social networks

Leadership and Innovation: The new role of leader in network contexts

This post was written with some questions in mind: What does it mean to lead an innovation team in a network context? How can one be prepared for innovation management, talent management and performance delivery? After all, does this challenge change when we consider that relations are configured as networks and this configuration might facilitate the emergence of innovation? Is it possible to manage emergent innovation?

The intention here is to outline some ideas on this subject.

 

Managing a team: Competences or Talent?

Most multinational and big size companies use a competence evaluation matrix derived from the company’s strategy as a means to evaluate their professionals. We’re talking about a very useful and consolidated tool that guides important processes, from recruitment to career assessment. It is meant to guarantee some uniformity in performance evaluation, facilitate internal hiring and career planning.

But these competences might have little (or nothing) to do with how each person sees his or her own talents. Think of it for a moment. How would you tag your own talents? Are your tags similar to those your organization uses to evaluate you?

One usually finds very similar competences in companies that operate in different business contexts and even different countries. They mostly represent the common sense of professional profile with some bits of differentiation according to the specific organization they are applied to.

It is useful, but overall, this tool subjects people to a gap analysis and reinforces an external reference as a basis for assessment. People are permanently “lacking” something; therefore they should seek development to fit the organization’s expectations. This pattern of evaluation might contribute to professional anxiety, something that our society is abundant in.

We might be missing something very important, especially when innovation is concerned.

Now let us focus on talent, a notion deeply linked to abundance (something that our society is lacking). Understanding talent is realizing what overflows and wants to be expressed by each person. It has to do with the uniqueness, the life history, the emotional structure and the mental maps each one creates. It is related to finding one’s singularity, which is usually a slow and lifelong process. Talent is a much more fluid concept than that of competences, more difficult to catch and hold.

 

Managing Emerging talents

That said, we can distinguish competence management from the management of emerging talents, considering emerging talents as the unique potential that results from the complex combination of occurrences represented by:

  • The diverse roles each person plays and has played in life (from which individual talent results) and
  • The encounters and talent combinations of a specific group (the talents that can emerge in a team).

Emerging talents, when expressed:

  • Might surprise the person and the team
  • Increases the creative energy
  • Enhances the odds that innovation will come out.

It is part of the innovation manager’s role to facilitate the identification and the connection of the team’s talents, having the mission and the vision of the organization as a framework. Is this complex? Yes, but it is also simple. Anyone can learn to tag his or her own talents, although the total number of tags will certainly be much broader than the number of corporate competences.

 

Innovation Management

 

The manager is also responsible for innovation management, often using corporate tools, such as stage gates or portfolio management. These features are critical for the organization to distinguish the most valuable projects and to validate them. It is necessary to have clear criteria for the comparison of these projects and to have consolidated tools for decision-making. Nonetheless, these tools may have little (or nothing) to do with the actual pace of innovation, which is based on the connection of internal and external talents and can include leaps and connections that take time to mature. This fundamental nonlinearity of innovation is called slow hunch by Steven Johnson in his very popular video: Where Good Ideas Come From.

So now we can picture the situation of the leader: different tools, rituals and control codes and, at the same time, the challenge of living in a network that is increasingly enhanced by social media, where each person seeks for talent expression, connections and meaningful production. The bottom up component of innovation becomes increasingly important.

The trapped leader

 

So what “tools” does the leader have to deal with the bottom up characteristics of innovation? How will he or she manage emerging talents? How can innovation projects based on emerging talents be fostered?

We don’t intend to propose that organizations drop all existing tools and start from scratch. This is not a Zero-One question, but a matter of learning to operate in grey scale and to deal with paradoxes. What we cannot avoid is the fact that it is up to this generation of leaders to seriously address the issue of emergence in organizations and to seek for new lines of action in the “micro-contexts” of innovation that the teams represent.

But how?

Here we intend to present a list of useful practices that might inspire new forms of leadership and complement the control tools that dominate life (and the way of perceiving life, which is more serious) in organizations.

 

8 Ideas for managing emergent innovation

 

1. Identify and support the emerging talents: what each person says he or she knows is more important for innovation than mapped competences. Based in the mutual recognition of talents some truly original combinations and innovations may arise. Maybe that’s what Google is looking for when it offers 20% free time for people to meet and create new projects.

