We have perhaps overdone organizing. Between the slew of competency maps and role definitions, the real potential of high performance teams is falling in between over-organized business units and matrix structures.
On the other hand there is vitality, responsiveness and action happening in more social settings. The natural groups in the lunch and break rooms, the hobby groups, the facebook buddies, the after-office huddles, are all conversing purposefully, most likely for different reasons. Individually many of them know, what the company does not – e.g. who is the best person for a particular job, where to find that elusive powerpoint so vital to an upcoming customer presentation and most importantly how to get things done, when the rest have given up.
It appears therefore that thesocial contract between these individuals is more powerful than their employment contract with the organization. What is it that blocks this energy in the formal medium but is liberated through the social medium?
There are perhaps many reasons. To me it appears that the unwritten social code is not burdened by reporting relationships, or limited because of dispersed geographies, rather is enabled by mutual empathy for even conflicting points of view. Everybody comes to the party.