Yesterday I met with Pascal Kaplan and his son Soren, the principals of Icohere, an innovative on-line conferencing system. Armed with a ticket to the Collaborative Communities 2003 Conference, today I'm sampling the presentations and discussions that remain on the web after the real-time event is over.
Since I just returned from four days at a traditional conference, it's only natural that I compare the live experience to this dead one.
Icohere is providing the infrastructure for David Cooperrider?s Business as an Agent of World Benefit project, so that?s where I started, with a narrated PowerPoint style talk. I had latched onto Cooperrider's work last month. Cooperrider's approach, and his focus on sustainability, parallel the work of John Adams. Funny how things converge when you're having fun.
Key vision. Seeking a place for daily global dialogue on transformational cooperation. Leaders everywhere are thinking about the relationship of business and society. Business has the opportunity to be the new creative force on the planet.
Can we articulate both the common ground and the higher ground. Stories of exemplars, a new societal learning process, anticipatory learning. Interviews with millions using the interview guide.
To discover and unite the best in business with the call of our times of creating prosperous, inspired and sustainable societies.
Appreciative Inquiry. A way to see the world anew. Deficit-based theory of change was common; it is a problem-solving approach with its root-cause analysis, brainstorming of solutions, and presentation of action plans. The view is that organizations are problems to be solved.
Time for a new metaphor. Organizations are not problems to be solved. Organizations are centers of human relatedness, alive with infinite potential for innovation. Instead of What is wrong?, ask What is strong? Searching for the good, the possible, we found that human systems moved in the direction of our questions. What is the organization like when it is most alive? A remarkable energy for change begins to emerge.
Research supports this view: placebo, Pygmalion effect, positive emotions, imbalanced inner dialogue.
Now I head over to the Conference Hall to hear David Coleman's keynote, The Evolution of Collaboration and On-Line Communities.
Well, I guess I won't hear David. He provided a presentation in Adobe Acrobat. Interesting stuff; I downloaded it to study more thoroughly later.
Richard McDermott is the next presenter. His topic is the Human Side of Virtual Communities. Soren has told me this is one I must check out.
Oops. I got lost there for a few minutes. For some reason, my default was set to show only the most recent posts. I could not find Richard's talk. Resetting to All fixed the problem.
Communities of Practice are a small part of a KM strategy. Some communities arise spontaneously. Other times, an organization purposely links opinion leaders in a strategic community. Sometimes it takes more: Centers of Excellence.
Let me show you what I'm looking at. I entered the Conference Hall and clicked on Day One Keynote Presentations. I chose one. And I ended up here:
Here's something I wish I'd had in San Diego: you can jump from slide to slide. I did this to skip over things I found boring and to re-listen to things I wanted to stick. Some speakers have the ability to condense a lot of learning into a few slides, and here are two examples:
My next stop was Verna Allee's presentation. Businesses are networks. Everything is networks. But networks are not all the same.
The dogs begin to bark. I click the Pause button, something else that would be nice to have at live events, a put-the-world-on-hold button, as in Nicholson Baker's book, The Fermata.
Verna's material is compelling, and it invites a lot of questions. In Icohere, Q&A discussions follow every presentation:
David Woolley on The Right Tool for the Job. Comments suggested that this is a great presentation. David gives a handy taxonomy of collaborative tools. It's all at his site if you're interested.
By picking and choosing judiciously, I spent just under three hours at the online conference site. I received several times as many lessons as I did from the live sessions at ASTD.
Recently readers of the Learning Circuits blog reported to me that they learn a lot more in the halls and over lunch at conferences than from the formal presentations. (It's that old informal learning once again.) That holds true for me.
Icohere provides an easily navigated collection of presentations and remarks but there's no hallway for informal face-to-face interaction. During the event, IM could take care of that.
This is friendly software.
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