Interaction creates capability beyond individuals. Cooperative performance can be more than what could ever be predicted just by looking at the performance of the parties involved
The new technological environment of business is marked by conflicting constraints and value-creating relationships that change rapidly and constantly. It is a complex environment. In complex environments, the way to vitality and resilience is a continuous recombination of successful elements to create new versions, some of which may thrive.
As a result, the operating system of work is starting to change in a radical way. Success is based on continuous redefinition of the organization itself. It is about recombining options and contributions in a competitive and cooperative network environment.
The concept of economic space represents a new logic of organizing based on neither the traditional market nor a process. Whereas processes involve relations based on dependence and markets involve relations based on independence, the new economic spaces involve relations of dynamic interdependence.
Work is always solving other people’s problems and what defines those problems is that to understand them and to solve them, a person has to think not only about what she believes the right answer is, but also about what other people have seen and learned. What they think the right answers could be. Work, then, is exploration both what comes to defining the problems and finding the solutions. The network is the key resource. Every valuable piece of learning can be put to use by someone else, or somewhere else. At best, then, work is remixing and recombining successful elements to create new versions.
Minimal hierarchy together with organizational diversity and responsiveness characterize these spaces. They are a necessary response to the increasing fuzziness of strategic horizons and shorter half-life of designs. Strategy used to be about rational choice between a set of known options and variables. The variables of creative work and complex environments have increased beyond systems thinking and process design. Under circumstances of rapid technological change, the management challenge is not better planning and control, but creation of protocols that make possible openness to possibilities. By creating and integrating more relationships, the networked business broadens its opportunity space dramatically. The only common goal the nodes of the network have is the growth of the network.
Network theory suggests that what a system becomes emerges from the complex, responsive relationships of its members, continuously developing in communication. Post-blockchain smart contracts make possible risk-sharing and risk-taking in a loosely coupled network. As a result, any node in the network is able to communicate and cooperate with any other node on the basis of contextual interdependence and creative, participative engagement. The thin labor markets we have become a thing of the past.
The architecture of the Internet is based on the very same principle of loose couplings and modularity. Modularity is the only design principle that intentionally makes nodes of the network able to be highly responsive. The logic of modularity and ubiquitous communication make it possible for the first time to create truly network-based organizations, new economic spaces.