What is in a term? My life in OrCom shall tell you what.

Organizational Communication as a concept defined: the process of creating and exchanging messages within a network of interdependent relationships to cope with environmental uncertainty. (Gerald M. Goldhaber)

Organizational Communication as an academic course defined: as the study of the role of communication within organizations. (description from a Franklin University website)

Organizational Communication as an academic course in the Philippines defined: [Ah, ‘yung parang MassComm?] a seemingly alien communication course that is somewhat like MassComm, only less popular. (What other people I know think about when I tell them what my college course is.)

Organizational Communication as an academic course option for a University of the Philippines Manila transferee defined: A communication course that is [I think] related to [my previous course] BA Communication, Major in Journalism, Minor in Broadcasting, that [I think] can be my escape from the paper-routine life I am seemingly getting myself into. (Or so my dorm-mate’s mother told me.)

Organizational Communication as a vision for a sophomore major who took up OrCom101 defined: a prestigious course that can land one a job that is so posh and high-paying [at a rate of more than 3000 Php per hour, as one of our teachers mentioned; ergo, definitely a course worth pursuing.

Organizational Communication as a pain for a junior major who took up more grueling major classes in OrCom defined: a course that can rival any other exalted, 10-year course when it comes to the toil  and beauty of what it takes to master and apply theories and concepts about organization in its dynamic nature. (When we started taking up subjects under Sir Barry)

Organizational Communication as  a realistic concept at work within institutions [particularly, the ones we had our practicum in] defined: a necessary component within any organization, whether in corporate or otherwise, that helps the organization [as a system] in steering itself and its efforts towards strategic goals; ergo, a vital concentration for every business that aims to achieve its maximum potential.

Finally, the Organizational Communication Professional as a contribution to the leadership and success of institutions defined: the underhyped wonders of any company; they do not have to be the executives, but they lead, alright.

What is in a term? Answer- a whole lot. In a university course with only 60 students per batch, and with its numerous definitions that continue to define and redefine organizations today, all of it still makes sense– It’s OrCom eh.

Advertisements

1. They do not want you to know about online search engines and how it can help businesses in reaching out to wider, more significant market.

2. They do not want you to know that strategic spots in search results can translate into sales.

3. They do not want you to know that online search engines can help you improve, repair. and monitor your business’ reputation online.

4. They do not want you to know that investing in search engine optimization tools can be one of the best decisins your business will ever make.

5. They do not want you to know about Search Engine Optimization company, Sieg Web Solutions, which can help your company in harnessing the best of the web for your business.

For more information about search engine optimization for business and to get a head start for this great idea, visit Sieg Web Solutions. This next click can be the one that will make it for your organization. www.siegwebsolutions.com/

That word, Listen.

September 5, 2009

Listen means (from http://www.dictionary.com) to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing; give ear; and to pay attention. Synonyms of this words are hear, attend, hearken, and Sir Barry.

I do not know about other students in my class, but when I attend class discussions, I am more attuned to principles instead of merely the facts taught. After all, it is the principles that matter more when you get to (or for you to get to) anywhere.  In the case of my class with Sir Barry Barrientos, amidst the plethora of Organizational Communication wisdoms we get from him, a standing principle shines, and that principle is summed up in that elementary word, Listen.

I call it elementary because the word Listen is one of the first few words I learned growing up. Having been a hyperactive soul, my mother always told me to listen when she was teaching me how to write my name, cursive. Listen was the word my elementary school teachers used to tell me whenever they catch me chatting with a seatmate. Listen to the cry of the masses, say the heroes. Listen to your heart, says Mulan. Listen, says Beyonce. Everyone tells us to listen, reminding us, as if this elementary thing is easy to forget.

And perhaps it is, you know, easy to forget, for had it been like breathing to us, I do not think we will not have this much divorced marriages, this much dysfunctional government policies, and this much companies pleading for bailouts. And if only organizations learn to listen, the world would not need Organizational Communication people like Sir Barry. He teaches us that, implicitly, listening is a skill underhyped and underestimated. If only that word, Listen, can have its rightful place in the earth, what a wonderful world we would have.

Imagine if organizations learn how to listen to their employees, leaders would find out that they have more potential inside their organizations than what minimum wage could give value for. I believe that, given the chance, members of organizations can give to the company more than they are paid for. Learning organizations (like Google which calls its branches as “campuses”, and Walt Disney, which gives its people a portion of their office hours for “dream time”) are living and kicking proofs of how giving members more voices (or more pairs of ears) in the organization can propel organizations into a larger pool of opportunities than what can be gathered from a closed boardroom.