 

2. Give visibility to what the team does, give context to what emerges. The leader may be a mirror, a catalyst that allows the team to see its achievements and to put them into context. For those who want to learn more about this, it is worth reading Margaret Wheatley. But visibility is also making it happen! Once an innovative idea is brought to life, a gate is open. The team must pass the gate and execution then becomes the name of the game. Although accidents might lead the team back to problem solving.

 

3. Creating contexts for good encounters. What do we want when we meet somebody? According to the philosopher Gilles Deleuze, who interprets Espinosa, good encounters happen when two bodies affect each other in composition, so energy grows. But in organizations, people meet for many different purposes, encounters are not free, but have very specific purposes. Paul Pangaro, in his critics of the excessive faith in design thinking, proposes what he names conversation design: the creation of conversation contexts and dynamics for different purposes. Setting goals, creating solutions and finding relevant innovation questions will require a specific design.

The leader might have an important role here, not only on setting up the design for conversations, but also on helping the team to be conscious of its own dynamics. How do we do what we do? What happens when we meet? Does our energy grow or decrease?

Even though consultants may be hired for this, the leader will increasingly need to think about the adequate space, dynamics and context for each different intention.

 

4. Create an open language, easily translatable that can be appropriated by the team. It’s amazing how rarely we stop to create new questions, open semantic fields (ie, conversations to share emerging questions and build new metaphors). There are teams that don’t even stop to build a deep understanding of the organization’s strategy. To create new language is a cornerstone of innovation because we live the mental maps we create and these maps are based on language and images. An open language, in beta, in permanent composition, as in open programming, is an opportunity for new types of appropriation and creative work.

 

5. Assign responsibility and seek responsiveness. On one hand, YES, there is performance to be delivered and the team is responsible for it. But responsiveness is related to the ability to creatively and timely respond to business challenges. It has to do with the ability to surprise and at the same time be relevant. Good relationships and trust among members of the team must then be combined with execution skills.

 

6. Create boarders, not limits. As Maturana and Avila put it, limits are walls, and boarders are like mobile fences that can be explored and moved to some extent. It is the leaders role to keep the boarders clear and open to creative exploration. Not everything is possible, but it is fundamental to foster new questions and at the same time give containment.

 

7. Search for meaning. With the volume of information and connections we have today, sensemaking is one of the biggest challenges for all professionals who want to be engaged with networks that are meaningful  for their work areas. Harold Jarche mentions the abilities to Seek, Sense and Share as the basis of personal knowledge management. Not by chance is sensing the central process. The team could be “the” place to share the knowledge being generated in the networks of each person, and to discuss the filters that were used to process information. After all it is in conversation with peers who can challenge us that we generate knowledge. The leader may have an active role by creating context for dialogue and collective information mapping. He can also help the team understand what is most relevant. It’s easy to get lost when the forest is dense, and networks are dense.

Storytelling, something so valued these days, is also an important part of sensemaking, but we are talking, in this case, about making sense collectively in a team. What is the story we are all building together as we do our work?

 

8. Recognize. The more people share their thoughts out in the open networks, the more necessary to recognize the authorship of ideas. Thoughts are on a network to be appropriated by others, but giving credit is the basis of long lasting sharing. That is, for example, the principle behind the creative commons license. This so called “hacker ethics can be applied to the team context in the sense that people will increasingly share if they feel recognition and connection to others’ ideas.

 

There are many other ideas that would make a great debate, but I’d like to attempt a synthesis: the organization can be a platform for the expression of emerging talents and leaders can be the conversational weavers of those platforms. Innovation is a natural consequence.

Are you prepared?

 

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Open Innovation: Cracking the black Box

We are opening the Black Box of innovation. In fact, social media is forcing many black boxes to open based on a more free way of making large scale conversations. Open innovation is part of this movement. It is not only a matter of amplifying the search for ideas or the interaction with clients and suppliers. Open Innovation is part of a greater movement, of a Zeitgeist based on open creative fields. But what does this new concept tell us? If there is open innovation would there be a “closed innovation”?

Black Box Instalation by Tom Friedman

Last month we had a Conversation Jam sponsored by Dobra on this theme and our guests were Caspar Bart Van Rijnbach and Caio Vassão at JuntoSP coworkin.

 

“Closed Innovation”?

According to Caspar, this closed concept of innovation comes from Industrial Revolution, and the creation of the intellectual property is its cornerstone. This vision was dominant at least until the 1990s, when the greatest reference on innovation was 3M and its ultra secretive product development process.

