From value-obstacle to value-enabler

In this video, Clay Shirky talks about how human beings organise to get things done.

The traditional response has been to form an institution.

The newly-emerging solution (in 2005) is to enable cooperation through infrastructure tools — essentially internet 2.0.

What Clay explains is that the days of the traditional solution are numbered — because they fail to capture some of the potential value that is created by the looser, cooperative model, and they add extra costs (of management control).

The changes this will bring will arrive “one arena at a time”. How it will turn out is unclear. But you could argue that the ‘Arab Spring’ and ‘Occupy’ movements of 2010 were a natural outcome of the process he is describing.

And the exciting thing is that the underlying change will be to shift our organisations from being obstacles to becoming enablers of value creation.

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