A framework is an aggregation of knowledge, its a mechanism for converting knowledge into a repeatable pattern, productising knowledge and turning into a commodity product. A Framework aims to provide a way to make knowledge portable and accessible in a way that enables others without the immediate need to understand the underlying structure.
Any given framework would typically provide a quicks pathway to adoption as to aid framework adoption. Additionally, it would provide a level of educational opportunities that would enable users to achieve better understanding and provide the skill to tailor the Framework as needed.
Some of the reasons why frameworks fail:
- Organisation and Framework icebergs are not understood
- Organisation and Framework were not aligned
- The social factors for rejection
- Information governance as a Side-hustle
Let’s discuss these in some detail.
Aggregated nature of a framework means that it’s an iceberg of knowledge, and it represents the cumulative knowledge it’s author’s as well as knowledge of giants on which shoulders those authors stood. These knowledge icebergs if not approached correctly, will seal your faith which is an unfortunate nature of the unknown.
Organisations are also icebergs of knowledge and represent the cumulative knowledge of all their participants, and the more brilliant they appear, the more knowledge and data-hungry they are. Organisations leverage a multitude of structural societal frameworks and employ humans to add value and help to deal with exceptions. This means that essentially organisation leverages societal structures to achieve an exception that would be mutually beneficial.
Let’s explore these concepts further when a new employee joins an organisation they bring with them a wealth of experience and unique perspective that is mutually helpful when integrated. This integration occurs slowly, which is the primary reason for success, as both organisation and employee explore alignment between their knowledge structures and have time to adjust. The best outcome is when both employee and organisational knowledge structures are similar and align without exceptions.
Knowledge structure alignment exceptions occur when either of the structures does not align cleanly and in all cases employee would be in a position to decide their actions. An employee can either use their influence to alter the organisations or strive for other goals. Most mutually beneficial goals are when employees choose to influence the organisation as it provides growth not only to employee and organisation but also for other employees within the organisation.
The scope and incentives of the initiative by the employee mean that the alignment of changes would either be local or organisation-wide, and though this process moulding and enriching of both knowledge structures occur. Throughout this process, the employee plays the role of a change agent whose incentive is to ensure the Framework and their knowledge is tightly integrated into the organisation. This, in essence, provides a way for an employee to leave an imprint on the organisational knowledge structure.
When it comes to aligning frameworks to organisations, essentially the same process occurs. The biggest difference in alignment of a framework to an organisation comes from the scope of impact and implementation timelines. The scope of impact for Framework tends to always be organisation-wide, even if they are appear localised appreciation of the Framework and its purpose needs support from adjacent participants as in to support and encourage the change efforts.
To join an organisation and a framework as knowledge icebergs intimate of both has to occur to ensure close alignment, any areas that don’t align would create tension and friction that would long term reverse the alignment and organisation would reject the Framework. This is not a negative outcome as it would allow the organisation to grow and understand what in fact does not work so that the organisation can align to something that does.
In the majority of situations, the rejection is done at a social level as frameworks tend to prescribe a particular operational method. Technical systems can cause failures in operation models, but those reasons explicit, structurally evident and have a degree of predictability. Failures that stem from social rejection are much harder to identify, evaluate and predict. Passive aversion towards change is a catalyst for the slow erosion of progress, its undetectable until its too late and even in the retrospective are hard to identify.
The structural systems of an organisation once they are established do not have an ability self-change, social layer, on the other hand, is in a constant state of change. Within an organisation, the social layer is the sole mechanisms for dealing with the unknown and adjusting organisational structures to fit. This means attempts to introduce any frameworks into an organisation would need tangible social reasons for all participants.
Information Governance as a Side-hustle
Typically in an organisation, maintaining information is a role dedicated to a set of specialised roles that act as eyes and ears for the organisation, these roles are typically the translators between groups of people. Job for the roles that do translation is to package the knowledge and information from one side and make it relevant to another side and vice versa. These roles are typically supported with specific tools and enable some collaboration and presentation of their content to the greater community. These tools are either formal modelling suites that require foundational training and specialisation to use or could be a collection of ad-hoc material compiled overtime to provide input in a social context.
Even when roles are formally incentivised to maintain quality of information and data, they are still dependant on the organisational capacity to produce quality data that can be used as-is without translation. In the absence of that those roles are left extending the knowledge gap by filling in the blank, this done from conceptual, logical, exception handling and social where its no new reusable information is created.
Extending incentives beyond central authority in organisations are not feasible as it distracts others from their core activities. Furthermore, any form of generating and maintaining non-social information silos outside of main control function becomes a form of side-hustle. It’s it a hard job to manage information without the support, and it’s just easier to create social process gates to avoid the hassle.
These and other factors place an organisation future at the mercy of social consequence, where its social selection of people that help along the journey defines its success. There is no quick solution; it means that organisations need to be very thorough when introducing frameworks into their organisations.
Organisations are like people; their ability to understand a framework depend on their historical experience and acquired knowledge, so “uploading” framework knowledge into an organisation does not work like in the Matrix. GXP will explore this “upload” notion and how this could be possible in organisations of the future.