A strong opposition to that idea only emerged after free software. Richard Matthew Stallman, or rms, founder of the movement preaches that all information wants to be free. But that started only in 1985, getting stronger during the 1990s and being crowned with the Cluetrain Manifesto (1999), that introduced the “open” philosophy in the business environment via marketing.

So the idea that a highly innovative production system can be based on the absence of intellectual property is very recent. It generates a radical inversion: those who do not open their innovation process are losing time. Sharing multiplies knowledge and thus makes new possibilities emerge.

 

Why Opening?

Caspar also stated the difference between open innovation and open ideation. The open ideation shares, and therefore opens, problem solving or idea generation processes of an organization, but the greatest impacts of open innovation do not come from this type of initiative.

In order to access the greatest benefits of open innovation, it is necessary to think about how the business strategy develops over time, understanding why and in what level it makes sense for the company to be open.

 

Lessons from free software

The development of free software is based on the voluntary engagement of talents to solve problems in the benefit of a community (of users and developers themselves). There is no money involved, but anyone can use it. “Do your best and be recognized”. Self motivation is the key and reputation is the necessary consequence.

But are organizations prepared for this type of self motivated free engagement, at least on innovation matters?

Are organizations able to foster the intelligence of their internal networks?

From a people management point of view this is a radical idea that shakes systems such as career and performance management, to say the least.

 

Innovation and Motivation

For Caio Vassão, the central theme is: what motivates innovation inside a company? How are innovative ideas validated?

But we can go even further: a key challenge to the open innovation process is to listen to innovation perspectives brought by partners from outside the company´s boundaries.  Does the organization let itself be modified by its network? Or is it going only as far as its own questions allow?

According to Paul Pangaro, variety is one of the most important conditions for innovation. Activating this variety in a collective creative process is a big qualitative leap for innovation networks. Caio Vassão argues in the same direction: innovation is a change in the ontology of the organization. It refers to the categories the company uses to organize its processes, its relationships and the routine discourses. The ontology determines choice mechanisms that can limit or amplify the variety the organization accesses to innovate.

Ontologies in a network are emergent. It is very complex for an organization to deal with them when its planning and management systems are based on pre existing taxonomies. Conversation usually goes around “growth pillars” and “strategic vectors” everyone should follow.

At the same time, there is enormous potential to that. There might be many innovation possibilities that are just not perceived by the mental model and the installed conversation patterns.

 

Innovating is dealing with paradoxes

So it seems that innovating in an open way means dealing with a fundamental paradox: being connected to what emerges and, at the same time, being able to make sense of it through strategy.

Since the ability to deal with paradoxes is one of the fundamental properties of complex adaptative systems, it seems we are getting somewhere. That is how it works in nature: clarity of purpose and deep connection to the environment at the same time.

 

A new mindset

An interesting view was presented by designer Ihon Yadoya at our Jam: “I don´t feel limited by the work environment. Innovation opens itself naturally when we solve our problems.” For those who think that way, the company is not a limit. Openness is inherent to innovation, something that is always available when we need it. This is an important mindset change. From the individual´s point of view, there is no closed innovation.

For those who work in connected environments, an idea generates a series of interactions and compositions. There are no boundaries to this. One more challenge for organizations facing the so called Y generation, one that lives in remix, and in eternal beta.

“Ideas belong to those that put them to action”- says Ihon. It´s as simple as that!

 

Who is ready?

The challenge is this collective authorship of ideas. And here some fundamental ideas on open innovation and strategy introduced by Caspar might help. He brought the example of companies that take part on the Battle of Concepts, promoted in Brazil by Terraforum. They are obviously worried about intellectual property.

But how do companies get ready for this new reality? Strategic thinking, says Caspar.

Kip Garland, brings his contribution and makes some important distinctions. For him, there are three levels of open innovation: sharing, building and decision making. Opening the decision process is the most complex level and sharing challenges is the less complex. Sharing refers to creating a collaborative network, building refers to bringing in each member´s strength and decision making… well, that´s where the greatest dilemmas are.

Caio agrees: making distinctions and choosing what to open is key. A reductionist view does not generate a process of collective construction. If the open innovation project is designed exclusively to profit from “Lei do Bem”, a innovation policy in Brazil, the benefits are reduced. The open mindset does not penetrate the culture.

