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The Collapse of Expertise and Rise of Collaborative Sensemaking

March 15, 2015
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Excellent short article on some essential lessons for management in our field! “As we move deeper into the often-awkward shift from industrial heroicism to social interdependence, organizations of all kinds must look closely at what it means to be “social”. Social is more than a buzzword, and it’s more than having a company Twitter account. At its center a social mindset is about a more dynamic and integrative way of seeing the world.”

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If organizations are going thrive in turbulent times, they must surrender many of their most cherished assumptions and start leveraging the power of collaborative knowledge. But this won’t be easy as most continue to believe in the same top-down knowledge management strategies common to the machine age.

In the social era, the power of collaboration is key and collaborative knowledge generation–or sensemaking–is essential for staying competitive amidst the messy, complex challenges that define our hyper-connected universe.

But there’s a glitch: paying workers to collaboratively solve problems and cultivate ideas flies right in the face of traditional management thinking and its belief that the only valid source of knowledge is authoritative expertise. So, clearly, a new understanding about knowledge and the role of expertise is needed.

Traditional Management: In Authoritative Knowledge We Trust

Sociologist Bridget Jordan has observed that “The power of authoritative knowledge is not that it is correct…

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