“Winning companies today have open and porous boundaries and compete by reaching outside their walls to harness external knowledge, resources and capabilities.”
–Wikinomics, by Don Tapscott & Anthony D. Williams
What does it mean to be porous? According to Websters, Porous is an adjective meaning 1. possessing or full of pores; 2a. permeable to fluids, 2b. permeable to outside influences; 3. capable of being penetrated, as in porous national boundaries
Porosity is actually the measure of the void spaces in a material. Examples of porous materials are sponges, cork and sandstone.
When we’re thinking about collaboration, porous might mean:
- To allow new/different ideas to seep in
- To be willing to offer your ideas to others
- To be willing to change your mind
- To have room for new/different points of view – to not be closed off
In the next few blog posts, we’ll explore a technique for being more porous and an example of a company inviting in external knowledge.
In what circumstances is it easy for you to be porous? When is it most challenging?