Caspar presented the Phillips Innovation Camp case, which brings together many partners of the company to an environment where architecture contributes to make people meet and exchange ideas. There are no cars. An open culture emerges.

 

Shortening the thought-to-action cycles

Caio considers that open innovation is related to a short thought-to-action cycle. Somebody perceives a new reality arrangement, new ontologies emerge, unseen opportunities arise.

Kip brings the Visa Vale case to the table. The company was conceived by an ABN Amro Real bank executive who understood the consequences of a change in Brazilian regulation laws. In Five years, a 2 billion dollar business was created… outside the Banks boundaries. The institution could not evaluate the executive´s proposal of a new business when he was still an employee. It was a path that could not be analysed by the ontologies the company had at that point.

The challenge therefore is: how do we present business concepts that don´t yet exist? How are we able to listen to the proposals open innovation can bring? How do we distinguish what is relevant?

For the group that was present at our Jam, one of the most important answers is creating prototypes that materialize these possibilities. There is a certain simplicity to that: creating prototypes is storytelling to present ideas.

Caio suggests: then it is not a question of what we have to build, but of what we have to take away for motivated people to be able to present their ideas. It is about building open platforms and short cycles of prototyping inside and outside organizations, labs of new realities in which creation and action are closer and closer.

So much to do!

I Love Idea Jams!

 

5 Reflections on Open Innovation

What is the big buzz about open innovation? What’s the big change? The subject was discussed at the Connecta 2010 Congress in São Paulo and at Stefan Lindegaard´s workshop (during The Hub SP Winter School). It´s been approached in books and web communities and accounts for more than 12 million links at google search. Here are some thoughts about the theme from the last few weeks.

Social network mapping by Felix Heinen
1. All innovation is open. This conception was clear both in the speech of Matthew Heim, CEO of NineSigma, at Conecta 2010 as in Stefan Lindegaard´s.

Today open innovation has become a “buzz word” because new online tools have opened up possibilities that where not devised before, but in a few years all innovation will be open, or connected, as Jeff Bellairs, director of General Mills worldwide Innovation Netwwork, puts it in Lindegaard´s book. In addition, all innovation has always been somewhat “open”, since it requires a huge range expertise to be implemented. The mith of the Genious is far behind, we all know innovation is in most cases a collective achievement.

The difference nowadays is the availability of new mechanisms for building conversation networks around innovation. There are far more sophisticated ways of searching, connecting and managing such networks. Any company that has a well defined innovation question, a good “Elevator Speech” (making its innovation vision clear) and the right tools can have access to virtually any connected professional in the world. (That is not enough to keep an innovation network alive, but it might be a good start).If each person is a portal as Augusto de Franco put it during Conecta, the possibilities are endless.

So although basic characteristics of innovation, such as the need to coordinate a diversity of players and the inevitable stumbles inherent to the creative process, are the same, there is a significant increase in the complexity and connectivity of innovation networks and of organizations themselves. New questions emerge in this context, such as how to stimulate agents to connect and generate value in an innovation network and how to deal with and profit from these new possibilities. Open innovation potentiates the creative capacity of individuals and organizations, but it is a new way of discovering, relating and doing business.

Perhaps the big issue is creating a management paradigm to fit such a connected business environment. The verb manage has to be reinvented to deal with elements such as control and instability, creativity and organization. Innovation lies at the edge of chaos but it takes very wise management to deal with the paradoxes inherent to this state. Who is ready? How will partners in a network collaborate and deal with power relationships, for example? Which network patterns will emerge from open innovation?

2. It must start at home. One point that is placed as a success factor by several experts and case studies is to start articulating the organization’s internal network. It may seem trivial, but creating a network culture in which the relevant innovation questions can be shared with staff members and direct partners is a big issue.

The lives and conversations inside companies are still largely organized into “clusters” (work areas, processes) and it is difficult to visualize the larger map of innovation when time is short and accountability for results relentless. One must deliver the planned. How will organizations deal with emerging issues that change nonstop?

