What’s the Future? Managing Organizations as Crowds Enabled by Super-Connectivity and Big Data
The ability for anyone anywhere to connect, and the access to data that this provides gives people the power of knowledge: to offer what they know about any wicked problem they are interested in, and join whichever flash crowd that suits their fancy. This has huge implications for research and management practice about organizations of the future. Managers will increasingly be expected to have a new skill: solving problems not with teams, but with crowds of anonymous, unrelated actors contributing only two posts. Researchers will need to reconsider the role of social interaction in how organizations function since social interaction is no longer as essential as it has been in the past. Strategists will need to think through which questions are best solved by different types of crowds (e.g., internal-only, external-only, hybrids, etc.) based not only on intellectual property issues, but on the ability of the organization to support the crowd’s capacity to innovate. Those organizations better able to build such a capacity in flash crowds will be more agile and effective in solving the wicked problems we face today and into the future.