This book is about organizations. How they create value. How they help the individual to take real advantage of their own skills. How they create personal well-being. How network organizations make companies more successful and help people to be personally effective.
It is a compendium of concepts and thoughts to understand the evolution and the functioning of organizations.
It combines theoretical background with practical examples from leading companies. What makes it particularly interesting to read is the combination of different viewpoints, through the eyes of many different disciplines. I enjoyed reading and learning.
Dr. Hans-Juergen Sturm, Head of Collaboration, Content & Portals, Amadeus IT Group
The building blocks of how people deliver value have changed fundamentally with advent of social technologies. Jon brings his years of experience and offers a treasure trove of useful insights to build social capital within organizations and weave an ecosystem of high performance.
Tanmay Vora, Country Head and Director (R&D), Basware, Author and Blogger
We would like to thank Lesley Giles, Director, The Work Foundation; Bjarte Bogsnes, Vice President Performance Management Development, Statoil and Chairman, Beyond Budgeting Roundtable and Céline Schillinger, Head, Quality Innovation & Engagement, Sanofi Pasteur for their endorsements of The Social Organization.
Jon provides an important contribution to ensuring that in future we develop more successful organisations, which make the most of people, not only individually but in how they work effectively together through teams, networks and communities. This is something at the Work Foundation we think is important to securing “good work”. Over recent decades we have seen huge changes driven by powerful forces such as technology and globalisation, which are radically disrupting traditional business models and ways of working. Dramatic headlines, capturing widespread media coverage, paint bleak and gloomy futures for many, with ideas of machines replacing people and the spread of precarious work, as employment opportunities polarise and businesses cut costs. But, in this technologically-driven, information age, it is now more important than ever that we do not lose sight of the importance of the human contribution at work. Good Work calls for more people centred practices, where work is meaningful, employees are happier, more motivated and can make significant contributions to business success. In this regard Jon’s thoughts on how to unlock the real value of human beings in organisations individually and collectively is a really welcome addition to current debates. Jon provides some powerful insights, interpreting the latest evidence through his extensive practical, business experience. A must read for helping to ensure the future of Good Work for many and not just a privileged few.
Lesley Giles, Director, The Work Foundation
Jon Ingham draws on his rich experience as both HR Director and consultant, providing key insights from academia matched with great case stories. He extracts the essentials of what must be addressed for an organisation to perform to its full potential. Highly readable and highly recommendable.
Bjarte Bogsnes, Vice President Performance Management Development, Statoil and Chairman, Beyond Budgeting Roundtable
This is the book that was missing to social enterprise practitioners of any function – HR, IT, Operations or... Quality. Bringing together input from multiple disciplines, Jon describes a meaningful and practical way for organizations to thrive in the 21st Century. While “social capital” remains too often a blind spot for leadership and corporate processes, Jon offers hope that this can change. Illustrated by numerous case studies and supported by an impressive list of references, Jon’s book provides compelling insights about “how to make an organization greater than the sum of its parts”. A must read.
Céline Schillinger, Head, Quality Innovation & Engagement, Sanofi Pasteur
We would like to thank Paul Sparrow, Emeritus Professor of International HRM, Lancaster University Management School; James Cullens, Executive Director, Group HR & Marcomms, W S Atkins plc; Geoff Lloyd, Group Human Resource Director, Serco and James Purvis, HR Department Head, CERN for their endorsements of A Social Organization.
If you are going to take networks seriously – and after reading this book you would understand why you must – then you need to learn how to better manage them. Taking an organization development perspective, The Social Organization shows how social capital helps organizations create value, compete and collaborate. Having made a persuasive argument, it goes on to explain how HR managers should think about recruitment, develop groups, and hone their social technologies and analytics. It is replete with useful models and frameworks, and moves our understanding on from an intellectual acceptance of the ideas into practical ways of working.
Paul Sparrow, Emeritus Professor of International HRM, Lancaster University Management School
This book is a must read for anyone responsible for driving the performance and culture of an organization, whether CEO or HR practitioner. Grounded in theory and practice, it takes the reader on a journey of how to evolve their people strategy, with rich, illustrative case studies from a variety of industry sectors. These lead to a diagnostic tool and robust organizational prioritization model, or OPM. A book that unlocks tremendous value for academic, HR practitioner and business leader like.
James Cullens, Executive Director, Group HR & Marcomms, W S Atkins plc
I found the concepts Jon outlines extremely helpful in bridging the gap between traditional HR models and new ways of thinking about how sustainable value can be created through organisation. The ideas he takes the reader through are both stimulating and challenging, which in turn makes them invaluable to anyone grappling with some of the most pressing issues that confront organisations today.
Geoff Lloyd, Group Human Resource Director, Serco
How can organizations master and harness the power of collaboration? It’s indisputable that we are better as a team than as a collection of individuals. Collaboration is at the heart of most successes. Yet traditional HR has often led to organisations which suppress, or at best ignore, rather than nurture this key asset. Work and the workplace today is dramatically different from the turn of the millennium and in a competitive knowledge-based economy being successful requires an HR agile HR with a new focus. This book offers precisely that.
Don’t get the title wrong – this book is not about socialising, nor the ubiquitous use of social media, nor about having play-rooms adjacent to the offices (although workplace design can be a key factor). It’s about comprehensively reviewing existing frameworks & theories, analysing case-studies, producing insights and deriving a new model for viewing the Organization. This book will not present you with a silver bullet nor a ‘best practice’ solution – but it will certainly equip you with the ideas and inspiration for you to develop a ‘best fit’ approach to drive success in your particular organisation.
At CERN collaboration is at the heart of success – many of the insights in the book ring true and offer ways of formalising practices I have observed here. As with physics – theories are better explained when we use a model, and in this book - with OPM - Jon presents us with such a model.
James Purvis, HR Department Head, CERN
Although I'll be continuing to blog more generally at Strategic HCM and to share broader advice at JonIngham.com, I'm also going to be providing ongoing updates which build upon the ideas in The Social Organization on this site.
If you're particularly interested in finding out more about the Social Organization you can also find some of my earlier thoughts at another blog site I had previously contributed to - Social Advantage (which itself replaced an earlier blog, The New Social Business, which I started in November 2007).
For example, it's interesting to take a look at my first post on The New Social Business in which I explained:
"I've been blogging about human capital management (HCM) for a few months now.
However, I actually believe that there are three main intangibles in an organisation, which are human, organisation and social capital. And out of these, I think it is social capital that provides the greatest opportunity for business competitiveness. This is partly because of the new possibilities provided by social media, and the new expectations of the millennial generation. It's also because it's becoming increasingly apparent that the traditional way of managing organisations isn't working very well.
This is an area that I don't think many people know much about, and I will admit to feeling fairly unknowledgeable about it myself. So whereas in my other blog, I feel able to comment as an expert about human capital, I have set up this one to support a personal journey of learning. But I hope that readers will want to take this journey with me as well."