In this sense there are great challenges in terms of culture and organizational environment, such as to enable engagement in innovation projects (not only those projects that are already the responsibility of each one), to open space and to recognize that engagement. Most organizations are still far away from a “project” culture, where one can engage by his or her own desire to put to use the top of one´s knowledge. How will that be proposed to the external network if it is not the proposal internally?
3. Networking is bonding. There is a good discussion about how to promote the engagement of different actors in open innovation. There are two clear paths, and in Matthew Heim´s vision they are complementary. In the first case, actors enter the network to help answer a specific innovation question. In the second case, a permanent network is formed, and individual actors have a lasting bond.

There’s a difference between these two paths. In the first case, thinking of network management can make sense: you need to manage the innovation questions and the actors that can help solve them.

But in the second case, who manages the permanent network if each organization is (at principle) just another actor? And in the case the network is managed by a big company, how will creativity and self organization emerge? How will power affect the development of fair share relationships, as Umair Haque suggests in his behavior innovation approach?
Sustaining a permanent network implies network ethics. Today it is very common for large corporations, for example, not to respond to work proposals developed by their partners. Imagine how this behavior would be seen in a network, where spontaneous contributions among agents is what brings value to reputations.

Relate this to the theme of “being the preferred partner,” posted by Lindegaard in his book, and imagine how network relations represent a change for organizations. It must be a new way of living if you really want to have it in its full potential.
4. The network builds on diversity. Venessa Miemmis, who defines herself as a digital ethnographer, provides some inspiration to think of win-win relationships not as equality, but as something to be built from the different roles that actors play in networks in which they participate.

Venessa has posted a very interesting chart about the different roles that actors have in networks (which was deeply discussed, if you have the patience to read the comments).

When I looked at the chart I thought about the level of complexity of any sort of “management” or even setup of a network. Each actor takes on different roles in the networks it participates, and those roles change as time passes. To maintain a network with an ecology that allows both the diversity of actors and the diversity of roles played by them is pretty challenging. It is worth reflecting on how this affects  open innovation.
5. Creating conditions to be affected by a network is one of the biggest open innovation challenges. I’ve been reading It’s Alive by Christopher Meyer and Stan Davis where I found a wise statement I play freely: networks make us more sensitive but also more vulnerable to chance.

It is not just a question of demanding solutions from a network, though that can lead to good problem solving. The point is also to improve organization sensitivity and improve the quality of its problem finding capacity. Being connected increases the capacity to perceive transformations in business environment, but that depends on the network pattern you are living. This is about asking and being asked, to demand contributions and contribute as well. That is why understanding network patters will be so important to open innovation.

Finally, a question that maybe just time will respond: will open innovation undermine the organizational models as we know them? How?



What is PKM?

PKM means Personal Knowledge Management. It consists of practical methods to make sense of the increasing flows of information around us. As explains Harold Jarche on his blog.

How do you build your personal learning environment?

In other words we are speaking about the personal capacity to be crossed by numerous information flows without being torn apart by them, and at the same time keeping in mind a singular personal guidance, a life project and the desire to absorb and produce knowledge.

Here we have a very interesting point because PKM is not just about how a person absorbs knowledge but also about his or her ability to produce and share it.  In PKM we don’t think only about ourselves but about our network and how we can feed it. What is the knowledge that only I could produce and share with my network?

Thus, personal knowledge management would be the basis for social knowledge management, facilitated and structurally catalyzed by technological tools that enable our networks today.

This view of knowledge management is quite innovative in the context of organizations, because much of what has been produced to guide knowledge management in this context is based on the organization’s centralized view: knowledge must be standardized, circulate and reach the right place.

The discussion of PKM changes the subject. It places the individual, his choices and his multiple networks at the heart of the game and starts to connect KM with such topics as career management, which had not featured in KM discussions so far.

Harold Jarche uses a model named “Seek, Sense and Share” to explain how he manages his personal knowledge but he admits “PKM is a personal process”.

Pierre Levy points out the importance of storytelling, since we are story producers as we interact and talk in our networks. He’s dedicated his time to a very interesting and profound discussion on the semantics of the web.

Stephen Downes and Internet Time Alliance group talk about Personal Learning Environments and bring to the discussion the many ways individuals organize their formal learning (performed in the school context driven, classroom or online courses) and informal learning (based on conversation skills and in the networks each one is involved).

With the individual at the center, the issue of diversity comes back. There are many ways of learning (Howard Gardner has defined 8 of them).Each person has a distinct way to absorb, to process and manage the learning process. How do we stimulate personal knowledge management taking this diversity into account?

