Here's yet another effective form of learning.
I am thirty pounds overweight and must exercise at leasst 30 minutes a day to work off the fat.
I can transfer MP3 sounds files downloaded from the 'net via the USB port on my computer.
This tiny $80 device can record or play two hours of voice.
Yesterday I downloaded a variety of high-tech intereviews by Doug Kaye. Later, I trudged up a steep hil while listening to interviews with Chris Perillo, Steve Gilmour, and Craig Newmark. Forty-five minutes later, I had completed the day's exercise and learned a lot more about sydication, the Microsoft/Sun deal, and forming social networks. I had also completed the day's exercise.
Hearing a recorded voice has more impact than reading the same message. Talk about a cheap delivery system. Give everyone one of the gizmos and load if up with need-to-know information.
It my case, this is an example of mutlitasking that works.
High on my list of things that really tick me off are:
There's no simple way to put things back to normal. I'm not about to go through the multi-step process of removing each instance of this garbage manually; life's too short. I will clean at the crap at the SQL level.
Then there's the issue of stopping this from happening in the future. I may switch over to MT 3.0 and force people to register in order to comment, but I fear that this will reduce the already pitiful level of response here. I may set up sufficient disguises and spoofs to mislead a Spam-posting bot.
Has anyone found a really effective way to stop this nuisance?
Google should take away the incentive for this by overlooking links that appear in Comments fields. I think I'll jot them a note.
I was never a Spiderman fan. Superman and Batman were in vogue when I read comic books. Recently, Spidey has been popping up on my radar. Only yesterday, Boing-Boing pointed to Spiderman satire. [Refresh the page when you get there for a rotation of 20 strips.]
I'm losing my hearing. It's not like someone turned down the volume knob on my ears. No, it's more like the sliders on my mental audio mixer are set to drop out a few frequencies. A sound in an otherwise quiet room is crystal clear but a voice in a crowded room fades into the generalized noise. This got me to thinking about nonverbal communication and the oft-quoted finding that most of what's communicated in conversation does come through our ears.
Professor Albert Mehrabian has pioneered the understanding of communications since the 1960's. Aside from his many and various other fascinating works, Mehrabian established this classic statistic for the effectiveness of spoken communications:
* 7% of meaning is in the words that are spoken.
* 38% of meaning is paralinguistic (the way that the words are said).
* 55% of meaning is in facial expression.
"Mehrabian's research involved spoken communications. Transferring the model indiscriminately to written or telephone communications is not reliable, except to say that without the opportunity for visual signs, there is likely to be even more potential for confused understanding and inferred meanings." Mehrabian's site is worth a look, too.
Thinking back on the findings that people tend to treat computers as if they were people, I began to wonder if an avatar can communicate nonverbally.
Spiderman is clearly a poor choice because he rarely changes expression; I'm not even sure he has lips.
Better pick some more expressive figures. Have them all say the same thing and see if the impact of the message differs....
Are the messages equally compelling? Believable?
Does the "speaker" influence your evaluation of the content? Do you feel one communicates better than the other?
Leave a comment if you think there's anything to this.
1. 'Dance' with the nonverbal signals being sent your way on a moment-to-moment basis.
Stop and ask the other person what their nonverbal behavior means if you are uncertain about it. It is more effective to be 'in the moment,' tuning in to your audience, than to drone on with what you were trying to say.
2. Use the tonality of your voice the way that a musician uses an instrument.
When you are expressing love you can speak in soft, lilting tones. When someone is crying you can speak with a 'crying' sound in your voice. When you are setting limits on a toddler's behavior you can use a tone of authority and firmness.
3. Soak in the hugs that others give to you.
Many people have difficulty being 'present' in the moment to truly receive the affection that comes with a hug. You probably need to be hugged more than you are being hugged, so why resist?
4. Express gratitude to your audience when they are being attentive and responsive.
The encouragement could increase the level of attentiveness and responsiveness, making it a more enjoyable experience for you and for them.
