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The 3 Ingredients of a Digital Organization

Derived from
Jeff Jarvis; What Would Google Do?

PROFIT : The way things are organized has changed. Our societies and institutions used to be held together by physical things like roads and bridges. Now, electronic connections are key. Here’s three ways to architecture your organization…

Organizational Design 1: LinkWill You Link With Me?

Hyperlinks make the internet work. We click from one page to another, one site to millions of others. Permalinks are an address that can be found forever – and linked to.
With links we no longer need to repeat what someone else has said – we can just connect the dots. We can find anything and anyone, including the source of an idea and the best ideas. There’s no point copying anymore.
This means we can concentrate on what we do best and merely link to the rest. This promotes specialization. Generalists like department stores and newspapers are being out-linked by specialist niche blogs and online boutiques. Google helps us find them and click-on-by through their advertising and search links.

Organizational Design 2: NetworkWill You Join my network?

A network is a collection of connections. They’re links that take you from one world to another. LinkedIn is a set of connections, so is Wikipedia. People and things.
In the old world, companies wanted to control and own everything – including you! If they had content they built a wall around it and controlled entry.
The internet is a decentralized world – no one owns it, no one controls it. It is literally a network of networks built one link at a time.
Google thrives on network effects (see Book Rapper issue The Great Business Gestalt). Their search results get better with every search. Google doesn’t own the content or try to control it. They merely help you find it.
With networks, the more connections you make the better.

Organizational Design 3: PlatformCan I use your platform?

A road and a stadium is a platform and so is the internet. Platforms are the infrastructure we build our networks upon. A platform lets you do stuff.
Traditionally platforms like TV or radio have been closed and controlled. You could submit your content but first it needed to be approved by editors, producers and gatekeepers.
Now, open platforms enable others to achieve their own goals whilst building the value of the platform at the same time.  Google Maps is a platform you can add your content to and create your own mashup. So are Facebook, Flickr, Ebay and Twitter.
You can build your business on top of someone else’s platform or launch your own. Either way, it’s a chance to help more people achieve their goals.

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