leading beyond automation

As we enter the network era, we see that leadership is an emergent property of a network in balance and not some special property available to only the select few. Effective knowledge networks require leadership from everyone – an aggressively intelligent and engaged workforce, learning with each other. Positional leadership, by the authority of some hierarchy, is giving way to reputational leadership, as determined by the myriad feedback loops of the network. To lead in a network, is to learn in a network, as relationships and conditions change. Anyone can show leadership, not just managers or those with ‘high potential’. (more…)

technology, change, and us

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

Innovation vs. (social) copying [without innovators to copy, none of us can learn socially]

Another attribute of the most successful strategies is that they are parasitic. This is the essence of social learning – somebody has to do the hard graft to find out how to do things before other people can copy them, so it only pays to learn socially when there are some innovators around. Indeed, in contests where (the winning) agents were able to invade the entire population, they actually ended up with a lower average pay-off than they did in contests where the conditions allowed some agents with more innovative strategies to survive, so providing new behaviours to copy – New Scientist


social learning is personal

Social learning is the process by which groups of people cooperate to learn with and from each other. The network era is creating a historic reversal of education, as discourse replaces institutions, and social learning in knowledge networks obsolesces many aspects of organizational training. It is as if Socrates has come back to put Plato’s academy in its place, but this time the public agora is global. (more…)

time and context

One way to make sense of something is to walk around it by looking at it from a different perspective. Time and a different context can give new insights. Chris Mackay gave me this PKM tip on how to make a decision on purchasing books. Chris adds the book’s name & link to OmniFocus and then puts a 30 day reminder on it. One month later he gets an automated notice about the book. What is interesting is that in most cases, Chris decides not to buy the book. Chris admits that he loves buying books and often makes quick purchase decisions. This new discipline helps him save money. He still has a large pile of books on his current reading list though. (more…)

knowledge catalysts

Most people have heard Clay Shirky’s quote that, “It’s not information overload, it’s filter failure.” The professor and author has coined terms such as ‘cognitive surplus’ to explain that we have the mental capacity to do a lot more with our collective intelligence, but too often, societal barriers inhibit us. We are too busy with the day-to-day commute, usually in a deluge of noise from radios, billboards, and news sources, to reflect and consider bigger issues. Getting paid every two weeks focuses employee attention on the short term, as do quarterly reports for executives. (more…)

listening and learning

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

Buzzfeed – Anecdoche (n): “A conversation in which everyone is talking but nobody is listening.” – via @lombardi_gloria

@JesseLynStoner“Cooperation, like respect, is often assumed. And in reality, ignored.”

@AllisonEckThe best teams act like musicians

  • Switch Chairs (and Roles) Often
  • Play Your Part
  • Don’t Compare
  • Distribute Your Energy Wisely
  • Anticipate Needs
  • Don’t Assign: Nominate
  • Sound Check Often
  • Know the Score
  • Embrace Uncertainty


simple structures for complex problems

What is the optimal digital transformation technology for a networked organization? It is a suite of capabilities that foster an organizational culture that is constantly learning in order to understand and engage the complex environment in which it lives. Like the Internet, that enabled a digital transformation of society and business, these technologies must be based on a simple structure. (more…)