I kept this question with me for few days. One of the possible answers that I heard in my network was the importance of defining interests and filtering information into categories. That’s interesting, but maybe quite a structured process for my personal learning style, so I went on with the question.

As we are exposed to numerous flows, perhaps our personal learning environment and PKM are emergent features of our lives, defined as our surrounding chaos takes form. Maybe these environments and the different ways to manage knowledge change as dynamically as the knowledge networks we develop around us.

It was then that I came across an article posted by Thierry de Baillon on his blog about complex organizations and the learning process. The author introduces the concept of micro-foundations of dynamic capabilities that give rise to emerging practices in organizations. This inspired me to think about the importance of PKM.

Maybe the individual and therefore his personal network could be the genesis of these micro-foundations. This view brings us a much more dynamic perspective on how practices in organizations could evolve. Concepts such as ‘best practices’ would be made obsolete if organizations could visualize and trust these micro-foundations. Why do we need one best practice if we can have a diversity of options as rich as the extended network that surrounds an organization?

Maybe this approach is fearful. It is barely impossible to control a complex system and it takes courage and trust to let practices emerge, but a lot of relevant knowledge, totally applied to work, could arise from the professional management’s capacity to be exposed and filter a diversity of flows. Why do we rather trust people to execute that to make choices?

This possibility can inspire us to rethink the meaning of promoting learning practices in the organizations. It is not a matter of mass customization only, but a fundamental change of the vision organizations have about the individual as a “resource” to be “used” in the most economical way as possible.

For the individual to be the genesis of emerging practices, he must have freedom to relate, to connect and to produce. Conversations must flow, as Humberto Maturana is teaching us, because they are at the heart of a dynamic culture. As it happens to a jellyfish taken from the sea to be observed, the individual dries when removed from his networks (for example through corporative firewalls). His PLE gets restricted and it loses much of the wealth he would have to offer.

The individual is also an emergent. The richness that he had when he was hired is not kept if his personal knowledge management environment is restricted or, in other words, if his network territory is encrypted by the organization. Perhaps it’s not necessary to control anything if each professional is really engaged in what he or she does.

Maybe we are the generation of difficult questions. We face a complex world but we don’t yet have the tools or the capacity to visualize solutions. There is a lot of conversation and exchanging ideas to be done.

10+N things I learned at CIRS

The CIRS Conference was held from on march 10th to 13th. It was a Social networks conference held during #CICI 2010, the International Innovative Cities Conference at Curitiba (State of Parana) Brazil and I decided to post about it in English. But what should I post? There were so many interesting conversations within and outside the lectures!

Here I compiled some of my personal learning.  Not everything is indexed by authors. In my mind everything has mingled and transformed, just like it happens on networks.

Here it goes!

desperate nodes dispute energy plugs

1. A network is not its nodes but its patterns. A network is pure movement so it is not possible to know what could modify or influence it. Even mapping a network is only an attempt to photograph a territory that is constantly modified. Mapping networks is archeology, as said by Clara Pelaez.

2. Being in social networks is to inhabit the unknown. Due to the abundance and irregularity of connections it is not possible to know how an information or idea will flow, where it will end up, and how it will be transformed, reinterpreted or buried.  Understanding this, Twitter is changing its configuration and enabling users to engage their applications into it. The network resists imprisonment and businesses need to gain plasticity to profit from it.

3. Living in networks and cooperating are human attributes that have been fundamentally modified by the available tools. The easiness of connection radically diminished transaction costs of cooperating in networks and enabled many initiatives that would not exist if companies were required to manage them, so tells us Clay Shirky. The firm is simply not a viable model for most human desires and projects due to its increasing transaction costs.  Coordinating network action is much cheaper.

Moreover organizations distort the network pattern and make it difficult for self-organization to happen, just as buildings make it difficult to see the landscape. (I live in São Paulo and could never draw the real landscape!) This idea was already in the CIRS opening ceremony performed by Augusto deFranco.

4. What gives life to networks are the emotions behind the speech of each member. There is much discussion on information running on the network but not on emotion. The network is a place of storytelling, says Pierre Levy.  It is a place inhabited by real people and real desires. Maybe that’s why brands have a certain difficulty to appear legitimately in networks. Brands are not people.

5. The entry into a network has to be voluntary. Those who don’t enter voluntarily don’t really connect, share knowledge much less motivation. Involuntary entrants usually won’t be live nodes. Network is expression.

