In a previous article, L’Atelier highlighted the fact that as things stand today, the powers of disintermediation claimed for the blockchain are more myth than reality. However, French company Backfeed has been using the blockchain approach to develop a collaborative platform for self-organisation and self-assessment at companies. The way it works is that company employees can access a list of projects they may join if they wish. The work performed by each individual employee is then reported by means of a questionnaire, which is to be filled out by the employee him/herself and then approved by all other employees before being forwarded to management. Thus, in line with the basic principles of the blockchain, each employee is asked to ‘sign off’ on the work performed and the value created by their colleagues, which puts a value on their free collaboration.
“We believe that recognition liberates huge amounts of energy,” declares the Backfeed website. So what we have here is a way of putting a value on joint initiatives, collaborative work and group consciousness, while at the same time ensuring fair allocation of the credit for this collective work. The idea is that integrating meritocratic values into a collaborative ecosystem will enable a company to build collective intelligence that will encourage and reward individual effort. After all, the sum total of the unique talents of each contributor is what makes up the collective ingenuity of the whole.