I have learned help and openness are two of the most coherent responses to the question- How do you do what you do when you work well together? Coherences are re-occurring or regular responses to this one ended question.
We live in a network of networks of recursive conversations that create knowledge while coordinating our collective actions. When our network of conversations conserving our living well together interconnects with our network of conversations conserving working well together, we can feel we are doing our best work. I call this a community matrix, a, system of social systems that coheres our socialness.
When those responsible for managing an organization realize that high performance and innovation occur in an social matrix, they conserve a culture that is open and encourage social support. This is how knowing, our collective coordination of actions, flows through networks of networks of conversations.
It is our social nature to live in a constantly changing community matrix that conserves and expands living well and working well together. And because it is our social nature, it is timeless. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard knew this, just as they knew they were not only creating a company but establishing a community of scientists and engineers.
In September 1963 Dave Packard wrote this to the employees of his and Bill Hewlett’s company:
I have mentioned many times over the years, the most valuable resource we have in our company is the skill and imagination of our people.
Perhaps equally important is the vast amount of know-how which we apply to our day-to-day manufacturing, marketing and administrative tasks.
There is ample evidence of innovation in the more complex procedures and processes. Jobs we once considered difficult or impossible are being done with apparent ease. But it is also evident that many people are thinking about how to do even the simple jobs better and faster.
Often a person who has a problem to be solved is reluctant to ask for help. He feels that a request for assistance may somehow reflect adversely on his own ability. On the contrary, it is much more important that a problem be solved well and quickly than it is to determine who solved it.
To ask for help is not a sign of ignorance or incapability; it is a sign of wisdom, maturity, and competence. I would encourage each of you, whatever your job, to look around and see what knowledge and guidance you can obtain from others to help you perform more effectively. Our great wealth of know-how is yours for the asking.
We can enhance our progress and strength by innovation in new products. This can best be done by teamwork and free exchange of information and assistance at all levels. The job of the specialist is to expand our know-how in his particular area. The job of everyone is to make frequent and effective use of this know-how for the over-all improvement of the individual and the company.
Dave PackardSeptember 1963