One of the insights that we’ve come to is that the premise of how work is done fundamentally needs to change. We imagine these corporate environments (often very large companies) and we try to visualize how they might improve their infrastructure and communication patterns. The real revolution isn’t inside the company — it’s that the company itself is increasingly irrelevant.
The atomization of the corporation is very real and has been discussed at length. What’s discussed less is how increasingly critical our out[side] of work networks are to our ability to get work done. Millennials are more likely than any other previous generations to daily access their outside-of-work networks to get work done. The forces of micro-entrepreneurship are increasing making each of us our own “corporation”, reliant on our outside networks to make things happen. Finally, as our previous work experience becomes increasingly irrelevant to our future work problems, our real asset to bring to any endeavor becomes our network. FB and even Linked In are not capable of meeting these demands. We’ll see the rise of modern, personal networks for work, to allow these worker tribes to thrive and flourish.
I think for most of us, our PLNs are “sharing networks” in that the main currency in our connections are links and or ideas that, in theory at least, amplify our own learning about whatever it is we’re interested in. But seeing our networks as “critical to getting our work done” is a step up for most (not all.) That requires a willingness and a literacy in collaboration and transparency that I’m thinking most eductors (and others) still aren’t comfortable with.
The point here, however, is once again about our kids. If Srivastava is correct that “the company itself is increasingly irrelevant,” that’s a huge shift in the way we think about preparing our students. It’s not now just a personal learning network. It’s a “personal get stuff done with other people network.” We have a hard enough time with students getting real, important stuff done with other kids in the classroom much less online. All of which is why making and inquiry and PBL leading to authentic, shared knowledge creation and done in the context of outside-of-classroom networks should be a central focus of classrooms and schooling in general.
How we doin’ with that?