In setting the scene for the Organized Self, we first take a brief look at the Quantified Self and the Quantified Org.
The Quantified Self
The current Wikipedia entry for quantified self (QS) describes it as “a movement to incorporate technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person’s daily life in terms of inputs (e.g. food consumed, quality of surrounding air), states (e.g. mood, arousal, blood oxygen levels), and performance (mental and physical).”
And it doesn’t stop at mere data acquisition of course; as the strapline for a major QS community puts it, we’re looking at self knowledge through numbers. Adriana Lukas, founder and organiser at London Quantified Self Group, proselytizes self-managed QS, a future in which “expertise is supplied rather than outsourced”, where each of us acquires “agency as sense-maker”.
That’s certainly a powerful and possibly quite natural vision, and one we wholeheartedly embrace. Yet it’s also counter to the branded data siloes many a purveyor of QS gadgetry would, it seems, have one locked into. Adriana employs a turn of phrase, which may well be riffing off Doc Searls:
We can’t treat individuals as data cows to be milked for the data bucket.
The Quantified Organization
Anne McCrossan coined the term in February 2012 – at least we can find no earlier use. In some ways it’s the natural extension of business performance management approaches such as the Balanced Scorecard, and in other ways it’s entirely orthogonal to top-down measurement, emphasising emergent adaptation over top-down alignment, real-time sensing over batch reporting, carrot over stick.
We explore Quantified Organization in more detail here.
The Organized Self
Social Business is about all variety of stakeholders coming together to add mutual value faster than otherwise, with the help of social technologies, appropriately transformed culture, and a network orientation rather than command and control. It’s co-creation with customers, partners, suppliers, everyone, constantly striving to find the right combination to best pursue shared objectives, guided by shared values.
Self-organization is a process where some form of global order or coordination arises out of the local interactions between the components of an initially disordered system.
The Organized Self is the name we give the technological augmentation to help achieve this in any and all organizations. It entails software representing us in finding opportunities to create mutual value with others, and helping to realise that value; a human- rather than company-centric perspective.
BYOD (bring your own device) is already an established trend… we simply extend that to include the digital interface one has onto / into organization.
Such potential appeals to free marketers for whom efficiency and utilization are front of mind – after all why should resources be tied up in one combination when they can add greater value faster deployed in another? And it appeals to those on the left of the political spectrum who champion self-management and occupational autonomy. (The Future of Organization.)
The ramifications begin to blur the definitions of employee and ‘the firm‘. Indeed, anyone who continues to view the firm as simply the sum of its payroll already operates in today’s world with yesterday’s blinkers.
The Organized Self aims to do for organizing what social media has achieved for communications – eliminate friction and encourage heterarchy. Perhaps it’s a logical endpoint of the current vista of social business / future of work / Responsive Org.