The Wiki Workplace Attitude

A reflection on Wikinomics: The Wiki Workplace

One of the many activities that consume my time in school are group meetings. Almost all my subjects require us group works and projects. Unfortunately, sometimes, not all of us have all the time to attend them. Group sessions and brainstorming, however, cannot be compromised just because not all can be present during the set date; so, we take the meeting online. We discuss our matters over YM Conference.

Thanks to the advancement of technology and communication, people can easily stay in touch with one another without really having to see them face-to-face, just like what we usually do for our group meetings. In an organization setting, this kind of advantage helps a lot especially when a large group of people are needed to work on a project. Imagine a scenario wherein more than a hundred of employees will convene to discuss a new project. It will be chaotic and counterproductive; not all ideas will be acknowledged all at the same time. Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams tells us how the given set-up can be fixed with the use of Mass Collaboration.

Mass Collaboration, as previously discussed in the first chapter of Wikinomics given to us, tells us how to use the new social media (wikis, blog) in order to improve an organization by collaborating with their other stakeholders outside the organization. This set of chapter, The Wiki Workplace, in turn, discusses how Mass Collaboration can also work within the organization, among the employees themselves.

With the right kind of technology and knowledge on the media, managers and employees can easily work hand-in-hand. To make this work even better, however, both party should also know and have the right kind of attitude, not just the expertise on using the tool.


Encourage Employees

As mentioned in the chapter, most employers would still hinder their employees from using the new social media while at work. Some institutions even chose to block several sites just to make sure their people will stay away from them. In a Wiki Workplace, however, I agree that managers should be encouraged to encourage their employees to use these media as an avenue for themselves. First off, I personally believe that these media can sometimes serve as their own stress reliever. Another thing, I also believe that when employees are encouraged by their managers to use, say, wikis when in work, that’s the time they are able to let their mind freely and can generate more ideas for the organization; plus, on a personal level, managers can also establish and maintain trust from their employees, another important factor in applying Mass Collaboration.

Cross the Boundaries

The usual set-up for an organization is a top-bottom approach, wherein the managers deliver the message and the employees receive them, and then will stop at that level. Only the managers have the opportunity to voice out what should be done. I agree, however, with the idea of Wikinomics. To make Mass collaboration work, managers should give way to the idea that the usual hierarchy must be loosened in order to let the ideas flow efficiently. And that sometimes, a bottom-up approach can also be applied. By doing so, employees are also motivated to participate, being aware that their voices will be considered by the higher-ups. Innovations, knowledge, and ideas are easily shared and made available among the people in the organization.

Listen and Observe

The new social media, I believe, is one the best places where managers can get feedback from their people. These feedbacks don’t just take the form of simple comments or complaints, sometimes these feedbacks can also be a source of a new idea. Mass Collaboration works best this way. If all opinions are considered, even those coming from the bottom of the organizational structure. Managers may even find it convenient and useful once they hear what their employees have to say, whether about a new project, their boss, or their work in general.


Create Discipline

Probably one the reasons why most employers still do not let their people use online tools is the thought of employees going overboard and abusing the kind of freedom given to them. I don’t blame them, though. These kinds of scenarios really happen, where employees use these tools for their own personal interest, which are not really productive in the end. With this, employees must ensure that they are, indeed, still doing their work even with less supervision from the managers; especially given that Mass Collaboration usually requires less face-to-face interaction. Employees should be accountable for their own acts.

Work as a Team

Mass Collaboration is all about working as a team, though sometimes independently; it still has the main concept of working on a group. Employees must always take this value in their mind that everyone is encouraged to participate. Not only that, the table is lalso always open for everyone’s idea and opinion. If more than a hundred contribute to a single project, then it is more highly that this project will be successful.

Be Willing

Willingness, along with participation, is also important. There will always be those, unfortunately, who are not very much willing to use advance communication tools, maybe because they find it even more difficult and stressing. It is important, therefore, to get the employees’ willingness to make Mass Collaboration work. Organizations that are yet to introduce the idea of using wikis in workplace should ensure this first. I think it would be difficult to work with people who are, in the first place, resilient to the whole idea. Employees, on their part especially, must learn to embrace changes in the workplace. Doing a job against your will, no matter how brilliant your ideas are or advance the tools are can backfire.


In the chapters of Wikinomics, the author mostly described how Mass Collaboration can work for or against an organization. Along with the pro’s and con’s, by using real situations from different expert interviews, I also realized how work attitude plays an important role in making Mass collaboration even more successful. The ones I mentioned above are just some of them; there are still more. Indeed, with the right kind of media and attitude, Mass Collaboration, a concept that has already made its way to most organizations, can surely bring a competitive edge to these organizations.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    aLps said,

    I remember our thesis class. Ugh, this is about time that scientific journals be open for public consumption! There is an increasing need and want for free knowledge! 🙂

  2. 2

    barrycade said,

    i appreciate the effort to distinguish the responsibilities of both managers and employees. i’m looking for OrCom’s role in this process. what do you think?

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