seek, sense, share globally

When I started writing this blog almost a dozen years ago, I was pretty excited to connect with people in other countries. Just over a year ago I launched the first ‘PKM in 40 days‘ online workshop. The idea was hatched in the Netherlands, inspired by my friends at Link2Learn. Now, after only six workshops, the global audience of PKM practitioners is growing. We have had individual participants from 21 countries, in addition to an international audience through UCLG who participated in a custom, private workshop this year. (more…)

engineering our own serendipity

An article in Time magazine on engineering serendipity discusses ways to create better physical environments as well as the push for software that will improve innovation by increasing the potential for serendipitous encounters. The author, Greg Lindsay, concludes that social networks are the key.

“Serendipity is the process through which we discover unknown unknowns. Understanding it as an emergent property of social networks, instead of sheer luck, enables us to treat it as a viable strategy for organizing people and sharing ideas, rather than writing it off as magic. And that, in turn, has potentially huge ramifications for everything from how we work to how we learn to where we live by leading to a shift away from efficiency — doing the same thing over and over, only a little bit better — toward novelty and discovery.” – Greg Lindsay, The Aspen Institute


connected democracy

As networks become the dominant organizational form, disciplines like personal knowledge mastery will be essential for all knowledge workers.

“By creating millions of networked people, financially exploited but with the whole of human intelligence one thumb-swipe away, info-capitalism has created a new agent of change in history: the educated and connected human being.” – End of Capitalism

Being educated is not enough. Effective citizens in a post-job, creative economy will also have to be connected. As objects get connected, the platform owners will aggregate more power and control.  Smart cities without smart citizens will result in the tyranny of the platform capitalists. (more…)

automation and more

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

@tom_peters – “Want someone to think you are brilliant? Have a 10 minute conversation and let them do all the talking.

@rogerschankReading is no way to learn

When you have someone to ask, you ask. Reading is what you do when you have no one to ask.


no organization is an island

Organizations are alive when people can exert their autonomy in ethical practice. This aligns with self-determination theory, which puts forward three basic needs for people: competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Even progressive organizations often miss out on the latter, described by the authors as an, “inherent tendency toward growth development and integrated functioning”. It takes more than a simple organizational structure to afford this relatedness. The organization also must be alive. (more…)

leadership in perpetual beta

We believe technology is changing culture everywhere in the world, leading to the emergence of a new model of leadership.

Employees are now more confident, more mobile, more demanding, more idealistic in some cases, and less willing to be company people. Employees, more than ever, are individualists.

Leaders, in response, are learning to be less the visionary, less the sage, less the objective-setter, and more the shaper, the connector, the questioner. And yet at times, they also need to intervene, to insist, to control. It’s a fluid role, its shape not yet clear.

What is clear, as leaders forge their own new models, is that the old ways no longer work. CEOs can’t fall back on best practice. They have to be original. Leadership, more than ever, needs creativity. And achieving the impossible needs the most radical kind of creativity. – Wolff Olins Report 2015

Leadership in networks is exercised through reputation, not positional authority. Having influence in multiple networks, not just the organization, makes a leader even more effective. The ability to span networks becomes important as organizational lifespans decrease and worker mobility increases. To remain connected to the changes in their networks, good leaders are curious and promote experimentation, but do not need to control it. Leadership in networks is helping the network make better decisions, and this requires a focus on the best organizational design to meet the changing situations. Strong networks, combined with temporary and negotiated hierarchies to get work done, become the simple building blocks for an organization in a state of perpetual beta. (more…)

management in perpetual beta

We are arriving at a break-point with the existing economy, one dominated by markets, as we enter the network era. A creative economy is emerging and our existing institutions and markets cannot deal with it. Tim O’Reilly calls this The WTF Economy, and is bringing people together to understand and deal with it.

What is the future when more and more work can be done by intelligent machines instead of people, or only done by people in partnership with those machines? What happens to workers, and what happens to the companies that depend on their purchasing power? What’s the future of business when technology-enabled networks and marketplaces are better at deploying talent than traditional companies? What’s the future of education when on-demand learning outperforms traditional universities in keeping skills up to date?