Using collective intelligence and the wiki to improve how you work, as you work

Stewart Mader outlines wiki uses in “continuous organizational (team work/knowledge work/innovation work etc.) improvement”:

the wiki can help any group work better by adapting to how they work, and letting them see where they’re strong and weak. Because it doesn’t define the terms of interaction and collaboration from the outset, and allows structure to be created, modified and removed as needed, the wiki quickly becomes a desirable tool because it “learns” how people work as they work, not after the fact.

He’s just right, now I’ll try to elaborate:

One could argue that wikis offer space for emergence, i.e. organizational self-organization.

And one could further add that they are ideally suited to support complex adaptive systems (CAS), and that their inherent capacity for connectivity is fine too.

But all this sounds much too theoretical, and well, we’re running real enterprises – no fluffy complex organizational systems stuff – don’t we?

But theory can be useful sometimes, so calling on the theoretical background of complex systems and systems thinking is a good idea. And when we accept that organizations can be modelled and understood as a complex adaptive system, employing social software concepts and tools feels just right, exactly because they can deal with this complexity …

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