Imagine if organizations learn how to listen to their customers, leaders would gain partnerships. I believe that, given the chance, customers give more ideas for innovations than a bunch of spying strategies on competitions. There is definitely no voice more valid than the ones you want to please, which are, for organizations, the consumers. More than merely a detached end in the business chain, customers can become valuable creative minds for the business.

Imagine if organizations learn how to listen to dynamic ideas, leaders would find breaktroughs. Web 1.0 takes a more revamped look and sense of significance with Web 2.0. Now more than ever, the web becomes more relevant for organizations. The ideas that this new web promises can be very radical, as a traditional organization might find them. At the onset, the ideas of blogging, tweeting, wiki-ing, and SEO-ing for business can seem to be tiring, even costly. Listening, however, does not cost a penny. Listening and learning about how new ideas can benefit organizations does not have to mean embracing all of them, but it is the openness that is the start. For better things, and for breakthtoughs even.

So how do organizations “Listen”? Easy. Start shutting up. And make the boardroom wall-less. Easier. Hire an Organizational Communication professional. But seriously, it is the principle that is the gold. Unless organizations master that word, listen, hardly will they be able to get to any other words such as success, or profit, or siginificance. Sit, soak, and save the wisdoms. And then that is when we go ye. Listening does not get any more feasible, beneficial, and rewarding than this.

There are those who see what is unseen or yet to be seen. Some people call them crazy. I call them Venture Capitalists.

Earlier this afternoon, when my only class for today was apparently cancelled, I went instead to the library to try to read something. I picked up Fortune magazine from the shelf, since the cover story promises the list of the top500 biggest firms in the world, those companies that influence the global economic ripples. What I found instead was a quieter storm in the guise of a not-so-main article.

I was drawn to this story about some guy named Marc Andreesen, a big guy with shiny bald head. I read the article straight and it turns out he was not just some guy; Marc Andreesen is The Man!

If you know Marc Zuckerberg, the 24-year old CEO of Facebook, you would identify him with Andreesen. Almost a two decades ago, when no one but geeks believe in the internet, Andreesen was the web wonderkid. Kind of like Nino Mulach, only that he shone on cyber wonders instead of intense chubbyness.

Andreesen, only 24 then and a fresh graduate, started Mosaic (some first-generation web browser) with Eric Bina. This was the time when the dotcom technology was recently but a sci-fi wishful thinking and all the other kids his age were doning on massive hair spray and/0r headbanging to Nirvana music. This was, however, Andreesen’s first real step into Sillicon Valley, a step which literally created revolutionary waves for the web world. Would you guess what’s second step? He co-found Netscape! It’s only the first (I think) single web phenomenon that ever questioned Microsoft and made it shiveringly cling to its spot big time.

The Netscape endured and thrived, not to mention earned. But MS, of course, did not take this sitting down. There was war. And eventually, Netscape tapped out and sold to AOL for a hefty price. But Andreesen did not tap out. What’s more is he dusted himself off for another round! Some few more, even.

From what I remember in the article, he next headed this web computing thing called Loudcloud. Apparently, this did not quite hit the top as the public did not seem ready for such a thing. After a major organizational downsizing and relaunching as Opsware, the project was again sold to another company.

From then on, he started being a web philantrophist, more correctly called venture capitalism. He began giving “angel money” to web startups such as Ning, a facebook-like social networking site. He carries this on with other upstarting web ideas with his partner Ben Horowitz. Now at 38, we could say that Marc Andreesen is now a necessary addition to any comprehensive manuscript of the 3 to 4-decade history of the web world, which I think, would be as thick and hefty as Marc is.

But must anyone write that history, this latest, apparrently most nuanced part of his carreer must not be missed-out: Andreesen now sits in the thinking board of your favorite darlings of the web, Facebook and Twitter. It is like if these sites have a conscience, Andreesen’s would be one of the loudest voices to it. Come to think of it, roughly two decades after his first big wave, Andreesen is still making big ones in our generation; some of it sweeping our social lives big time.

to be concluded

(Apologies, friends, if this blog sounds so wide-eyed about Marc Andreesen’s exploits. The blogger was only two years old during his high time. And was vitrually offline for the most part of her life.)

One of the best blessings of this age is the wiki-losophy (I call it so since I see the wiki as more of a principle and “way of life” than a strictly computer thing). Wiki is now a defining catalyst for social, economic, and cultural change. Woo nosebleed. And the same is pretty true in the way organizations work. But my point is this: if you want to leave an old workplace in ruins (to create a better one), make sure you, at least, take with you some of the spoils. After all, for a long time, the old way was good for something.

Spoils checklist:

1. Value of Authority and Submission

The Wiki era calls for flattening of organizations. I don’t know about you, but I see a danger (though not that prominent) of losing the culture of authority and submission in the workplace. This means to say that, although the power slowly gets to be distributed among members of the organization, the notion of “boss” will still be present; so we might as well keep the value that goes along with it. Doing so, not only do we keep our workplaces (and bosses) sane and accountable, we also create responsible collaborators, who are, by all means, informed of their freedom as well as limitations.

