art and monopolies

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

“An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.”—Nina Simone, via @PENamerican

“It seems my latest hobby is finding interesting artists to follow on Instagram. Art as a refuge etc.”Hugh MacLeod

“I studied critical thinking for my PhD thesis. What we’re missing in the world isn’t critical thinking as much as it’s listening and empathy.”@Bali_Maha (more…)

mastery and models

Personal Knowledge Mastery

Harvard Business Review described The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge, as one of the seminal management books of the previous 75 years. The five disciplines necessary for a learning organization are:

  1. Personal Mastery
  2. Mental Models
  3. Shared Vision
  4. Team Learning
  5. Systems Thinking (which integrates the other four)

These disciplines have influenced my professional work which is based on individuals taking control of their learning and professional development and actively engaging in social networks and communities of practice. In this article I want to focus on the first two disciplines: Mastery and Models.

Personal knowledge mastery (PKM) is a framework I have developed over the past 12 years. It is an individual, disciplined process by which we make sense of information and our interactions with people and ideas. While it is an individual discipline, PKM is of little value unless the results are shared by connecting to others, and contributing to meaningful conversations. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts as we build on the knowledge of others. As knowledge workers or citizens, PKM is our part of the social learning contract. Without effective PKM at the individual level, social learning has less value. (more…)

populism is the first refuge of a scoundrel

Why is populism so darned popular in many parts of the world today?

In stark terms, Cas Mudde, a Dutch political scientist, has defined populism as “an ideology that considers society to be ultimately separated into two homogeneous and antagonistic groups, ‘the pure people’ versus ‘the corrupt elite.'” … “Populism presents a Manichean outlook, in which there are only friends and foes,” Mudde has written. —Aaron Wherry, CBC 2017-02-26

As we shift from a print and market dominated economy to a digitally networked economy, much of what we take for granted about how society should work goes out the window. Our institutions were not designed for a network era. At the same time, with social media, we all have the ability to participate in global conversations. Many of us want to be heard, but few of us listen. We have no history of engaging in meaningful global conversations on a mass scale and few examples to guide us. In this networked world we are mostly illiterate, digital natives and immigrants alike.

Network literacy is needed everywhere but most of us do not have even the basic skills to sift through the fake/alternate news that flows by each day. Disciplines like personal knowledge mastery are no longer a luxury. We all need trusted knowledge networks to help us make sense of the shifting world. We have to build these soon, before we drown in an ocean of manipulated data. (more…)

pkm à montréal

Il devient de plus en plus évident que plusieurs de nos structures organisationnelles actuelles et leurs approches de leadership sont inadéquates pour un monde où les réseaux fluides ont remplacé les hiérarchies rigides du passé. Un nouveau paradigme de gestion émerge de cette nouvelle réalité.

Nous devons revoir nos structures et systèmes d’environnement de travail pour le Beta perpétuel — le changement en continu. J’aide les dirigeants et leurs équipes à s’adapter à ce nouveau paradigme. En travaillant sur l’apprentissage social et le leadership connecté, j’offre de l’accompagnement pragmatique et pratique sur la façon de travailler en mode «Beta» perpétuel en utilisant le levier des réseaux sociaux, des communautés de pratique et du PKM, le Personal Knowledge Mastery.

Je présenterai une introduction de mon atelier et ma stratégie PKM pour survivre et vous épanouir dans ce nouvel environnement, à Montréal:

L’atelier du 15 mars 2017 inclura les sujets suivants :

  • Découverte de votre réseau de connaissance
  • Introduction aux stratégies de gestion de l’information pour vaincre l’infobésité
  • Utilisation stratégique et pragmatique des réseaux sociaux à votre avantage

Inscription: (more…)

beta conversation 2017-03-08

I will be hosting the next Beta Conversation on Wednesday, March 8th at 16:00 GMT/UTC (08:00 Pacific, 11:00 Eastern, 17:00 CET). The subject will be the topics discussed in working in perpetual beta.

This is part of a regular series of web discussion on topics I have written about in the perpetual beta series. Each session is 90 minutes long. For participant confidentiality, these sessions will not be recorded.