5. Use good eye contact.
Many people stop using eye contact when they are speaking about their successes due to fear or embarrassment. Others stop using eye contact when they are talking about painful things.
6. Stop what you were doing when your listeners look glassy-eyed or bored.
Take ownership and responsibility for the situation by saying, "I must be 'off' tonight because I'm not getting that 'you're interesting' look." Change something drastically about what you were doing.
7. Tune in to the 'metacommunication' that is going on at a given moment.
Metacommunication involves noticing the larger context of communication. It can be helpful to tune in to the larger context when there is a sense of being provoked by what a speaker is saying. For example, you might ask yourself, "Why is my teenager telling me that he is going to pierce his tongue? Is he telling me to test me or to take a risk of being open with me?"
8. When you are confronting someone who you are in a close relationship with, reach out to take their hand in both of yours.
This kind of gesture will communicate that you want the difficult words that you are sharing to increase your intimacy rather than to put a wedge in it. A caring gesture during a confrontation can assist the other person in hearing you instead of defending themselves.
9. Notice the effect that your words have on others.
Do they cause life or dampen life? With practice, your 'radar' will improve and you will immediately know the effect that you are having on others.
10. Hug others as if you were St. Peter greeting newcomers at the Pearly Gates.
Leo Buscaglia was on to something. Dr. Buscaglia, the famous educator known as Dr. Hug, made it part of his lectures to hug any members of the audience who would line up for the embrace.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
If you walked into the conference I’ve been attending for the last two days cold, you would not have a clue what people were talking about or why you would want any part of it. You might think you’d stepped into a revival for geeks. I’ll bear witness to what transpired.
Speakers fervently describe a Second Coming for IT, an entirely new and hyper-productive way of doing business. In the Promised Land, managers and workers no longer need to turn to IT to get their jobs done. Bankers run the banks and merchants run the stores without relying on CIO’s to satisfy their customers. Silos fall. Everyone makes informed decisions. Converts are on the edge of their pews.
The prophets envision the profits, but
their belief system lacks a name. Some call it Business Process Management.
Other say it’s Web Services. Yet others talk of Service-Oriented Architecture. They
describe the wonders of SOAP and UML, seek blessings from W3C and OASIS, and
tell parables of independent
angels agents doing what’s right. They speak in tongues.
Non-believers sense a sham. The masses have long prayed at the altar of IT for better, faster, cheaper ways of creating value and making the world a better place. The vengeful IT god inevitably punishes the populace with plagues of non-functionality, cost overruns, missed deadlines, administrative catastrophe, scaring away customers, frustration, and demoralization. To every FUD there is a season.
Are those who herald the new order today’s false prophets or are they messengers trumpeting true change? Business people are skeptical. Fool me once, shame on thee. Fool me twice, shame on me.
What does business gain from going to this church? Less lag time between strategy and execution. Faster response time to customers. More agility amid changing conditions. Faster cycles, less lead time, less lag time. Richer innovation and more of it. Focus on core strengths. Everyone singing from the same hymnal. This is not IT; this is business.
Twenty years ago, few executives touched a keyboard. Today, few business people change the process they employ to do their jobs. Tomorrow, workers will contribute to helping their organizations improve the way work is performed. Continuous performance improvement will become everyone’s job.
is lame, religion without
science is blind.”
Epiphany: If you climb up the ladder of abstraction several rungs, you can begin to divine what the prophets are talking about. The patterns we couldn’t see because we were too close begin to come into focus. The grand design becomes obvious.
The day-to-day world of commerce is so far below that the cubicles, silos, firewalls, and boundaries fade away. From up here, people and politics are impossible to discern. We’re looking at the broad flows of value across the global marketplace.
Just as the first image of the earth from space raised our consciousness of living on a tiny sphere in space, looking at the flows of knowledge and value from above brings what’s really important in commerce into sharp relief.
From up above, all business consists of flows of value across networks. As on the Internet, all nodes are connected. Sometimes the route from one node to another is circuitous and inefficient, but somehow it all works together. When synapses in the human brain traverse a meaningful route, the result is a memory. When value flows through an organization, the result is a pattern. When patterns are repeated and refined, they become a process.
