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reflecting on the future of knowledge

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reflecting on the future of knowledge

I began my impartial consulting observe in 2003 and one of the first books I bought was — The Future of Knowledge: Increasing Prosperity through Value Networks by Verna Allee (2002) Butterworth-Heinemann (ISBN: 0750675918). The matter of value network analysis and the main function that Verna Allee performed got here up in some current discussions in a single of my on-line communities of observe. So I made a decision to re-read the guide that planted so many concepts in my thoughts. Here are some of the highlights, virtually 20 years after Verna began writing The Future of Knowledge.


One of the main necessities for supporting knowledge work is to make sure that folks have the instruments and data they should full their on a regular basis duties. But, one other equally essential objective is to supply acceptable applied sciences for collaborative work in a fancy world atmosphere. The extra complicated modes of knowledge can’t be turned over to databases and automation. They are completed by folks by means of lively and rapid dialog and interchanges. Connective applied sciences allow us to hyperlink up with our friends in order that we might weave the threads of our understanding collectively into new synthesis and insights.

This wonderful recommendation nonetheless must be promoted. Today, extra time, cash, and energy are put into automation, machine studying, and what passes for AI. Much much less effort is put into serving to folks join, in spite of collaboration applied sciences. In too many workplaces, folks don’t have time collaborate and share deep knowledge, a lot much less cooperate across silos. Connecting folks is the focus of personal knowledge mastery.


Communities of observe emerge in the social area between venture groups and knowledge networks … Communities of observe are additionally distinctly completely different from groups. Team expertise can not merely be transferred to communities of observe … In in work groups and tasks, managers typically pre-determine main targets and the primary nature of the joint enterprise. In an actual group of observe, these are negotiated amongst members. Further, a group life cycle is decided by the worth it creates for its members, not by venture deadlines.

“Sensing” Our World

We are in a relentless, collective journey of storytelling, sense making, and creation. Knowledge is a dialog. It isn’t a static “thing,” however a continuing course of in movement, rising in the shared communal studying area that arises between folks. Every dialog reshapes our knowledge, modify it to suit new circumstances, increasing with new info or connections, pruning out concepts and expressions which are not helpful.

The Seek > Sense > Share framework shares this attitude, in addition to the idea of life in perpetual beta.

Verna Allee additionally discusses intangible worth, which is vital to her worth community evaluation course of. Intangible belongings are essential as a result of — “The most critical factors of success — the intelligence of employees, the systems and processes in place to get the work done, and the quality of customer and supplier relationships — don’t show up anywhere on the balance sheet.” Three varieties of intangibles are described.

External Structure — Alliances and relationships with prospects, strategic companions, suppliers, buyers, and the group. Includes belongings corresponding to model recognition and goodwill.

Human Competence — Individual and collective capabilities, knowledge, expertise, experiences, and problem-solving talents that reside in folks in the group.

Internal Structure — Systems and work processes that leverage competitiveness. Includes IT, communications, applied sciences, photographs, ideas and fashions of how the enterprise operates in addition to databases, paperwork, patents, copyrights, and different “codified” knowledge.

Source: Ocean Tomo

The Knowledge Complexity Framework places collectively the work of Peter Senge, Stafford Beer, Russell Ackoff, Dorothy Leonard, and plenty of others. “The more variables we are processing, the more complex the cognitive task. At greater levels of abstraction, knowledge work becomes more challenging, increasingly collaborative and social in nature.”

Immediate — Instinctual studying — Sensing — Gathering info

Very quick time period — Trial & Error — Action with out studying — Doing one thing the best method

Short time period — Reflective — Self-conscious reflection — Doing it the finest method

Medium time period — Communal — Understanding context, relationships, & traits — What promotes or impedes effectiveness?

Long time period — Integrative — Self-organizing — Seeing the place an exercise matches the entire image

Very long run — Generative — Value pushed — Finding or connecting with one’s objective

Timeless — Synergistic — Connection & sustainability — Understanding values in higher context

[this is a summary of the more detailed framework]

After virtually 20 years, there’s nonetheless a wealth of info on this guide.



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