28th February 2007

Exploring communities and corporate HR…

Ever notice that is loaded with Recruiters??  That’s not the point of this post, but I think we can all agree that the recruiting function of HR has long since discovered communities as an avenue for adding talent to organizations.   But recruiting is only one small part of the HR function.  What about talent management and organizational design?

Wikinomics got me thinking more about this HR connection.  The obvious assertion in the book is that there will always be more smart people outside your company than inside your company.  It goes on to claim that volunteers will self-organize in more efficient ways than managers can accomplish inside hierarchical organizational structures.  I don’t know if I buy this, but the possibility that it is true should be enough to make your consider the implications.  I will buy that volunteers are frequently more motivated than paid professionals - there is a natural difference in motivation.  Think about your own volunteer efforts and test this.

So, how should HR think about this.  I’m not sure I know the answer, but it is high time to engage in the coversation.  I think you can safely say that talent management and organizational design are dramatically different in the Web 2.0 world and the traditional, largely internally focused (except recruiting), role of HR will be tested by this evolution.  Product and services insight gathering is certainly low hanging fruit already underway, but I think that is just the beginning.  External participation through co-production, co-development and user generated content are big opportunities.  That said, don’t get me wrong when I say "opportunities".  It isn’t long term market advantage for those companies that do this well, it’s market relevance, as this is the way business WILL be done in the future.  There will be benefits for fast and first movers and I think harsh penalties for those who don’t move.

I’d love your thoughts and examples on this!!  In the end, this may be one of the most core issues to how your company might think about communities and the impact of Web 2.0.

I wonder, can large, traditional organizations facilitate self-organizing principles?

Oh…and remember, if you liked this…"Digg it!!"



Popularity: 12% [?]

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 28th, 2007 at 11:15 pm and is filed under Business Strategy, General Community Discussion, Social Media, Web 2.0 and corporate HR, online communities, web 2.0. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

There are currently 7 responses to “Exploring communities and corporate HR…”

Why not let us know what you think by adding your own comment! Your opinion is as valid as anyone elses, so come on... let us know what you think.

  1. 1 On March 1st, 2007, Lee LeFever said:

    Hey Sean.
    I like to see the assumptive close come up again. About long term market advantage vs. market relevance - I think both are stake. Lately I’ve often said that the basic rules of business have not changed - it’s still focused on relationships with customers. What has changed is customer’s expectations of what it means to have a reationship with a business. The businesses that succeed in co-production, co-development, etc. succeed because of the strength of these relationships and the willingness to pursue them. I cannot think of a better long term market advantage than productive and trusting relationships with customers.

  2. 2 On March 1st, 2007, Frank Roche said:

    Hi Sean,

    Thought-provoking, indeed. There has been so much talk in the past few years about “human capital” and “employee engagement.” I’m afraid a lot of that talk was just that: talk. There wasn’t much of a conversation. Which is at the heart of why mission-driven work is so engaging and work-work sometimes isn’t. Getting the conversation rolling, helping employees participate as much as customers in the refinement and success of a business, that works.

  3. 3 On March 1st, 2007, Sean ODriscoll said:

    Thanks for joining the conversation here! You make a great point. I’m not an HR professional, but I do run a global team of about 100 people so I have some experience with the challenges of both management and leadership (two often mis-understood domains - all too often thought of as the same thing). As the world shifts to a more inclusive / co-production set of processes, the role that a much larger set of employees can have in joining the conversation with customers will change the game in a number of ways. I think lowering that barrier for internal to external conversation (both ways) is an amazing tool for changing the perception people have about their work and customers have about your company - at the heart of the more transparent company - an earlier post.

    I know the implications of this will bring new challenges from a legal and corporate policy standpoint for many organizations, but I think these will be good issues to address vs reasons not to engage.


  4. 4 On March 2nd, 2007, Frank Roche said:

    Sean, well phrased: “[So I have some experience with the challenges of both management and leadership (two often misunderstood domains — all too often thought of as the same thing).” Excellent! And so true.

    Yes, some legal questions, but doing the right thing always prevails. And getting people engaged in the convo is always a winner. If anything else, we hear in HR surveys that people want to be respected and valued for what they do. The more we listen — genuinely listen — the better it works. And with tools to do it…all the better!

  5. 5 On March 2nd, 2007, Sean ODriscoll said:

    This topic of Management and leadership probably deserves a full post even though it’s not core to my normal topic…I’ll give this some thought and pull it up in the days/weeks ahead.

    thanks for your insights.

  6. 6 On March 3rd, 2007, Communities, "Smart Mobs" and a followup to the HR discussion… « Community Group Therapy said:

    […] 3rd, 2007 As a followup to my earlier post on Exploring Communties and Corporate HR, I thought this a worthwhile discovery to share (thank you Smartmobs.)  There’s an […]

  7. 7 On May 23rd, 2007, systematicHR - Human Resources Strategy and Technology » Web 2.0 Networks and HR said:

    […] power in the hands of the community to convey information and knowledge can only be a good thing. Community Group Therapy.  February 28, 2007.  “Exploring communities and corporate HR…”  Retrived from […]

Leave a Reply

rss posts
  • Categories