factor in our Inclusion 3.5 Equation which we introduced in May at the Linkage Summit on Leading Diversity in Atlanta. Wikinomics and the new mass collaboration are based on four powerful competencies: • openness • peering • sharing • acting globally
But as we talk about key competencies that will be critical for organizational success in the 21st century, it is clear that Inclusion is the cornerstone.
This new science of mass collaboration through Web 2.0 social networking tools creates the possibility of an organizational culture in which the ideas of everyone are as available as those of the CEO, but that will not happen without Inclusion. Organizational hierarchies and politics, top-down decision making, cultures non-supportive of people doing their best work and exclusive cliques in organizations can be addressed and changed with technology being a key component to the change, but not without Inclusion. Collaborative technology can enable effective co-creation, meaningful work and communities of cooperation inside and outside the firewall of an organization, but not without Inclusion.
Companies that make their boundaries porous to external ideas and human capital outperform companies that rely solely on their internal resources and capabilities (Wikinomics, p.21). However, in flat and open organization comes the reality of increased cultural and generational diversity and with that comes an exponential transformation in the ways we interact with each other.
Embracing platforms of participation, social networking and technology that encourage collaboration is not enough to ensure organizational success. These tools must be used to break down internal silos, create meaningful work for people and initiate a change in cultural, generational and hierarchical interactions. Otherwise, what will happen is that opportunities will be missed, people's talents under-leveraged and ideas excluded, and power, influence and voice in organizations as the privilege of a few based on hierarchy will continue their be the common practice in many organizations.. Without an inclusive mindset and accompanying behaviors, organizations simply will not have the 360-degree vision to solve complex problems and the “old” behaviors will just form in this new technology container.