Everything Connects

A valuable practice advocated by the authors of Everything Connects is the art and craft of blueprinting, centred on the practice of decision mapping.

As you map decision after decision – and perhaps finding yourself making mistake after mistake – you’ll begin to recognize the elements of your identity, your various strategies, and the assets you’re drawing upon for a given decision.

Being mindful of our actions, like any discipline, takes time to master. This personal discipline can then become the foundation for organizational asset mapping, building something beyond ourselves, to include:

  • people;
  • insights;
  • capital;
  • infrastructure; and
  • ecosystem.

everything connectsThe ‘people’ element is the foundation of our lives, including our work lives, and the authors go into a lot of detail on the power of relationships. “We as humans are fundamentally intra- and interpersonal, and so the depth of understanding that we have of ourselves and others will be the asset that we use most throughout our working lives.” This should be fairly obvious to anyone who thinks about it, but can be forgotten in the complicated nature of our workplaces. This book is a good reminder about what is important in life and provides some new ways of putting things in perspective.

What the authors call “dating ideas” is very much like seeking, in the PKM Seek > Sense > Share framework. They suggest dating new ideas from three main sources, of which the second is the most important in my opinion.

  1. The media you consume.
  2. The people you see.
  3. The events you attend.

From a state of mindfulness, or listening with an intent to hear, insights may become more visible. These insights can then be shared through practices such as working out loud, openly questioning assumptions, and trying things out together. All of these take practice.

The authors state that “an entrepreneur is someone who takes responsibility for his or her economic well-being“. In a connected world, we must all become entrepreneurs because our knowledge and know-how will determine our economic well-being. This book is a good addition to management books that discuss how to change our current impasse between structuring organizations and giving meaning to each each person’s work life. The authors promote organizing work around implementation clusters, increasing diversity; enabling autonomy; and most importantly, focusing on long-term value. While it gives many examples, this is not much of a how-to book but would go well with The Connected Company or Reinventing Organizations.

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