friday power

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds. [some links are to the complete Twitter thread]

“If you never change your mind, why have one?” —Edward de Bono — via @stiggylou

“I’m taking an online data analytics class from the Wharton School of Business. The last module is 4.5 hours of how we can track people. Exactly 0 minutes of that is spent on ethics. Just in case you’re wondering what elite business schools are teaching people.”@kyleejohnson

“If you want to get better at something, you have to stress the system to increase its capacity. You don’t get fit unless you exercise. You don’t become more aware unless you train in meditation or similar. You don’t become better at sensemaking with only soundbites and tweets.”@euvieivanova

Why do so many people assume that primary-care and ER doctors have expertise in epidemiology, public health, and transportation policy? This is like assuming an HVAC guy is an expert in climate change.@PFlax1 (more…)

adding value with teams

In working collaboratively & learning cooperatively I noted that team collaboration requires the transparent sharing of knowledge — using enterprise social networks and other technologies — so that everyone on a team knows what is going on and why. Decisions, and why they were made, are shared. New processes and methods are co-developed to create emergent practices. This method of work has to be supported by management by enabling — innovative and contextual methods, the self-selection of the most appropriate tools and work conditions, and willing cooperation between workers. (more…)

system views

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

“The ingenuity of the average worker is sufficient to outwit any system of controls devised by management.” —Douglas McGregor, via @flowchainsensei

Stephen Downes — “If we can be programmed even a little, what does that say about the relation between education, ethics, and propaganda?”

@duncan_stuart“Hong Kong is a good example right now of why citizens should not live in a cashless society. With cold cash comes a degree of freedom.”

@euvieivanova“If you want to get better at something, you have to stress the system to increase its capacity. You don’t get fit unless you exercise. You don’t become more aware unless you train in meditation or similar. You don’t become better at sensemaking with only soundbites and tweets.” (more…)

insights over processes

Process improvement, like Six Sigma, stifles innovation. Process improvement is a tool set, not an overarching or unifying concept for an organization. Process improvement is a means — for certain contexts like manufacturing — and not an end in itself. The fundamental problem with all process improvement methodologies is that you get myopic. The evidence is clear.

“Since Frederick Taylor’s time we’ve considered business – our businesses – vast machines to be improved. Define the perfect set of tasks and then fit the men to the task. Taylor timed workers, measuring their efforts to determine the optimal (in his opinion) amount of work he could expect from a worker in a single day. The idea is that by driving our workers to follow optimal business processes we can ensure that we minimise costs while improving quality. LEAN and Six Sigma are the most visible of Taylor’s grandchildren, representing generations of effort to incrementally chip away at the inefficiencies and problems we kept finding in our organisations.” —Peter Evans Greenwood

“But simply following the steps of a process is no longer a guarantee of success, if it ever was. Business is increasingly complex and interconnected, and it seems unlikely any single system can tame it. The smart enterprise of the future will need a constantly evolving rotation of systems and skills, employed by adaptable and flexible workers. They will be harder to teach in a course, but they may outlast all the fads and fashions that preceded them.” —Whatever Happened to Six Sigma?

“Fifty-eight of the top Fortune 200 companies bought into Six Sigma, attesting to the appeal of eliminating errors. The results of this “experiment” were striking: 91 per cent of the Six Sigma companies failed to keep up with the S&P 500 because Six Sigma got in the way of innovation. It interfered with insights.” —Gary Klein

(more…)

top tools 2019

Since 2007 Jane Hart has asked working professionals for their top tools for learning — TopTools4Learning — and creates three lists from thousands of responses.

  1. Top 100 Tools for Personal & Professional Learning
  2. Top 100 Tools for Workplace Learning
  3. Top 100 Tools for Education

Work is learning, and learning is the work, so here are my  top 10 tools for work & learning. (more…)

free cities attract creative individuals

Why have certain cities fostered creativity over time?

“First, the protection of personal and economic freedoms changed the local culture, making it more receptive to innovations and new ideas. Second, the new institutions also changed incentives, through a more meritocratic and inclusive social environment, but also by encouraging works of art and innovations that would enhance the prestige of the city. Third, free cities attracted talented and creative individuals who escaped censorship and persecution elsewhere, and this created role models and facilitated social learning, breeding new generations of innovators.” —VOX 2018-01-06

This study of European city development showed that first the space must be amenable to creative individuals and then people can flourish. This is similar to the conclusions of Eric Weiner in The Geography of Genius who identified diversity, disorder, and discernment as keys to creative genius. (more…)

co-learning is better than marketing

Work is learning, and learning is the work. Marketing, for the most part, is about learning. What’s interesting is that ” … the content developed by most marketing departments is used in less than 7 percent of all buying decisions”, according to McKinsey, as cited in The Hypersocial Organization. So it’s not about the content. It’s all about the human connections.

As the Cluetrain Manifesto (1999) began with its first of 95 theses, “Markets are conversations”. Cluetrain continued with thesis #11 — “People in networked markets have figured out that they get far better information and support from one another than from vendors. So much for corporate rhetoric about adding value to commoditized products.” We learn best from each other in trusted relationships. (more…)

friday fuel

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

“The secret of the demagogue is to make himself as stupid as his audience so they believe they are clever as he.”Karl Kraus

“They are playing a game.
They are playing at not playing a game.
If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me.
I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.
R.D. Laing via @flowchainsensei

(more…)

sensemaking in a liquid world

The printing press changed the world. It introduced new forms of expression and enabled better and faster information sharing. Print enabled individual interpretation of the bible and resulted in the questioning of the established Christian church and later the Protestant Reformation. Written manuscripts became obsolete luxury items. A new public discourse was enabled by print and the ensuing literacy of more people. Of course the dark sides of printed works include propaganda, jingoism, and xenophobia. (more…)

PKM in action. Part 3

In his book, Never Stop Learning, Bradley Staats describes eight elements that make up ‘dynamic learning’. Here are the highlights from a Knowledge at Wharton interview.

1. “a willingness to try things, have them not work out, but learn from that and move on”
2. “if we don’t focus on the process, we’re never going to get to a good spot”
3. “we should be pulling ourselves back to ask questions”
4. “taking time to reflect and to think”
5. “Recognize this need to not be a poor imitation of others, but to be ourselves to learn”
6. “we need to play to our strengths”
7. specialization & variety — “we have a depth of knowledge in certain topics” but “we’re also willing to appreciate breadth”
8. “Others educate us and provide valuable knowledge”

As Staats describes WHAT we need to do, personal knowledge mastery is a framework that describes HOW to never stop learning. For example, here is how François Lavallée describes his personal process. (more…)