the trinity model

Update: see implementing a triple operating system for a more current view

Following up on my last post, the network era trinity, I have put together two images to synthesize the multiple concepts behind them. These images are my attempt to create a simple model that explains how networked organizations need to operate differently.

  • Individuals must be supported in interacting with diverse social networks, as part of their work, to enhance the possibility of serendipitous connections. This is the practice of PKM.
  • Communities of practice must be supported as safe places to test out new ideas. This is where HR and L&D departments can play a significant role.
  • Working on complex or creative projects is the realm of human activity in the network era. These teams are effective as temporary negotiated hierarchies that can be reformed as the situation changes.
  • Every worker is involved in all three of these spaces continuously, therefore working and learning are not separate activities.
  • Knowledge flows from implicit personal knowledge and is socialized while learning with communities or working in groups. The organization can curate knowledge from the flows of discussions among its workers and codify it in systems of record.


2 Responses to “the trinity model”

  1. Brent Mackinnon

    Hi Harold,

    I now understand how the three triple A components are dynamic and interconnected.

    A recent project I was involved with attempted to address the failure of the Canadian Youth Job Strategy to generate new youth training initiatives for the 21st century workplace. The youth unemployment crisis is worldwide. We narrowed our project, to Canada in order to reduce the complexity of the project. We attempted to stimulate solution type conversations between leaders from the education, nonprofit, government and private sectors – a lofty goal indeed! Of note, the project was totally a sweat equity initiative managed by myself and two partners.

    Our project dealt primarily with the Awareness “stage”. We didn’t include or have the Alternatives and Action components integrated into the planning and execution of the project. We put the project on the shelf last month because we were not producing the results we hoped for and we needed to work on paying projects.

    In hindsight, I think if we choose to restart our project, we must include the Alternatives and Action components in our planning. I think we would have a far greater likelihood of generating the results we sought – innovative ideas that lead to new training projects that better prepare youth for the 21st century workplace.

    Applying the networked organization trinity model to social and economic issues such as youth unemployment at least gives me a map that connects the key processes that can generate results. Our research concludes that cross sector cooperation between education, nonprofit, government and private are the best bet for tackling youth unemployment (see Collaboration in Europe – That said, employing the model within all those sectors will be quite a challenge.

    You can read more about our initiative here –

    Thanks again Harold for tying this model together into something workable.


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