how does the phygital space-time influence decision-making in organizations?
for about 30 years, the world has been undergoing a major transition from an offline world to a world where online and offline are integrated. a physical world [infrastructure, buildings, objects and the environment] amplified by the digital [software] and orchestrated by the social [relations, discourses and social practices] constituting the new figital space-time.
the physical space has intrinsically changed the dynamics of organizations’ functioning. people are no longer in the same places, they are now distributed in networks, dispersed in space and time. decisions not only can, but need to be made remotely and asynchronously. in this scenario, the written word is the real space-time machine.
organizations, which only existed in the physical dimension with some digital support, are beginning to discover that the interaction mechanisms they were using for people to collaborate in the day-to-day business, perhaps, were never really adequate.
in figital space-time, collaborations have been operated, to a large extent, through platforms that mimic physical environments of interaction. such mechanisms are increasingly obsolete. the perception that neither physicists nor their simulacra do not work, continues to mature and, during the covid19 pandemic, took a huge evolutionary leap.
there is ongoing cultural transition in business that brings with it new ways of thinking and acting in all facets of organizations. those that will transform in a competitive, scalable and sustainable way will not necessarily be those that have more resources – physical, financial or human, but those that are able to decide in a more agile, collaborative and creative way, treating networks of people as essential instances for make structuring decisions.
what are creative collaborations?
creative collaboration is a process of purposeful ideation that seeks to develop creative and innovative decisions in a collective and non-hierarchical manner. during the process, all members of a network of people are encouraged to share their divergent hypotheses, aligned with individual experiences and talents, and then start a flow of debates on emerging transformations that point to structuring convergences.
what are communities of creative practice?
a community of creative practices is a network of engaged people who, in face of any situation in the day-to-day life of organizations, come together to build knowledge around the issue, design and execute a strategy addressed to it.
communities of creative practices are the cradle of transformation in organizations.
the knowledge built in these media is the result of a continuous process of collaborative learning, the result of the contribution of individuals with varied expertise and perspectives. always of much greater value than the simple sum of individual contributions, the end result is a balance of iterative learning networks, where shared knowledge grows and transforms the environment.
what are the main dynamics that promote creative collaborations?
looking from an abstract perspective, the process of collaborating creatively can be defined from the principles of design thinking proposed by john chris jones in the 1960s: diverging to propose alternatives, emerging to transform alternatives, and converging to choose alternatives.
from this perspective, it is necessary: to involve the greatest number of people in divergence dynamics, ensuring the generation of alternatives; engage people to debate in emergency dynamics transforming the proposed alternatives; and, to integrate people in dynamics of convergence, guaranteeing the decisive space for all the participants of the creative collaboration network.
what are divergence dynamics?
divergence dynamics are fundamental processes in creative collaboration. it is through them that the group will propose hypotheses to deal with a given situation, without following any specific rule or limitation. the objective is to create a panorama of possibilities, composed of diverse opinions and bringing together the greatest number of alternatives.
in the dynamics of divergence, the members of the network of people participate, with equal representation, suggesting hypotheses built from their knowledge and experiences.
what are emergency dynamics?
in emergency dynamics, people must debate proposed hypotheses considering arguments for and against shared alternatives.
in this phase of the creative collaboration process, hypotheses are transformed by association, exclusion or the addition of arguments that emerge from the debates. the objective here is to transform individual proposals into collective hypotheses so that everyone can then move on to the next stage of the process: the convergence phase.
what are convergence dynamics?
the convergence dynamic is the culmination of a creative collaboration process and has the opposite purpose of the divergence phase. the goal here is to reduce the number of alternatives based on objective and subjective criteria and parameters. as in disagreement, everyone’s opinion has equal weight and value.
after having debated, people need to choose the preferred hypotheses among the many proposals, and then validate the collective choices among them. the objective here is to find consensus.
what are the types of interaction in creative collaborations?
in an article published in january 2022, mckinsey points out the excess of disordered interactions as the challenge to be overcome so that organizations can explore communities of creative collaborations in a productive way and with the speed and assertiveness necessary for the success of their businesses.
in the same article, the authors map three types of interactions that they consider critical for organizations:
interaction for decision making, which can be simple and routine in nature to support the operation of the business, or complex, which demand more structured debates and result in structural decisions for the organization;
interaction to create innovative solutions, which can be incremental to improve existing products, services and processes, or disruptive, which aim to generate new products, services and processes;
interaction for sharing information, which can be unilateral in nature when the shared content is not discussed explicitly with people, or bilateral, where the shared content is discussed in networks of people;
in addition to the three types proposed by the authors, in our experience with the strateegia platform, we identified a fourth type:
interaction for strategic learning. the purpose of this type of interaction is to lead networks of people to learn, collaborating, strategic topics for the organization.
what are the platforms for creative collaborations?
in the context of physical space-time, organizations have learned, and continue to learn, to expand physical spaces through digital platforms for the most diverse purposes, including for dynamics of creative collaborations, carried out increasingly remotely, even more so in organizations of large scale where collaborators are spatially distributed.
the covid19 pandemic accelerated this movement, with a catalyst for the future, and brought remote work to the reality of many more people. In this big bang of transformations, a set of platforms emerged or gained evidence that complement each other as instruments of strategic collaboration in organizations:
platforms that simulate whiteboards on the walls of organizations, such as the miro, mural and jamboard, gained a lot of visibility for supporting people to propose hypotheses in a visually structured way;
platforms that simulate meeting rooms in organizations, such as zoom, teams and google meet, despite having been around for a long time, have gone from interesting tools to the main tool for debating hypotheses orally in organizations;
platforms that simulate the corridors of organizations, such as whatsapp and slack, where groups of people hold asynchronous debates to choose hypotheses, sometimes as a continuation of the synchronous debates in videoconference rooms. as in the corridors, the dialogue here happens in a disorderly, unstructured way; and,
platforms that simulate the drawing boards of opinion polls, such as typeform, fastfield and google forms, where people assemble forms so that other people can validate the choices of hypotheses resulting from creative collaboration debates.
this text was produced by maria duda belém from other texts by professors silvio meira and andré neves
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