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"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" Guy de Maupassant

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

What truth - yours, mine, ours, theirs ?

Flemming blogs about "how we can physically perceive that which we assume we'll perceive and that which we've been conditioned to perceive".  Quoting from an article by Howard Bloom, that speaks of several experiments that suggest how powerfully groups can shape what we think reality is, he says :

"...  our reality is formed and manipulated by what we hear, what we remember, what other people seem to believe, etc. Not just that our memories and peer pressure is influencing and coloring how we see the world. No, much more tangible than that. We physically perceive that which we assume we'll perceive and that which we've been conditioned to perceive. I particularly find experiments such as these fascinating:"

".... so, does that mean we're all just gullible sheep who're walking around in a trance, thinking we see things that aren't really there? Well, to some degree, yes. But we can start becoming conscious of our processes of perception, aware of how realities are generated, and we might actually catch when we're being mislead by words or memories or other abstractions. And we might learn to always expand our sense of reality, reaching beyond the hallucinations generated by our assumptions, beliefs and memories."

So true Flemming ... whichever way ... either by imagining what does not exist or by closing our opportunity to sense what does or can - we unfortunately wear these blinkers most of the time.  And we can go through life missing the real power of our own reality or our own truth, of our own ability for stretch.   

This thought came to my mind - often quoted but i think appropriate here ...

"Do not try and bend the spoon, that's impossible. Instead only try to realise the truth. (What truth?). There is no spoon, (there is no spoon?) then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself" ....  from The Matrix (the original).

Check this out too - on the fallibility of perception.  


8:33:39 PM    comment []  trackback []

KM Tips - Study the Business Culture

I just read this article - Why Three Heads are Better than One - How to Create a Know-it-All Company- got the link via Headshift Moments - Lee i am always amazed at your resources! 

Among many useful corporate KM tips, i found this bit really interesting :

"The KM exercise must be rooted in pressing business issues (and there should be plenty of those to go around, given the business climate). Otherwise, you'll spend unlimited time and money creating something that gets used about as much as the online help function in Microsoft Word. Before creating an online community of practice (COP), Michael Behounek, KM director for $1.25 billion oil and gas company Halliburton, identifies worst points of pain facing the business units. "I go to the business VP of a unit and I say, 'Give me your top five issues.' Then I make a determination: If people communicated better on this issue, would it have a big impact?" he says. If so, Halliburton attacks the problem in a relevant COP. "They must get a good answer for little effort."

It is so true ... and highlights the need to really understand and research the corporate or organisational culture before suggesting or implementing a system.   I'd take it a step further and go to a larger sample of emplyees down the line than just the VP - with two objectives - one, to examine the business issues, and two - to really understand the dynamics between employees at various levels and the existing communication lines and patterns.   

A bottom-up rather than top-down approach,  where the KM consultant or senior management does not say .. 'thou shalt share' ... but helps provide an environment that can better encourage sharing and collaboration. 

6:36:29 PM    comment []  trackback []

Turning Ideas into Action (3) - From Conversational Blogging to Jazz Communities

Ok ... here it is ... Stuart has made a call to action, starting a fire so to speak, using my favourite metaphor for blogging ... From Conversational Blogging to Jazz Communities.  He talks of a 'brain' cooperative, a 'band' of bloggers in the area of KM as starters, with the potential to offer a collaborative service that can pay through a membership fee structure. And with the potential then for consulting services. His vision : 

"Our Challenge is to link blogs in a way that retains independent thought while creating a jazz community. A blog based info accelerator helps us engage with information, conferences, CoP's in a different way. We can being to face up to the 365/7/24/60/60 world. Our connections help us do it. They are skills that are worth passing along and providing to others.

Let's consider creating an environment for "paid" membership with a BAND of people that enables them to become better connected, build new relationships and stay on the leading edge of learning even when they simply don't have the time. Blogging is a natural for the "listening post", the early warning radar, and for scanning upstream. I've been able to identify for some time an emergent blogging community that could do this in the KM area. Sales and Marketing topics are less clear, while in the last few weeks I've finally found some additional "futures" blogs. "

This 'band' or panel could be extended to many areas other than KM ... research is one area that comes to mind .... with access provided for members to thought leaders through conversations and encounters, and the potential for deeper studies that may be required, for a fee. 

Hmmm ... sounds terrific ... am interested ... and perhaps am one of the many bloggers thats believes blogging can pay !   

Lets take this forward Stuart into a business model that really works !

Next steps ?


6:09:57 PM    comment []  trackback []

Turning Ideas into Action (2) - Corporate Blogging

Some neat rap on corporate blogging ...

Rajeev Sharma, a doctoral student at IIM Bangalore makes some neat suggestions on how to get corporates blogging. 

"Blogs can be used by the Product/Service develpoment department to gain information about the market perception and what consumer wants. Example: Microsoft employees are actively seeking information which can be used for developing their new OS - Longhorn. Now how much company was ready to pay for this information (without using the blogs) is the value that can be attributed to the use of blogs"

I like his 'afterthoughts' too  Ö on meeting customer needs and on ëusabilityí of software and its implementation within a context.  Thanks Rajeev - will put in these thoughts into my proposal.

And Rob asks :

"I wonder. Can you package and sell a tool that will destroy the command and control system to the command and control system?  .... Can you package or sell a product that will overthrow this system? They will never buy. So what do we do Dina? I think of disease or Homer. True viral marketing where we infect part of the system with a small virus that slips in under the immune system. Or Homerically we find a larger unit and describe blogging in non threatening terms so that the Trojans drag the horse inside their own walls."

Rob, i think we are yet to find the right approach. Perhaps the ideal is a combination of both. 

While conventional wisdom would make me tend towards virus or disease - with small infections and injections at regular intervals, with the hope that it snowballs.  Yet i do feel it will be most effective if combined with the Trojan Horse approach. And there are lessons in this metaphor ... it is only when the Trojans really got 'into the minds' of the Greeks that they could come up with a solution. More, they 'slipped' it in using a Greek idiom - a statue of a horse. And made it irresistable in its 'packaging'.

So first steps would be to really understand the organisational culture (and examine all the nuances of 'command and control' for that specific organisation), figure out employee needs from a KM system or communications system, and examine current KM and communication systems in place.

Just thought i'd share this little exchange i had with Stuart around this topic - it helped me articulate my thoughts better :

Dina : what do u think ... virus/disease .... or trojan horse ?
Stuart : i think both - a good strategist would do both if he had the option and the resources - however the strategist with little resources who wants to change the world will unleash viruses for they cannot even mount trojan horses
Dina : thats the ideal isnt it - infect small groups who can then snowball
Stuart : so yes infections
Dina : and at the same time - slip in the torjan horse once u understand existing systems
Stuart : if one is going to help and organization its not really helpful to use terminology like command and control
Dina : right .. don't criticise it - infact understand it well and work with it
Stuart : snap
Stuart : it is simply friction, which enables more creativity, which snowballs
Stuart : and that may just freeze out the old command and control lines

A two-minute conversation on IM - turning ideas into action ...

Stuart has also blogged a list of references for corporate blogging and social software.  Its an interesting compilation - has diverse views and is from many sources.  

12:35:57 PM    comment []  trackback []