Processes can be modeled and mapped. In fact, evangelists recommend that business organizations map current processes simply to get a handle on what they are really doing. Disconnects and gross inefficiencies will become immediately apparent.
A map of a process is a picture of how an organization works. The map tracks a common reality, not a view from within a silo. The map divorces descriptions of how things work from personalities and turf issues. A process map is the logic of business laid bare. No fluff. No politics. Just “Here's how it happens.”
Like a mural interpreting a meeting, a process map enables people to talk about what works and what doesn't without getting personal about it. The map is agnostic. Everyone's goal is to make it better. Furthermore, thanks to smart software, the value of choosing this option instead of that is automatically generated and explicitly stated.
For example, when HP was merging with Compaq, the combined organization had many redundant processes. The staff modeled each HP and Compaq supply chain process whenever they overlapped. They chose whichever process promised the best profit potential. Instead of presenting a list of software apps to debate, the supply chain guys presented a blueprint and financials for an optimal mix of interoperable processes. Now HP has taken this to marketing, sales, and manufacturing. Why shouldn’t all businesses be evaluating the way they do business all the time?
The electronic spreadsheet enthralled business managers with the power of what-if analysis. Process models take what-if analysis to the level of organizational change. In lieu of a spreadsheet’s rows and columns, process maps blueprint the value circuitry underpinning the business. Instead of seeing the effect of a 3% up-tick in sales, management can assess the impact of streamlining a process or outsourcing an entire function.
Time for a miracle. I want to move a few walls in my house to make a leisure room out of two small bedrooms. What if I could tear down the walls and build the new room by doing nothing more than changing the architect’s sketch of my house? Well, of course I can’t do that; I’m going to have to hire a construction crew. However, a process model can accomplish changes. Unlike my house, business is mostly virtual. Software runs the show. Change the process map on the screen, and the system automatically generates and installs revised code!
The seers prophesy a new category of asset: Process Capital. An organization that has its processes rigorously refined should be able to swap entire corporate functions in and out like Lego® blocks. The what-if model shows the bottom-line impact of handing off payroll and benefits administration and applying the resources thus freed up to a core business area. Sufficient Process Capital will enable an organization to focus on what it can do best and to shift that focus as conditions change.
What laid the groundwork for these audacious claims at the altar of process? Like a voice out of the wilderness, the Internet gave us the sign.
In 1991, CERN released the World Wide Web. A year later, the Internet had 1,000,000 hosts. Two years after that, Netscape went public and the Vatican went online. Assisted by Moore’s Law of the loaves and fishes, the Internet becomes the biggest force in the history of commerce, communication, and culture change.
The miracle of the Net gave us faith and guided us in the right direction.
From Babel to interoperability. In Old Testament days, IBM computers did not talk to UNIVAC computers; GE machines did not talk to Honeywells; NCRs did not talk with Burroughs; and RCA tried to talk with IBM but died prematurely. Commercial computing relied on proprietary software to handcuff customers who couldn’t afford to change horses. Software companies upheld the tradition. But the Net provided a lingua franca. TCP/IP succeeded where Esperanto had failed. Open standards enabled any compliant browser to understand anything on the Net. The value of joining the party soon outweighed the rewards of locking in customers, and before you knew it, IBM was spray-painting Linux penguins on the sidewalks of Chicago. Now in-house and commercial systems are adopting Web Standards, and eventually the world will transubstantiate into a single, immense network.
Don’t play God. The Net is a web without a weaver. No master programmer hides behind the curtain. Like Nature herself, the web organizes itself. Start with simple rules; clear the way; don’t get in the way; let it grow. Great and unexpected things arise from complexity if you let them. In IT, this letting-go takes the form of delegating interactions to bots, personas, and software agents.
