sense-making with fridays finds

I have written over 250 posts classified as Friday’s Finds. These are compilations of what has passed by me on social media over the past week or two. Originally these were posted once a week and now once per fortnight. With a critical mass of posts I now have an additional resource to mine for insight. For instance, I regularly search my blog for posts I have written so that I can recall my thoughts. I call it my outboard brain. With Friday’s Finds, I can search the posts of others to see what they have to say on a certain topic. For example, I can search to see what others have to say on leadership. (more…)

cooperation for the network era

Clark Quinn recently asked, as have many others, the difference between collaboration and cooperation, and why it is important.

“collaboration means ‘working together’. That’s why you see it in market economies. markets are based on quantity and mass.

cooperation means ’sharing’. That’s why you see it in networks. In networks, the nature of the connection is important; it is not simply about quantity and mass …

You and I are in a network – but we do not collaborate (we do not align ourselves to the same goal, subscribe to the same vision statement, etc), we *cooperate* – Stephen Downes

Cooperation makes more sense as the term to describe working together in a networked and non-directed relationship. This is an important distinction from collaboration. For example, Jérôme Delacroix also sees cooperation as the suitable term for what we do in networks [in French]. Jérôme explains why his site is called Cooperatique and not Collaboratique – collaboration happens around some kind of plan or structure, while cooperation presumes the freedom of individuals to join and participate. He also says that cooperation, not collaboration, is a driver of creativity. It is difficult to be creative while collaborating, because the objective has already been established. (more…)

adapting to perpetual beta e-book

The third volume in the perpetual beta series is now ready. Adapting to Perpetual Beta continues to explore the network era and its effects on society, business, and education. It follows seeking perpetual beta and finding perpetual beta published in 2014. This volume is focused on leadership and adapting to perpetual beta: dealing with constant change while still getting things done.

All of the ideas discussed here have been explored initially on my blog, established in 2004. I describe my blog as a place to post ‘half-baked ideas’, and often build upon one post after another. Discussing these ideas in public lets me test them before committing them to my professional practice. I have written over 2,700 posts on my blog, so this book series provides a concise synthesis of the various themes posted here.

Adapting to Perpetual Beta, a 67 page DRM-free PDF, is available for individual purchase until mid-September for $19. All three perpetual beta volumes may be purchased for $33 here.

The files will be emailed to the address provided within 12 hours (usually much quicker).


serendipitous drip-fed learning

If you want to learn something about a field you know little about, what do you do? There are many areas where I know very little, and learning about them in depth would be a major time commitment. Is there anything we can do do to make it easier? I think so. (more…)

transparency sets the stage for trust to develop

Business value increases with transparency.

‘In 2006, restauranteur Jay Porter banned tipping in his San Diego restaurant, the Linkery. Instead, he implemented a service charge, and split it—transparently—amongst staff. Porter also ran a second restaurant that still allowed tipping, and this made for a useful comparison.

“Once established, the tipless/service charge model made us more successful in every dimension,” he said. The staff worked as a team, instead of selfishly trying to maximize their own tips. Servers and chefs enjoyed equal status, and staffed turnover dropped. The policy was so successful, says Porter, that it “gave us a huge competitive advantage in the marketplace; this in turn allowed us to serve a much higher quality of food and take lower margins on it.”‘ – FastCoExist


mastering complexity

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds. This is the 250th in the series.

“I think it’s a discovery all artists make: the most interesting and bravest work is likely the hardest to make a living from.”@berkun

“Our most successful clients have cross-flowing knowledge networks to handle the complexity/variety of their marketplace.”@orgnet

“In a sense, cooperation is the temporary alignment of multiple, occasionally contradictory, purposes.”@indalogenesis (more…)

open and connected leadership

What happens when reputation-based networked leadership comes up against hierarchical institutions and competitive market forces? In the short-term, it looks like it loses, as was the case of Greece’s finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis.

“So what Varoufakis is doing here is harnessing the capacities of communication technologies to support transparency and genuinely intelligent policy debate, and thus empower the polity. Alas, the opposite of both of those trends is the dominant norm in the political use of the mass media and communication technologies.” – Open Democracy

But it may be the winning strategy for the long-term. (more…)