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Valeria

Using technology as an analogy, I think the best run organizations resemble a set of hyperlinks where each employee's voice is valued. Everyone is connected to everyone else - and each opinion matters.

Digital media and technology have as their basis narrative structures that allow for conversation that is both meaningful and interactive. What is often viewed as structured is actually quite complex and allows for interaction from a variety of people at a variety of levels.

So, you're right. People are a company's best technology. The systems are just the vehicles needed to give us access to the corporate "machine."

To encourage collaboration I'd add
(from what worked in the teams on which I participated in the Obama campaign):
give people specific methods/behaviors
(as Vital Conversations authors also suggest) by which to collaborate and recognize and reward the results.

Some include:
• form teams by speaking to the sweet spot
of mutual benefit for the participants
• agree on one top/actionable goal
• agree on rules of engagement
• recognize the specific talent/experience of each team player as it relates to the team goal
• agree on a facilitator/leader
• have a time table
• agree to respectfully and candidly disagree
• stick to the thread of conversation when meeting...

"I beg to differ on the terminology, I think they mean tools."

Yes, exactly. Terminology in emerging industries is debated on, discussed, and used to death. I'm guilty too I am sure.

Less focus on terminology, more focus on action and purpose would do us all good :)

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