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Internal Communities

2 Posts authored by: mikehaws

Inspired by Sean Winter I wanted to share some thoughts on the analogies of how communities actually work in nature and what we can infer and learn from them.

 

Bacteria:

How complex is the communication among cells when individual bacteria join together for multi cellularity? Complex bacterial communication has been noted in previous posts. Each individual microbe joins together with comrades for many different activities including complex communication and decision-making. Bacteria in the gut plan ahead, activating genes for maltose enzymes before they encounter it. Recently, it was found that microbes produce electrical wires, made of amino acids that conduct electricity, and supply distance relatives with energy. They signal to change behavior in the colony including building complex cities called biofilms and altering attack modes in animals. Slime molds show intelligent behavior, remembering where it has already travelled. Individual microbes remember how they moved in the past so they can go in a straight line. Microbes send signals that alter their host’s behavior. In a very complex back and forth communication with plants they together gradually build a nitrogen factory.

 

Individual Bacteria Join Together for Multi Cellularity

Natural Example

Business
Microbes send signals to alter their hosts behaviorStaff raise important issues within the community which make their way to management and into operational/corporate changes
Bacteria in the gut plan ahead, activating genes for maltose enzymes before they encounter itA well engaged community can raise tougher and tougher issues building forward looking corporate resilience
Slime molds show intelligent behavior, remembering where it has already traveled.Well connected communities create a clearer institutional memory via better access to information and will repeat less of the same mistakes

 

Animals

(must watch)

 

 

Natural Example

Business
Arrival of wolves to Yellowstone brought with them an amazing equilibrium. The wolves changed even the behavior of the rivers.Finding out who the "wolves" are of your communities will put your company on a path to social equilibrium

The wolf pack mentality and Nash's equilibrium

\forall i,x_{i}\in S_{i}:f_{i}(x_{i}^{*},x_{-i}^{*})\geq f_{i}(x_{i},x_{-i}^{*}).

The community members act on what is best for them and the community, as the wolf does, serving your companies morale and bottom line

 

 

This is just a quick taste. I have many other examples in this vein. Ideas I would like to address at a later point are:

 

The piranha effect: How communities can obliterate assignments in hrs instead of days

Bees: Who are the cross pollinators of your community

Trees: Large canopy forest trees are connected via fungus in the root systems to provide nitrogen to the saplings who are starved of light (mentoring)

Parrots: Re-posting and echoing concepts

 

 

Happy to discuss more. What are some correlations that you see? Nature figured out communities way before we brought them online. Are we learning from it enough?

So I have been working on Jive for over a year now and I have tons of fun little factoids to share with any interested person on what little tweaks could go a long way in improving the usability and actual business process that the user is trying to solve. Now I am sure you are thinking we all have great ideas but Jive doesn't have the capacity to listen to us all, and I am sure that this is correct but, I also argue that user feedback is the quickest way to improve your product which is designed ultimately with them in mind and eventually for them. So the two pieces that I want to address and please feel free to add yours in the comments! are:

 

Make the overview bar links customizable... (changeable)

 

overview-bar.jpg

 

Options people could include instead for example: (more specifics)
  • Weekly Discussions
  • Newsletters
  • Featured Photos
  • Videos

 

A nice add on to this would be the multiple homepage version where the different top level links would take you to new wigetized homepages so you could really dazzle the end user and partition the various engagements you are trying to include them in (ideation/discussion/blog etc..).

 

Create bookmarks at the group level

 

Our old collaboration platforms most used group feature was bookmarks. People love to send links around of interesting material (usually by email). Huge quick win!

 

I know that you must get a million feature requests a day but all I ask is that you consider and maybe even respond with the fact your already doing it!

 

Thoughts? PS I got an error when trying to post.... please don't give up the fight on getting rid of the bugs!!!

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