Cacau Garnieri talks about the real experience of Peabirus and its network organizational model at the Open Space Dialogue.

6. “Small is powerful” when you are connected, says Clay Shirky. Forget big networks. Even within a larger network there is a small one that inspires, energizes and makes it happen. The anxiety of a large organization to have such a large network does not make sense in this context. The network is not born from a central desire but from the capillary desires and the connections established between them.

7. Leadership in a network is volatile, it evaporates as the task it helps coordinate is finished. The choice is either to engage in other desires or projects present on the network or be replaced. The big difference is that this not a bad at all. Living in a network is letting go of the status, the movement is constant and if you are not the leader of the moment you may want to read a book, go to the beach or simply continue living in the network.

8. The great network frontier is not given by tools but by the cultural environment. A network creates a common system of meaning that changes and renewals as information flows. There are beliefs, values and customs in each network. Clay Shirky tells us that there is a singular bargain for each network: an implicit set of rules of operation and, most important, a purpose or “why” the network was created. Culture creates agreements and obstructions that show what is off bounds. These boundaries, however, are liquid. The network is a moving territory.

9. “Tagging knowledge gives a kind of access to the subjectivity of others who know, who post, who tag.” “There is an emotional energy connecting the discursive process”. These and other phrases and interpretations are tagged under #2010CICI (mostly in portuguese). This tag came to be among the top 10 of Twitter during the Conference and shows that the discussion of semantics as crucial web crawler continues. Pierre Levy gave us a taste of it, although he made it clear that he is not talking about the same as Tim Berners-Lee. “The image of a coordinated semantic system mathematically processed, where we can find all the concepts and the transformations they might go through…” Well, those who have the curiosity to explore his website will see where he´s going with collective intelligence at this point. It´s worth it!

Pierre Levy inspired by I-Ching

10. Without personal knowledge management there’s no collective knowledge management. Nowadays a huge challenge, as also pointed out by Pierre Levy, is keeping personal focus when learning and producing knowledge on the web.  Personal knowledge management is the basis of collective intelligence because it initiates the cycle of expliciting knowledge and feeding our conversations. When we talk we use words and concepts, we make deals and progressively create common metadata that becomes the collective knowledge management.

11. …N. We learn about networks in networks. I heard it from a friend named Luis Bouabci who is deeply involved in the study of social networks. We were leaving the event when we started a conversation. We sat on the steps and watched the workers dismantle an immense panel with the title of the conference to open up the overall view of Curitiba in front of us.

More interesting than the theory is the practice of networks where everything is being built online. There are so many possible variations that the theory would not and does not account to explain. Explanations don´t replace life. One must live networks.

“I store my knowledge in my friends”

amazing human pyramid in Barcelona

amazing human pyramid in Barcelona

This phrase, suggested by Rae Tanner during yesterday´s on line learning trends and innovation conference stroke me as one of the biggest insights about what web 2.0 means to our learning environments, to knowledge management and, ultimatelly, to our lifes.

An insight could be defined as an intuitive grasping of the inner nature of things. I think the phrase just fits the definition.
Wich new world is this where we can say that phrase?

“I store my knowledge in my friends.” As I know more and more people on line and have such easy acess to them, new doors are literally open as I, for example, can visit their favourite sites instantly. I don´t know everything, but I know people who know a lot! It might seem obvious, but it takes such a burden out of our backs and makes life much more interesting. Ideas can really emerge out of these chaotic connections. For me it is complexity materialized into reflection, production and what else might come. This might take us to another state, as Prigogine might say.

So, I´ll share some links that online friends have shared with me .

http://kmedge.org/2008/08/knowledge-management-and-enterprise-wikis.html

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/ben_dunlap_talks_about_a_passionate_life.html

http://www.istrategylabs.com/2009-facebook-demographics-and-statistics-report-276-growth-in-35-54-year-old-users/

http://www.wirearchy.com/

but there was much more…

Deidre B sugested the term social learning designer to define our new roles as learning professionals.

Jay Cross says “simplicity is the ultimate sofistication” (to wich I totally agree).

Ross Button is developing an internet inside type of 2.0 corporate solution and

Mireille Jansma is reflecting upon how dialogue methods and web 2.0 interact (so am I).

Hope the headline phrase makes sense to you too. The people you need to meet just might be out there.

Tks to all!