Is your mind wired for Wikinomics?

I am still in awe of the Wikis phenomenon and its potential to transform the human interactions. An excerpt from “Wikinomics” will give you any idea of the changes occurring today and the extent of this new mode of collaborative interactions.

Collaborative Minds

Each model we have discussed represents a new and unique way to compete, but they all share one thing: These new forms of peer production enable firms to harvest external knowledge,resources and talent on a scale that was previously impossible. Companies that adopt these models can drive important changes in their industries and rewrite the rules of competition.

There has probably never been a more exciting time to be in business, nor a more dangerous one. We are in the midst of a paradigm shift. New paradigms cause disruption and uncertainty and are nearly always received with coolness, hostility or worse. Vested interests fight against the change,and leaders of the old are often the last to embrace the new. Consequently, a paradigm shift typically causes a crisis of leadership. The lesson of history is that profound changes favor the newcomer and, in rare cases, the incumbent firms that learn to think differently. The choice facing firms is not whether to engage and work with peer-production communities, but determining when and how. The chance for customers and competitors to get the jump on new innovations in your area of business increases daily.

Thinking Differently

Smart firms will be able to harness external resources and talent to achieve unparalleled growth and success.The hard part will be rewiring your brain and turning off those old business reflexes so that you can capitalize on what the new world of wikinomics can offer

Being Open. A growing number of smart companies are learning that openness is a force for growth and competitiveness. Amazon, eBay, Google and Flickr open up their applications and business infrastructures to increase the speed, scope and success of innovation.

Peering. IBM joins the Linux peer producers and gives away hundreds of millions of dollars of software and resources to support them. Has IBM lost its head? No, it’s stumbled onto a new mode of production called peering.

Sharing. Smart firms today understand that sharing is more than playground etiquette. Organizations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Tropical

Disease Initiative are leveraging open-source drug discovery to launch an unprecedented attack

on neglected diseases such as cholera and African sleeping sickness.

Acting Globally. Like others in the aerospace and defense industries, Boeing has found that the costs, risks and expertise required to engage in largescale development projects such as designing and building new aircraft are simply too large for it to do alone. So Boeing reached beyond its walls to cocreate its new 787 passenger jet with a network of partners that stretches over six countries.

Wikinomics Design

Principles

So how should leaders go about applying the principles of wikinomics in their businesses?

Your planning must allow for a high degree of learning on your part and the flexibility to

respond to new opportunities that arise out of the interplay among participants in your

business web. Peering is a design and production innovation, and the firm must learn how to operate in this new environment. You must:

Take cues from your lead users

Build critical mass

Supply an infrastructure for collaboration

Take your time to get the structures and

governance right

Abide by community norms

Let the process evolve

Hone your collaborative mind.

For the business manager, the number-one lesson is that the self-contained inwardly focused corporation is dead. Regardless of the industry or whether your firm is large or small, internal capabilities and a handful of b-web partnerships are not sufficient to meet the market’s expectations for growth and innovation. Managers should treat wikinomics as their playbook and harness its core principles to achieve success.Leaders must prepare their collaborative minds.

Is your mind wired for wikinomics?

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