Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Individual as Institution

"As more academic and academic related staff adopt the ‘individual as institution’ approach, institutions must reflect on their response. Readers familiar with Twitter may be familiar with the phrase “The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the views of my employer”. This is an often cited phrase designed as a response to risk averse “social media policies”, which have the effect of further distancing the individual and individual thought from host institutions.
Post-digital institutions may be characterised by their recognition that technology can be a vehicle to express motivation and practice. Understanding that individuals are chaotic, responding to small changes that may drive them in different directions and lead to new knowledge, learning and outcomes. Rather than setting strategic directions and objectives for technology practice (in either research or teaching) it is important to recognise that the practice is linked to behaviour, and that practices become the foci for investment of resource and energy.
Where academic practice is now played out on an increasingly digital canvas, organisations need to recognise when individuals are becoming institutions and work to support them, providing an environment that allows them to thrive. Strategic plans, objectives and directions will only succeed if they are flexible enough to accommodate the emerging technology and practices that are being exploited by these individuals."

1 comment:

  1. Very true - the 'power' of the network is no longer in the hands of those who design or run events but in the knowledge that the speakers and delegates bring, share, and take away with them.

    With so many faux pas in social media the 'views are my own' text is the standard addition to the profile or background text ... which also serves the individual well if they move institutions ... again, the individual is the knowledge and power in the network.

    When this acknowledged and embraced the individuals and institutions can (and hopefully will) be greater than the sum of the parts.

    All the best, David