Acting Responsively.

By May 22, 2015Blog posts


If you haven’t already heard of the ResponsiveOrg movement and you’re reading this the chances are you’ll find it relevant and useful to what you may already be trying to do.

What is ResponsiveOrg? In the words of the movement’s co-founder Matthew Partovi “The purpose of ResponsiveOrg is to develop a shared language and independent community that promotes and enables a fundamental shift in our way of working and organising. Our hypothesis is that there are enough people working on the future of work to be a real global movement, but we’re too fragmented to be recognized as part of the same large movement”. Well said. And my colleagues and I at Betterworking are definitely feeling that.

Of the many hashtags, meet-ups, events, communities and supposed movements out there at the moment, ResponsiveOrg has always felt like it has serious legs. Perhaps because initially it had background backing and support from at least one powerful organisation. And almost certainly because it has been passionately pushed forwards and led by the inimitable Mr Partovi. But definitely because there are so many actors and parties moving things in a better direction (from software vendors, consultants, change-agents, in-house HR, OD and IC teams to name a few) that we all need a good umbrella tag under which we can support each other and operate.

Critical to the future independence of #responsiveorg of course is that it must be technology vendor agnostic. If it is perceived as a cunning trojan horse to push forward the interests of a specific enterprise social network (ESN), for example, then I believe it will only go so far. This is about something much bigger than any one software company. And indeed Mr Partovi referred to this at the most recent #responsiveorg event on (generously, but perhaps slightly uncomfortably hosted in Microsoft’s offices on 27 April 2015) when he said that for the movement to really take off it needs to be owned by all (including Google, IBM, Jive et al). Check out Sylvia Cambie’s useful write-up of said event if you haven’t already.

nina-small3This was something Nina Pattinson and I were very aware of when we planned for our success stories workshop that day.We tried to share stories we have been involved with from across many organisations (European Commission, British Gas, Bupa, Deutsch Bank, Axa, Danone… and other stories from our workshop friends’ organisations who I won’t name due to the Chatham House rules agreed during the session) enabled by multiple technologies. Sadly our 45 mins wasn’t much time to get through more than three or four stories in any depth, but we’d be happy to carry this on in future if anyone wants to. It was great to have a room full of predominantly client-side people discussing very real barriers, and successes and I believe the learnings were relevant to all, irrespective of who made the software they were running.

If you want to know more, read (and sign) the ResponsiveOrg manifesto and join over 1000 people in the growing global Facebook group sharing great content, stories and events going on around the world.

Join the movement, and let’s be part of something bigger while each of us does our little bit to make the world a better place. Maybe see you at the next coffee meeting.

Author: Nick Crawford

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