12.6 More on value networks, new workers, and the organization, SEE

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    On their way to renewal, many organizations have experimented or even adopted the “New Way of Working.” It can be seen as the first step in the process of new value creation and towards opening up an organization to seek connection with the outside world in order to start co-creating.

    The “new workers” form self-managing, multi-discipline teams within their value networks, which operate smartly and open-mindedly. Every individual new worker represents one or more organizations, and is open to support and realize fundamental changes in these organizations. New work is about people who organize “chaordicly“; people who behave as wandering knowledge workers: Internet-connected nomads, or knowmads. These coworking people are independent professionals, suppliers, customers, and employees – in short, all stakeholders of a process or a problem. Even the “old new” employees work in a decent time- and place-independent manner. And, when they make agreements, they do not talk about the number of billable hours, but about performance.

    New work that is predominantly developing in the new social value networks is also called “meshworking,” a term coined from the neurological field that explains how our brain is able to combine hierarchical and self-organizing network structures. It is clear that I view new work as the most powerful motive to reinvent organizations. The great thing is that it starts with the individual, any individual, and preeminently, with readers of this book, of course! New organizations do not arise because they are reinventing themselves. New organizations are formed because new workers create it. These organizations, as value networks may be very informal. These informal pop-up organizations are SEEs.

    There is no particular fixed connection between network members in a SEE value network as the network is not always visible as a group. Generally, a SEE value network has a few core members – including a potential client – complemented with occasional collaborators and some other people who contribute incidentally and/or if required (resonance). The core workers often do not know the peripheral participants, while the source of knowledge is not always visible, either. It is more of a cloud. Teamwork is a great concept, but working in a value network goes beyond the old team philosophy. It starts with a different understanding of objectives. In traditional team-based organizations, the targeted goals are usually clearly defined, as is the road that reaches them, such as with the allocation of tasks and responsibility. A value network is mainly characterized by shared points of view, and a path of creation that is mutually discovered in a context of collective responsibility. In collaboration with or within organizations, the community leader facilitates the process as much as possible, but you cannot call this “managing.” There is an open structure for new knowledge and contacts one can use to make an appeal to the entire outside world. The same goes for capturing and making the acquired knowledge of the value network available. The old “team thinking” is disposed of to keep this within their walls, but value creation is, of course, best served by open connections.

    For “customers,” it is therefore not always clear who bears the final responsibility, while it is not always clear to the network members how the revenues should be shared, or how copyright issues are dealt with. Within these entities, arrangements can provide insight for all stakeholders, including the final co-creating client. Whereas regular organizational teams or departments tend to mark their territories and build ivory towers, value networks have the ability to connect with each other. Individual members of value networks can organize themselves from one spot. In part, this increases the data portability between networks on a daily basis. This is how boundaries continue to dissolve: SEE value networks are extraordinarily dynamic and flow into each other. That is why it is so difficult for outsiders to understand: it is not always an obviously recognizable team or project group that is on the job. The work is also no longer done within four walls, under a single roof, with the name of the organization on the façade of the building. Seats2meet.com locations offer an excellent 3rd Space experience for SEEs.