In this article, Peter Whitehead uses the example of a book* about a fictional company overcoming a challenge and wonders if the far-fetched conclusions could be applied to the real world.
Whitehead's article quote David Elton of PA: 'But while the board is taking a simplistic view, the technology itself is becoming more complex. As David Elton, an IT specialist with PA Consulting, points out: "The scope of IT now is enormous – from solid processing to deep cultural initiatives at the edge of both technology and organisational thinking. No wonder businesses don’t understand IT any more.
'The traditional idea of IT as a box with an application running on it does not reflect the reality of IT today – yet most boards still think about it like that. In fact, you’re talking about a much bigger phenomenon – about how the market now looks and how open the boundaries are between your organisation and the market." '
He continues:' "Most organisations still think of their boundaries as very fixed – they don’t see the outside world as part of their organisation. They think it’s far too risky to break down their borders – but there is opportunity in blurring the boundary.
'He says research with the London School of Economics had uncovered two banks now using blogs to communicate in a much 'softer' way than traditional marketing. That is blurring the boundary a bit – saying ‘here’s what we’re really like inside" ’.
'Does that help sell the product? It’s hard to say. But does it build a relationship of trust? It probably does. "
Asked if this change the nature of a business, David Elton says: ' "it could: some quite large companies were already using a 'leaky interface' between their organisation and the market to inject innovation into product and service design – engaging people that they did not necessarily know but who were potentially part of their market.'
* ‘Mesh Collaboration’ by Andy Mulholland and Nick Earle, April 2008