As a fresh Information & Knowledge Management graduate entering the world of narratives and complexity, my understanding of conversations, or rather conversational leadership, within organizations was within a knowledge management framework. This is where managers would implement and encourage a communication channel between employees, both in various levels to set a knowledge-sharing platform, and benefit from collaborative intelligence. I had never assessed the value of a conversation on its own, but rather communication as a whole. I never went further to understanding the fundamentals of communication but instead focused more on how organizations could benefit from collaborative and connected intelligence through enhanced communication with various stakeholders, especially through the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) for enhanced collaboration.
“An organization’s results are determined through webs of human commitments, born in webs of human conversations”- Fernando Flores
As I have now entered the world of Narratives, Conversations and Complexity, my understanding within the field and approach has intensified. Since then I have questioned myself; all the knowledge sharing, collaboration and interaction that is important in the knowledge economy, where does it all start, what is their most primary form? They all develop and come into existence through conversations. In today’s ever changing global economy, organizations operate in a very complex environment, and successful leaders utilize the ideas and knowledge of their team and encourage collaborative intelligence to keep their organizations running. Conversations do not only facilitate the sharing of knowledge, in fact one could say that is the secondary function, their primary function being the cultivating of relationships and a culture amongst employees in an organisation. Through conversations, human (staff) relationships are born, leaders that understand the value of collaborative intelligence will then channel these relationships creating a knowledge sharing culture amongst the organization and benefiting from connected intelligence.
According to my own understanding, the above quotation by Fernando Flore suggests more about the value of conversations. I think it is more profound. It goes on to describe conversations as an important aspect of humanity in the work place. Webs of human commitment born in human conversations; this to me suggests conversations being a tool used in developing healthy relationships between the employees themselves and their leaders, a tool that facilitates a suitable culture that would suit an organization and derive absolute commitment from its members or team.
Conversations are primarily the most crucial aspect of knowledge sharing and connected intelligence in an organization. A knowledge sharing culture within an organization is generally formed through conversations. ICT are important as they facilitate and promote communication, common understanding and a collaborative work environment, they enable us to extend, enrich and deepen conversations and collaboration among an expanding number of participants. However a problem arises when conversations, human interaction is compromised within organizations by excessive use of ICT, eliminating the aspect of humanity within an organization. Personally I think completely eliminating humanity by replacing human interaction with ICT could harm relationships amongst a team, and an organization might suffer to retain human commitment.