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The Cognitive Limit of Organizations

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MIT Media Lab: The Cognitive Limit of Organizations via Bryce.

…most products are combinations of knowledge and intellectual property that resides in different organizations. Our world is less and less about the single pieces of intellectual property and more and more about the networks that help connect these pieces. The total stock of information used in these ecosystems exceeds the capacity of single organizations because doubling the size of huge organizations does not double the capacity of that organization to hold knowledge and put it into productive use.

In a world in which implementing the next generation of ideas will increasingly require pulling resources from different organizations, barriers to collaboration will be a crucial constraint limiting the development of firms. Agility, context, and a strong network are becoming the survival traits where assets, control, and power used to rule. John Seely Brown refers to this as the “Power of Pull.”

We try to avoid bureaucracy, it destroys initiative. Bureaucracy slows down innovation, especially innovation that produces better results than the previous ways, designs, processes. Open source software and hardware make it easier (and better) for organizations to interact with each other in more ways.


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