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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

Thursday, May 6, 2004

The Power Of Conversation

Talking Point .... communicating from an organisational point of view.... the power of storytelling and conversations !

"....Humans create, reinforce, and disseminate knowledge through -- guess what? -- conversations," says Bill Isaacs, founder of Dialogos, a consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts that practices the art of organizational problem solving by fostering careful, in-depth conversation. "It's something we forgot, and it turns out to be at the very center of the new economy. Companies that perform better in the marketplace are the ones that do a better job of conducting these conversations," adds Isaacs, who is also the author of "Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together: A Pioneering Approach to Communicating in Business and in Life" (Doubleday, 1999)....."

"........Managers and executives have always known that important decisions are made through casual talk, rather than at formal boardroom presentations. For that matter, employees instinctively know that organizations have two distinct communication networks: the formal and the informal. And they know to rely on the informal part -- the rumor mill, for example -- when they're trying to find out what's really happening.  What is new, however, is the argument that informal conversation should assume a more formal status; that it should be promoted as a key component of an organization's business model -- that companies should actively assume the role of talk-show host.

In fact, some companies have already begun experimenting with the notion of informal conversation -- among them, the design firm IDEO Product Development, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, and the Home Depot, an Atlanta-based hardware chain with stores in more than 800 North American cities. Together, their success stories serve as a guide for running your own company talk show -- and for getting the kind of ratings you need to keep your show on the air."

4:51:34 PM    comment []  trackback []

Corporate Blogging - Blog as your Front Porch (3)

More on Cultural Metaphors for Blogs as Front Porches :

"As places in which perspectives and understandings are traded, tea shops are sites for the production and consumption of views on the world. Tea shops service a huge range of personal, social, political and professional networks, through which somebody like myself, with few contacts, little local knowledge and a desire to know what was moving the city, could become orientated. While tea shops provided me with an important window onto the world of Varanasi, they also do this for their more permanent customers too.

.........To summarise (incompletely), here are some of connections between blogs and tea shops or coffee shops. They:

- have low barriers to entry (you don't have to buy tea to take part or post/comment to read/participate
- congeal or emerge around specific outlooks or perspectives on the world - attract fierce loyalty
- have a 'owner-patron' and audiences/customers who regard themselves less as customers more as members or even fellows
- are focal points in the public sphere: arenas where the pulic is both created and debated
- act as conduits though which private or domestic knowledge reaches out beyond its place of origination"

Read more about tea shops in an "ethnographically rich and theory lite chapter" (a few references to Habermas' thesis on the Public Sphere notwithstanding) from Simon's thesis

9:37:15 AM    comment []  trackback []