The Invisible links of the intelligent organization
Is deep space empty ?
Recent advances of physics and astronomy confirm that it is not the case. But it DOES look empty to us.
If you do not see anything, does it mean there is nothing to see ? OR that you either are not equipped to see it or simply that you did not look adequately ?
A recent experience published in Circulation Research revealed that the DNA of a cell is physically linked thorough a networks of lamins to some membrane receptors. These receptors are in direct contact with the extracellular environment. Sooo… a direct link between the very core of the cell, the DNA code, and the “outside”. What a concept !
What’s next ?
The central dogma of molecular biology (from DNA to RNA – to Protein) and Darwinism might be seriously challenged !
Lamarck might even laugh out loud in his tomb if future experiments were to prove that the environment might influence the DNA structure in such a way as to regulate the expression of some genes.
Sooo… the fittest might be in fact, not those who are inherently born with the right tools to face the environment but those who are equipped with the most adaptive set of genes and a good set of lamins !!
L’influence des circonstances: The adaptive force
Lamarck’s theory of evolution states that organism ADAPT to their environment. This is contrary to Darwinism that states that an individual organism will slowly take over the population if he already has the right phenotypic characteristics. Where Darwin hypothesizes that the “fittest” organism will survive in its environment, Lamarck implies that the most adaptive organism will “respond” to the change in the environment to survive. This also implies that the new traits could be transmissible to their offsprings. The recent field of epigenetics, might explain part of this by invoking mechanism such as nucleic acid methylation or other transcription modifying phenomenon.
(yep, I was a molecular biologist)
And the best part in all this is that, up to very recently, nobody even guessed that there was this link, this very direct link between the receptors and the DNA, between the “outside” and the “inside”.
Ok,ok…. this might be far fetched but it has a very direct implication for our organizations. Especially if our goal is to transform them into intelligent organizations.
What are the invisible links of the intelligente organization ?
What are the invisible links in YOUR organization ?
What are the invisible relations and interactions ?
More importantly… what is happening right now, under your nose, and you are not aware at all of it ?
Jon Husband has been talking about wirearchy for more than 15 years and this concept is still widely ignored by too many decision makers. Wirearchy is the structure behind the structure. The real status of the interactions within and outside your organization, invisible to the more visible hierarchy and organization-chart-mongers.
The functioning connections that make organizations tick, unbeknownst to the self-blinded leaders.
I love the word.
Invisible wires connecting people, directly and virtually.
Being French-speaking, or francophone as we say in Quebec, I hear English words with a French twist….
Wirearchy does sound like “why archy”….
And this rings a bell with the Why generation, the Y generation. Wirearchy, much more aware of the Why and desire to know the Why behind every decision …much more than the X or Boomer generation.
Why are CHI!
CHI for the Chinese is the energy force. The Why/Y are the new life force of any intelligent organization. They strive to push the older structure out of the way… it has always been the driving force of the new generation to go beyond what was and look for what will be. And build it !
The Why/Y’s demonstrate that we are all connected. And we see examples of the power of this connectedness everyday via social networks which show us a world we were not aware of, solutions and innovations we did not know existed …
In molecular biology, “chi sites” are recombination hotspots. Funny how even the sciences are connected with the “softer” academic fields like psychology.
Specific sites that facilitates exchange of DNA sequences. CHI stands for Crossover Hotspot Instigator… not very sexy as acronyms go but meaningful. What if we were to facilitate crossovers, catalyse interactions between our people, our colleagues, our employees… What if we were to acknowledge the power of interactions and its role in our future intelligent organizations ? Life has demonstrated over and over in the last few billions years that recombination, exchange of DNA, creates new life forms, evolved life forms.
What if wirearchy, the increased connectedness, was a form of evolution of our organization, of our society in general. Virtually over the Web and face-to-face within our organizations.
I believe it is going on now more than ever before in the history of the human race. It is unstoppable. Mobile devices have enabled this at an unprecedented speed.
And the more it goes on the more it impacts us as individual, as a society and as organizations.
Rupert Sheldrake talks about morphic fields. Fields of energy around every one. You have experienced this when you think about a friend and suddenly the phone rings…
Stanley Milgram, in his famous obedience experiment 50 years ago, demonstrated indirectly that proximity influences behaviour…
Ken Keyes tells the story of populations of monkeys isolated on their island. Whenever a monkey started to exhibit a behaviour that favourled him over its kin, the behaviour was copied by the other monkeys. Until enough monkeys, about a hundred of them, were behaving like this and it started to affect the monkeys…. on the other islands… enhanced morphic field ?
Henry Markram is a scientist at the Brain Mind Institute and Director of the Center for Neuroscience and Technology has for his part demonstrated that the neutrons in the brains randomly connect until, when enough connections are in place and “something” is observed…conscience ?
Morphic field, influence by proximity, emergence of conscience, mobile devices, freely floating information, wirearchy, accelerated delivery of content…impact on our behaviour.
The more people are affected, the more it changes our very deep habits. Until…
A new social conscience ?
We are all connected.
It is becoming increasingly evident.
Then invisible links between us are observable by their impact on our collective behaviour.
We live in a period characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. VUCA. A great acronym.
We have seen the workplace change from a friendly environment where human contacts made sense to a re-engineered organization with highly structured roles and functions. We have seen pleasant and creative corridor meetings, the “white space” as described by Tom DeMarco, displaced in favour of recurring weekly meetings where input is not away welcome. The evocative title of DeMarco’s book, SLACK !, was descriptive enough but its author, went on to describe a lot more about the fact that we do not talk to each other anymore !
The M-era is changing all that ! The Mobile connections !
We are all connected !
Invisible links and morphic field.
More than ever, invisible does not equal “not real”.
We feel its effects everyday.
It is affecting the way we conduct business.
The way we behave and talk to each other.
Our vision, our mission … the lurid corporate mission posters on the walls pale in comparison to what is actually going on !
Wirearchy creates an invisible field of influence in our organization.
Are you aware of its impact ?
Quantum physic taught us that the act of observing a phenomena alters the results. In a very real sens, we have seen managers and executive officers focus on the scorecard and influence behaviour in their organization. But this behaviour is more akin to a coach focusing on the scoreboard that on the movement of his players. Not a winning strategy in any sport. And certainly not in business.
It is time we refocus where it counts :
On the players.
On the invisible links between them.
I recently discovered a Sufi proverb :
“You think because you understand ONE that you understand TWO because ONE and ONE make TWO…but you must also understand ¨and¨.
Let’s focus on the “AND”
Let’s focus on the invisible links.
Let’s focus on the connections.
Let’s focus on the interactions.
And, if quantum physics are right, the mere fact of observing, of being aware, will generate an impact.
I used to hate physics.
¨After all, how do you hold a hundred tons of water in the air with no visible means of suppport? You build a cloud! ¨(K.C. Cole 1985)
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