2. Value of Non-Technological Processes

One thing that I did not like about the shift in focus among most BA Fine Arts courses in Philippine universities was the absolute abolition of hand-dependent arts. The curriculum drastically shifted from from visual arts to digital arts. Granted, there is a growing need for these programs to focus on computer-generated arts since you cannot really do much without any computers nowadays. But not in the absolute expense of losing the literal canvas. I say this because, however dependable computers may be, these are not immortal. I mean, for some reason, a practicing Fine Arts graduate may one day find their company’s tech systems down and would have to rush a project. Where would that leave him if he does not know how to make his hands works under these conditions? Where would we leave the employees if Skype suddenly is under construction? Where would we leave collab teams if they need to work domestically and they reach a wi-fi deadspot? These are not some isolated cases, but a mere implication of the idea that there are businesses processes from the days of old organizations that will still haunt us even if we try to be hardcore wiki people.

Ergo, with much yielding towards enhancing skills in this age of computers and Wikiness (and by this, I also mean the course programs), we must also take some old skills to back this up.  We do not want to develop people who bag down when the computers do.

3. Value of Predictability

Is being predictable a good value at all? In some sense, it is not, since we all concede that nothing will ever exist without dynamism. But in some sense, too, it is. I love the idea of not having to report to office and punch the clock because of the freedom that the Wiki workplace allows us to have. It has a liberating-feel to it, kind of like being more in-control of your time as  a human being. But, granted, you are not required to spend 1/3 of your day at the office; you’re just on-call. As for me, the latter part, though inviting, has some down sides to it as well.

One disadvantage is the lack of predictability. Some professions that require people to stay on-call experience this. Doctors are examples. Journalists, too. You can ask them how many birthdays they missed, how many Sundays they spent at the office, and how many Christmases and New Years they spent treating patients and covering stories. In a way, this can be the trend for the new wiki workplaces. Sure, the old organizations can be very constricting and routine-like with its eight-to-five office hours. But the limits this process entails allows a certain degree of predictability that, if you ask me, does families good. Some considerations, I think, can shed light in some organizational etiquettes, like to not conduct meetings on Sundays (which is like the only day when most people get to spend time with their families).

The thesis is this: Wiki is an extremely wonderful, revolutionary, crazy lifestyle for organizations, but we must set the balance. If we take some good spoils from the organizational ruins and couple them with the Wiki principles, we just might make better workplaces.

Are you looking for a delicious way to satisfy your organization’s scrumptious appetite for knowledge and information? Are you itching to get a taste of new ideas that will help your business? Do you think you are ready to unearth the secret recipes of success in this information age? If your answer is yes, yes, yes, then this blog post is for you. Feast your senses on some of these yummy and easy-to-prepare recipes for your organization, boiled on broth of mass-collaboration, sieved and served al dente! Get your Kiss-the-Boss apron and your Communication toques on. These dishes are best served hot. Enjoy.


Featured Menu of the day: We Can Wiki #178

Openness Clam Chowder

For this engaging soup, you will need:

2 tablespoons of Candor

2 pieces of Transparency, diced

2 cups of flexibility, chopped

1/2 cup minced Expansiveness

1/2 cup fine engagement crumbs

1/2 cup minced Accessibility

1 cup shucked clams

For this dish, you would want your organization to be really “porous” to the fresh steam from within and without your offices so as to let the flavorful new ideas seep in. You can do best to let your organization simmer in the “global talent pool” of your saucepan as well. Mix all the ingredients and simmer gently until all ingredients have blended into a mushy consistency. Letting new breakthrough technologies steam in can also help in the texture of the soup.

Also, pout in corporate information in generous amounts until the soup is almost clear and transparent, both for your employees, and your clients and stakeholders. Non-exclusivity of platforms and softwares will enhance the flavor of the  chowder. Lastly, add clams and crumbs and season with O-mami goodness  (Open systems, Opensource, Open standards) to taste.

Organizational Health Benefits:

High level of trust and honesty

Progressive innovation

Customer loyalty

Peer Teriyaki

For this hierarchy-breaking dish, you will need:

1 cup Collaboration sauce

2/3 tablespoon ground Self-organization

2 cups Free-to-use and Modify policy

1 1/2 Kilos sirloin steak, cut

(Note: This dish is best cooked with your peers, so call your friends up and tell them to help you cook Peer Teriyaki in your kitchen)

Cut strict hierarchical policies off your steak and throw them into the waste bin. You would not want artery-clogging and unnecessary bureaucratic fat into your organizational diet.