Today I had lunch at Google with a friend. Lunch at Google is free and tasty. You can eat things cooked outside on the grill or choose from Italian, Asian Fusion, Mexican, Veggie, Charlie's Grill, or a salad bar. I had Charlie's venison.
You probably want to know what I found out about the IPO and the new product concepts the guys are batting around. Unfortunately, that's not what we talked about. Besides, Google's in their "quiet period." To help you get over that disappointment, I'm going to repeat a number of jokes from Dive Into Mark.
What's the difference between roast beef and pea soup?
Anyone can roast beef.
A man and a parrot sit next to each other in a plane. The service in the plane is really bad, the man hasn’t had a drink for hours and he’s starting to dehydrate. The parrot on the other hand is getting drink after drink by the harrowed cabin crew. Each time the parrot orders a drink it does so with a lot of cursing and shouting. The man decides to follow the same tactic and starts shouting. "Hey, bitch get me a whiskey!" To his suprise he gets his whiskey and follows through with the same tactic. Soon, both man and parrot outdo each other in shouting and insults untill the cabin crew has had enough. They grab the man and parrot and throw them out of the plane. Now both of them are plummeting towards the ground below when the parrot says to the man: "Boy, for someone who can't fly you sure do curse a lot".
Two molecules are walking down the street. One suddenly stops and says, "Wait, I think I dropped an electron." The other looks at him and asks "Are you positive?"
Mahatma Ghandi was an amazingly spiritual man, but physically he was quite a wreck. His penchant for going barefoot led to him having enormously tough feet. His diet, such as it was between hunger strikes, meant he was very thin and frail. It also had the side effect of giving him very bad breath. In fact you could say he was a super-calloused, fragile mystic cursed by halitosis.
IIS 5 Web Server Compromises
Antivirus experts and the U.S. Homeland Security Department are warning of a mysterious virus that has attacked "thousands" of Web servers that power a number of popular Web sites, none of which the department has yet identified.
The threat of infection is so high because the code created to exploit the loophole has somehow been placed on many popular websites. Experts say the list of compromised sites involves banks, auction and price comparison firms and is growing fast.
Demonstration of interoperability among three vendors and two open source initiatives (Fujitsu, Staffware, a client, Handysoft, and another)
ASAP = the Asynchronous Standard Access Protocol. Enter the URLs and the metadata hooks up automatically.
We're watching an interchange of activities on a live flowchart. Then we check the XML code and find that indeed the transaction made its way through the various organizations. Untouched by human hands. This is a virtual replay of pounding in the golden spike.
ASAP can be used today to link systems easily. Next step is to go through OASIS Process, but this is ready to go now.
WfMC is looking to design tool vendors to demo ability to upload and download process definitions using Wf-XML 2.0 in January 2005. Wf-XML 3.0 has "containers" which hold "factories." The URL of the factory automatically calls the details for the "instance" which includes the "activity." The activity contains two blocks of XML Schema: the data and the … The SOAP protocol carries this.
John Pike from Staffware, chair of the WfMC, points out how significant is the demo we have just seen. This was a historic moment.
Things in process are getting less visible, which is a sign of maturity - when things don't get in the way. The business used to be measuring, monitoring, and improving inefficient processes. The new objective is to use processes for innovation.
1. Innovation = application of an invention (something new) that brings benefit.
2. Two key elements are collaboration and knowledge flow.
3. Process innovation = requires a structured approach of experimentation, education....
Some of the panelists offer all-in-one, others focus on only rules or analysis. It's like assembling cars.
"Process Management Tools should be on the desk of every business user" (says Proforma).
Where is the demand for innovation coming from?
" Need a champion of processes and rules together (says a guy who sells both).
" Demand comes from the business that wants improvement in a process.
" Innovation is overwhelmingly making an existing process better rather than creating processes de novo (Fair Isaac)
" Next processes instead of best practices - things that haven't been automated before (SAP)
" No, most of it's new applications (ProForma, which covers only the analysis and planning end of things)
Where is motivating the demand for process innovation? (Jay.) Okay, I asked a bit more.