The format of each session is as follows:

  1. Presentation of the key themes
  2. Discussion of any questions provided by participants in advance
  3. Open discussion

Given the positive feedback from previous conversations, these sessions will be capped at 7 participants. This will ensure time for deeper dialogue and to address everyone’s questions.  We will use the platform.

If you are interested in applying new organizational models for the network era that optimize human learning, based on cooperation, knowledge-sharing, and transparency, then please join us. (more…)

the arts in perpetual beta

Next month I will be facilitating a workshop at The Arts in a Digital World Summit, hosted in Montreal by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Among other things, the summit will be a chance to share knowledge, mobilize – and possibly even incubate projects. We’ll consider our digital reality as an opportunity to:

  • develop innovative approaches
  • re-imagine how artists and arts organizations engage with citizens
  • seed collaborations within the arts community, and with other sectors.

It will bring together over 250 artistic and administrative leaders, digital experts, and strategic thinkers selected by the Canada Council to represent the vast diversity of the sector and to contribute to the testing and understanding of its new Fund for the arts in a digital world. The event will be by-invitation however many parts of it will also be accessible online.

My workshop is entitled The Arts in Perpetual Beta. This is how I describe the 90 minute session: We live in a networked world. Automation and connectivity are changing how we work and learn. How does the digital surround affect how human knowledge and creativity are shared? Join this workshop to discuss some key trends, understand knowledge networks, and critically examine the technologies we use.

I intend to focus on network thinking, machine augmentation, and the tetradic effects of technology. I’ll also talk about learning like an artist.

I would be interested in the perspectives of anyone working in or with the arts. I am especially curious how their work has changed in the past decade or so as a result of automation or connectivity.

  • Has the internet been a positive force for your art?
  • What do you see as major challenges to do your art or to get it known?
  • Do you have a generally positive or negative outlook on the future of your art?


lucky 13

Today marks 13 years of blogging here, with 2,901 posts. I have just returned from 3 weeks in Europe, working with several people and organizations who first connected through my blog. Next month I will be contributing to the Arts in a Digital World Summit because the organizers found me through this blog. The ability for anyone to publish their work to a global audience is one of the most important attributes of the web and our digital world: for better and worse. In spite of the rise in fascist thinking and post-truth moments, being connected can be liberating for humanity. However, it will always be a work in progress, like democracy. I am deeply thankful for our connected world, remembering what it was like before the web, and for the many friends and colleagues I have gained over the past 13 years.

Here are a few of my thoughts on blogging over the years. (more…)

friday’s finds #292

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

“The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.” —@kasparov63

“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”Franklin Roosevelt via @lisarosa

“Never react to an evil in such a way as to augment it.” —Simone Weil + “Only the good has depth that can be radical.” —Hannah Arendt via @monk51295 (more…)

one person at a time

Are networks the new companies? Can our markets shift from capitalism to cooperativism? Can our institutions become networks? Can any of us escape our tribal roots and become network era citizens of the world?

We still lack good network models for organizing in society. Instead, many turn back to older, and outdated organizational models, like nationalism and tribalism, in an attempt to gain some stability. But our institutions and markets will fail to deliver in a network era society because they were never designed for one.

“It seems obvious to me that an individual value proposition for an organisation or nation state that makes a promise (which in itself is an outdated industrial concept) and fails to deliver will have to cope with every customer, citizen and employee holding them to account. In real time. From *within* their own organisations; not just by the hardening of their perimeters. The recognition that individual pathways transcend organisational boundaries is a good place to start.” —Robert Pye


a collective networked perspective

A network society needs networked models for organizing and for learning.

“More and more, the unit of comprehension is going to be group comprehension, where you simply have to rely on a team of others because you can’t understand it all yourself. There was a time, oh, I would say as recently as, certainly as the 18th century, when really smart people could aspire to having a fairly good understanding of just about everything … Well that’s the fragility, the hyper-fragility of civilisation right there. We could all be bounced back into the 19th century.” —Daniel Dennett

Cooperation is freely sharing with no expectation of direct compensation. It enables knowledge to flow freely. Large scale cooperation should be the dominant model in the network era, if not we may revert back to a tribal era. (more…)