Cut the steak into large serving pieces and place in a small bowl (just to hold the steak). Combine with all the sauce ingredients and mix well. Let your peers taste the sauce and allow each one to improve on it as he sees fit. Pour over the steak so it will cover the meat. Cover and let the steak be marinated overnight. Meanwhile, you and your peers can discuss how you can create a GPL for a computer OS, or how to open results of scientific researches to public domain, or how to opensource a recipe. In the morning, grill and boil the meat to individual taste and, while cooking, baste with the sauce. Or better yet, hold a BBQ party with it; in that way, you can invite more partners into your project.

Organizational Health Benefits:

Empowered Culture of Self-organization

Engagement of more promising talents and ideas

Better products and organization performance

Shared Banana Cream Dessert

For this sweet treat that you will not just keep to yourself, you will need the following:

1 package of Mutual Intellectual Property economics, vanilla flavor

1 cup cream of Digital Commons

1 teasepoon Public Resources and Bandwidth

1/2 cup mashed banana


(Note: The creator of this dish freely shares with you this recipe for your enjoyment and withholds no exclusive IP right. Feel free to distribute to friends.)

Make sure the banana that you will use is ripe and free of all-too strict DRM and IPR policies that can spoil this sweet dessert. Combine all ingredients in a mixer bowl, big enough for everyone’s spoon to dip in. Beat slowly until all the ingredients are well-blended. Mix and stir with customer-driven innovation until the tastes are even-ed out. Be sure to keep your patented assets on the balance (some shared and some protected) in order to insure a perfect fusion of banana goodness. Spoon into a million sherbet glasses and share. Best served chilled and with whipped cream.
Organizational Health Benefits

Leveraged sources of creativity (especially among your customers)

Greater, more expanded market (easy-to-share content)

Unlimited resources, courtesy of users


Global Butterscotch Fondue

For this sweet dip that your global organization will surely love, you will need the following:

2 cups of Borderless-world Mindset

1 cup syrup of Internationally Outsourced Assets

1 15-ounce can of sweetened condensed Change

1 teasepoon Global Workplace Coordination

1/2 cup butter or margarine

In saucepan, melt butter until elements of old business processes form your organization are evaporated. This will allow the flavor of global capabilities come out. Stir in the ingredients in to a level, no-nation-dominance consistency. Bring to a global boil. The heat will require your company’s regional arms to coordinate in a more boundless environment. Stir constantly until the mixture reaches 230 degrees, or until your multinational company truly turns global. Pour into fondue pot and place over fondue burner. Spear dipper with fondue fork; dip in fondue. Share with the whole world for a tasty, “seamlessly global operation”.

Organizational Health Benefits:

More coordinated work functions

Diverse and global talent pool

Culture of unity that binds together businesses’ regional operations

This featured menu of tasty, healthy, and delicious dishes are sure to get your organization’s mouths watering for innovation and success. Plus, these dishes will also help you work out that progress-driven, mass-collaboration appetite in your company. So go ahead and get a mouthful of this new business culture! Bon apetit!

RAVE REVIEWS FROM OUR KWIKIFIRE FOODIES:

“I love the recipes you post here! They are so wiki! These allowed our marketing team to be more coordinated within themselves and with our finance and legal departments. When one department updates the other teans on what they are currently cooking, we get a more clear picture of how the dishes are turning out!”

-Sony PlayStation

“At first, our employees got a hard time in adjusting to these revolutionary delicacies. Some just couldn’t loosen-up to the idea of a “free-to-edit” meal. But the taste hung on and now we have one of the biggest wiki kitchens in the web!”

-Intel and Intelpedia

“If it wasn’t for these wiki dishes, we would not have been able to gather the best minds and talents around the whole world working in our kitchen.”

-IBM

“As a mobile company, we are glad we were one of the first few to harness the promising deliciousness of the wikis. More power to the kWIKIfire team!”

-Motorola

*If you are looking for real recipes, email me for them at hdfsanchez@gmail.com

**With apologies and many thanks to the book Philippine Recipes and Other International Recipes by author Celia Ramos (2006).

This poem is the poem attached to the vlog we presented in class. Feel free to copy and distribute for personal, non-commercial use. Cite properly, too. Thank you.

How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
I love thee with the love of a thousand years and evolutions
With a resounding depth and mystery
That I dare not communicate.
I love thee with every meaningful smudge on cave walls
And every etch of history on stone.
I love thee with the pages of a book
And with every drop of my heart on a letter.
I love thee with the serenading beckon of the telephone
And with the voice of one on the airwaves.
I love thee with the joy of the idiot box
And with devotion– I love thee with blogs and uploads of my life.

I love thee with these changes and seasons.
And even as bandwidth runs dry– if GOD choose,
I shall but love thee better off-line.

-getthatcomm