Every person within an organizational ecosystem possesses potentially valuable intelligence, creativity, insights and problem-solving abilities. However, many organizations are designed only to hear and apply the thoughts and expressions of a limited group of elite "esteemed influencers."
There can be enormous benefit and critical importance for an organization to embrace an improved operating architecture with wide, open gateways for expression combined with improved efficacies in "signal" discernment and "noise" filtering. Advocated herein is a design enabling an organization to pursue and consider the the "full spectrum" of intelligence, experiences, knowledge, observations and creativity, insights and concerns of every worker, customer, supplier, candidate, investor, other applicable minds across and beyond its ecosystem. A Creative Hive is an organizational construct of "inclusive and open intelligence" as opposed to "exclusive, limited intelligence."
For an organization to accomplish such a reality, there are at least five primary considerations:
1. Reducing or eliminating factors that suppress or restrict expression or imagination throughout an organization's ecosystem. The suppression factors are generally present throughout an organization and be both blatant and hidden. Certainly, all empowered leadership must shift from being obstacles to becoming active proponents and participants in forming and sustaining a Creative Hive.
2. Emergent expression and stochastic resonance must be systemically enabled throughout the organization's ecosystem. This organic activity is balanced by distributed and central mechanisms of vetting and decision-making so as to accurately resonate with prospective tactical and strategic value.
3. Precipitating attention and creative expression of select groups to specific topics, challenges and problems by design, so as to resonate accurately with the articulated needs and priorities of the organization.
4. Amplify and sustain fruitful worker innovation by explicit functional performance requirements within all its work role relationships. These are dependably realized by agreement with each worker and being responsible to each worker to equip, steward and facilitate their creative expression.
5. A foundation of continuous improvement and knowledge management incorporating measurements, analytics and compliance as optimal for meeting objectives and responding to challenges.
An ancient guiding model thrives in nature from which we can learn: the bee hive.
A bee hive enjoys benefits of extraordinary shared expression by its members. Instead of this leading to anarchy or wasteful, distracting noise, through a variety of known and mysterious mechanisms it achieves emergent, distributed decision-making in a very dependable manner. The bee hive accomplishes amazing efficacies in information exchange within local work role functions (such as for gaining optimal foraging yields throughout each day by applying localized waggle dance forums).
Equally, the bee hive has powerful design and mechanisms in place to create and address disruptive change for strategic aspects of expansion and survival (such as the need to pursue entirely new domains in a "swarm"). The bee hive offers to us a blueprint of a formidable social architecture that has been proven to be not only perpetually viable; but more importantly, to produce a superorganism having a responsive collective intelligence far beyond the sum of its citizens. This ensures the bee hive's long term continuity and daily productivity. It is also noteworthy that bee hive achieves its impressive results without dependence upon a flow of orders from a "C-Suite."
Is is possible for an organization populated with humans to leverage the bee hive's social architecture to realize greater strength, balance and responsiveness to its markets and environments? We believe it is. We call such a pursuit, design and practice the Creative Hive.
In conclusion, there are also examples of thriving "top down/bottom up" models that are somewhat analogous within human society:
• Modestly-regulated, free enterprise economic systems
• Democratic-republic political systems, such as that of the U.S.
There are also a few organizations and thought leaders beginning to pursue core competencies, operating behaviors and creative conditions that are very similar to those proposed by the Creative Hive:
• An exemplar may be Whirlpool Corporation's "Everyone, Everywhere" transformations that have recently been accomplished throughout its organizational ecosystem. In many ways, Google may also proving to be a noteworthy exemplar.
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