finding perpetual beta

My second ebook, finding perpetual beta, is now available. Scroll down to read a description of the contents. You will receive a nicely formatted and edited 75-page book, that is also copy-protection free so you can read it on any device, share it with friends, or print it. The ebook is available for $24. If you want to share it with all your colleagues at work, you can purchase an organizational license for $119. This ebook contains a series of reflections on the themes originally presented in seeking perpetual beta, published in April, 2014. The aim of finding perpetual beta is to dig deeper into the issues. This is a continuing exploration of how society, technology, work, and education are changing. It questions the status quo of organizational structures and hierarchies. In addition, there is an expanded section on personal knowledge mastery (PKM), a foundational discipline for working in the network era and a creative economy.


The 500 KB DRM-free PDF will be emailed within 12 hours (usually much faster) to the address provided. (more…)

Hierarchies in perpetual beta

I have said many times that teamwork is over-rated. It can be a smoke screen for office bullies to coerce fellow workers. The economic stick often hangs over the team: be a team player or lose your job, is the implication in many workplaces. One of my main concerns with teams is that people are placed on them by those holding hierarchical power and are then told to work together (or else). However, there are usually power plays internal to the team so that being a team player really means doing what the leader says. For example, I know many people who work in call centres and I have heard how their teams are often quite dysfunctional. Teamwork too often just means towing the party line. (more…)

becoming collectively smarter

We are in the midst of a nano-bio-info-techno-cogno revolution. We are entering the network era and change is coming fast, which may sound like a cliché, but consider the last major shift we went through. We had lots of time for our institutions to adapt.

When markets came about, we had a few hundred years to move from the Hanseatic League, adopt double-entry bookkeeping, and progress to high frequency trading. We also were able to develop education systems, from one-room schoolhouses, to public universities, and later business schools to fuel the new corporations. Today, we are seriously lagging behind in learning how to deal with the scientific advances of the network era. We do not have the time afforded to us during the last shift to a market society. We have to jump from following state-established curriculum to creating our own learning networks: in this generation. People need to learn and work in networks, shifting their hierarchical position from teacher to learner, or from manager to contributor. They need to not only take control of their professional development but find others who can help them. It is becoming obvious in many fields that we are only as good as our knowledge networks. We have to become collectively smarter. (more…)

knowledge is personal

Knowledge management, for me, is personal.

A big conceit of the knowledge management (KM) field is that knowledge can be transferred, but unlike information or data, it cannot. Knowledge is personal. While knowledge cannot really be transferred, our experiences can be shared. Perhaps that is why we love stories. They are a glimpse into others’ knowledge, more nuanced than any other communication medium.

Stories make us human, and the best people to learn from are those who are able to admit that they mismanaged, botched, or bungled something. Of course, this can be a real challenge in organizations that do not discuss failure. Is failure an option in your organization? If not, how can you learn from it? Research shows that our memories get worse over time, but our stories, as we remember them, become much clearer. We have a propensity for self-delusion, something every jury member should always keep in mind. Fiction (story) is much more powerful than non-fiction. Would it not be more effective if we shared knowledge as stories, in education and at work? We hear a lot about the importance of curation in the digital workplace today, but what if our curators were also story tellers? (more…)

Sharing some ideas

Here are some observations and insights that were shared on social media this past fortnight. I call these Friday’s Finds.

as soon as a company has a Chief Innovation Officer you know that company has a problem” – Tim Cook – via @BrunoGebarski

@C4LPT – “You don’t get “big data” in workplace learning – only “little data”. But beware – it is usually incomplete.(more…)

We are the media, now what?

One of the potential downsides of a network society is that deception, especially by those with power over the communications platforms, will become all-too-common. John Pilger takes a look at this, focusing much of the blame on professional journalists in War by media and the triumph of propaganda.

Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practice? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers?

Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas and to challenge the high claims and low purpose of fake objectivity? And why are they not taught that the essence of so much of what’s called the mainstream media is not information, but power?


the democratic advantage

Three billion people around the world are now connected with ubiquitous digital technologies that keep improving. They also keep getting cheaper. History shows  that technology can be an enabler of democracy. Distributed communications subvert gatekeepers. John Gilmore said that, “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.” As networks become the new companies, we may be moving toward a more democratic future of work, with authority distributed throughout the network. One significant counter to this trend is the emergence of platform capitalism. (more…)

Friday’s favourites

I wrote my first Friday Find in May, 2009. It was an attempt to make my finds on Twitter more explicit, as I noticed I was sharing and viewing a lot of information but not doing anything with it. My current practice is to summarize what I have found on various social media platforms (Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, private channels) and create a blog post every two weeks.

With Twitter, I use the ‘favourite’ function (star) to mark any tweets I wish to review for later. Some of these are saved for later reading, others get reviewed fortnightly. On review, some make the cut for the Friday’s Finds post, though these are the minority. Any I wish to keep for later are added to my social bookmarks and categorized for easier search and retrieval. (more…)

the future will be distributed

Is this the journalism of the future?

“We can conjecture, for example, that the journalism of the future will be distributed  — with every individual in society playing a continuous role in providing the function. Indeed, given the primary importance and power of True Information to a well functioning Abundance Society, we might well expect that providing honest and thoughtful evaluation of experiences will become one of the principal activities in the future. Perhaps a main portion of the economy of Abundance will involve having experiences, evaluating them and curating them in a collective effort to ensure that every member of society is consistently presented with the best possible set of experiences for them to encounter at every moment.” – Reinvent Everything


books in perpetual beta

Finding Perpetual Beta is now in production. This new ebook is part of the continuing journey to understand how individuals and organizations can manage fundamental changes in networked society, business, and education. It is a series of reflections on the themes presented in Seeking Perpetual Beta, published in April 2014. It questions the status quo of how organizations are structured in order to get work done. In addition, there is an expanded Part 2 on personal knowledge mastery (PKM), a foundational discipline for working in the network era and a creative economy.

Here are some highlights, covering the main themes in Part 1: The Network Era.