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That Special Something


Posted by on May 3, 2011

One of the few things that we hear about when discussing enterprise social software or collaboration is “that special something” within companies.  I’m not talking about some secretive thing that makes organizations better than others I’m talking about something that just makes them different.  With all the frameworks and methodologies that are created the one thing I think we all fail to address is that little bit of “unknown” that exists within every enterprise. It’s not something you can quite put your finger on nor is it something that is readily visible, it’s just…”something” that is there.

You can call it a vibe or a flow or perhaps an aura, but I view every organization as a type of living breathing organism and while they may all consume the same resources, develop similar products, be comprised of the same elements, and have identical inputs and outputs, they are still not the same.  I know it might sound a bit weird but it’s true.  We pick up on these vibes from people, from establishments we set foot into or from situations that we are presented with and the common response we hear is, “this feels off” or “I get a good feeling about this.”

Organizations all have the unique “special something” that lives within the four walls of the building.  It’s more than just corporate culture and personality though, these are things one can pick up on quite easily.

This unique “black box” that exists within organizations is something you can truly understand when you spend some time with the people and inside the walls of the enterprise.  It’s this something that I think we as consultants need to understand exists and one of the reasons why we cannot offer blueprints, formulas, or step-by-step methodologies for organizations.

What do you think? What do you call that “special something” within organizations?  Do you think this even exists?

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  • Connie Chan

    I think that special something that few organizations have is a genuine desire to the right thing – for people, for the environment, for our world. Practical wisdom may not permeate across the organization. It may exist within a small part of the organization, perhaps a single department or a small group of people. It’s within this group that people share, discuss and support good ideas. They may not necessarily even know that they are doing the right thing but they are happier and healthier than their counterparts that do not have the same synergy within their workplace. This positive energy drives a force that is palpable and can be cultivated.

  • Jon Husband

    Many consultants who work on the *soft* side of organizations .. leadership dev’t, org dev’t and culture change / issues, rely on their *felt* sense, their sniffing and feeling of the pulse and chemistry of the organization, to help them get oriented and become more effective as change agents.

    I think this ability is one of the good reasons for organizations to hire outside consultants .. a fresh perspective coming from observation and sensing.

    • http://thesistown.com/ thesis

      thanks for sharing! people dont usually share things from their experience! so thanks a lot!

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  • http://www.gautamblogs.com Gautam Ghosh

    That “special something” could be called the “Culture” of an organization, which gets shaped by every day experiences an employee picks up..

    Answers to questions like : What’s taboo here? What is tolerated here? What is celebrated here? Do I have to seek permission to do something on my own?

    Every day an employee faces these questions, and the special something provides the answer :-)

  • http://www.mactonweb.com SEO bangalore

    ya this sounds special even to me. thanks for sharing.

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