When those who produce the work see how it is consumed they are more likely to produce quality work.
Today, young people starting a career are often better educated but worse paid than when their parents were starting their careers. Many highly educated older individuals face at best stagnation or more likely a drop in their living standards. The system — the "establishment" — simply isn’t working for millions and millions.
The pillar of the establishment is the organization, and the typical organization is hierarchical, military style top-down command-and-control. A soldier was in conversation with his officer. He began a sentence by saying “I think …” The officer immediately interrupted him. “Soldier, you’re not paid to think!”
A traditional organization seeks to strip individuals of their individuality. They are supposed to become cogs in an organizational machine. Where there is success or credit to be got, it goes to the organizational brand or the senior managers and CEO.
This model works well where individuals are generally poorly educated and/or where people feel there is loyalty between them and the organization. An organization that they can commit their working lives to because they believe the organization is committed to them and will look after them.
Today, that idea is a fairy-tale and everyone knows it.
Feedback is the force of life. Systems without feedback die quickly. If you place your hands on a hot surface the heat (the feedback) tells you to take them away. If you place your cold hands in a pair of gloves the warmth tells you to keep them on.
Most people I have met in over 20 years of working with organizations never get either positive or negative feedback for their work. This is deliberate organizational strategy and policy that seeks to turn individuals into cogs in an efficient machine that is managed by managers. Used to work. Doesn’t any more.
Today, our work is highly complex, fast-changing and unpredictable. Success is dependent on flexibility and adaptability. Success requires intelligence everywhere, leadership everywhere. Solutions to complex problems are always multi-disciplinary. If you’re solving a complex problem on your own (or within your own silo) you’re not solving the problem.
The future is about nimble, flexible, adaptive teams. These teams cannot succeed if they don’t get constant feedback. Complexity and unpredictability can only be managed by feedback. The more talented team members are the more feedback they want. They want to know when they are doing things wrong so that they can adapt. They want to know when they are doing things right and to clearly get the credit. They may be willing for their small team as a whole to get the credit, but the credit (positive feedback) must come, one way or another.
The web is a bridge between producer and consumer. In many areas the lines will blur. The consumer will become a co-creator or co-producer. But whatever happens, success is founded in the intense and constant feedback between the act and the reaction, between what is produced and how it is consumed.