New paradigm. Higher level, where orgs think of process and rules as assets. Build for change.
Supply side business. We build it and then figure out what to do with it. We back into it.
Fair Isaac actually answered the question.
" Stay out of jail - compliance
" Profitability - cost cuts
" IT - infrastructure cost to high
Bottom up, top down, general awareness…it's pervasive. People are buying into it at different levels.
" Next practices. (says SAP)
" Ad hoc workflow vs. workflow in the silo.
" Seeking competitive advantage (buy, buy, buy says the vendor)
[Uh-oh. The vendors on the panel as jostling for position, only presenting examples that tout the value of their own solutions.]
Tom Dwyer observed that in high tech, we often invent something and later find the use for it. BPM is there. We're reverse-engineering the benefits from the invention.
I can imagine another back-formation from process centricism. When a business manager is confronted with the profit contribution of one way of doing things versus another, won't she want to take the option that's best economically? Will the long-term benefits of lasting processes get American business leaders to think more than one quarter ahead? Eventually, if corporations become truly transparent, market analysts could rate companies not only on earnings but also on whether they're focused on the long term or the short.
Doug Engelbart's name is reverberating in my head. Improve the process. Improve the process of improving the process.
BRP is the logic of business laid bare. No fluff. No politics. Just here's how it happens. It's a roadmap people can understand. Like a mural of a meeting, it enables people to talk about what works and what doesn't without getting personal about it. The map is agnostic. Everyone's goal is to make it better. Furthermore, thanks to smart software, the value of choosing this option instead of that is automatically generated and explicitly stated.
Customer focus. The Internet has had an impact on the awareness of executives. How quick can I get through the seller's website?
Process-Centric Company = A company that is organized, structured, measured and managed in terms of business processes. (Most companies are still function-centric.) This is more in the talking stage than the reality.
Electrocomponents plc, 743 million pounds
Download Annual Report
Chief Process Officer: Richard Butler
CEO, CFO, CPO
Lots of work on alignment in the 90s was horizontal, integrations from supplier to customer. New alignment is vertical: integrated measures, managers, and resources. The vertical lets management conceptualize the business and therefore to change
SEI CMM Process Maturity Levels, used to assess software by DoD but is a good touchstone for assessing process maturity. From ad hoc to process improvement. Most companies are only at about 2.5. They don't have measures that tie to strategic goals.
Strategy and Goals
Business Process Architecture
Six sigma/OMG model-driver architecture
Business Process Outsourcing = how to focus on core
Outsourcers are good prospects for BPM
Different groups want to discuss different pieces of the triangle.
Business Process Frameworks
Aka Reference Models, Templates
High level descriptions of a set of processes, measures, best practices
Provide a package that allows an analyst to treat a given process as an instance of a class of similar processes (they characterize processes at a high level)
1. Supply Chain Council (SCOR). 700 companies. How to link up processes at a high level and how to measure them. (Check their layers of modeling) This is essentially meta-processing mapping. Plan ' Source 'Make ' Deliver. At a one-day meeting, a dozen people from many companies spend the morning learning the terminology and notation; in the afternoon they create and agree upon a global, interoperable supply chain. An independent auditing agency provides benchmark data to other in an industry. The Benchmark enables you to assess your level of profitability if your performance were average. Management Plan and HR Best Practices are part of SCOR.
2. TeleManagement Forum eTOM, implemented in IT as NGOSS, their expanded architecture.
3. HPs Extended SCOR Architecture. In the Compaq merger, they modeled both the HP and the Compaq supply chain where each company had a similar process. Which process provides the best profit opportunity? Instead of a list of software apps, the supply chain guys presented a blueprint and financials. Now HP has taken this to marketing, sales, and manufacturing. It works great at HP, but since it's proprietary, it doesn't facilitate conversing with partners. (Two newly established councils are working on taking this to marketing and sales functions.) See www.supply-chain.com
for the latest; this only happened last week.
BP Frameworks are a major opportunity for companies to significantly improve their business process practices. Nothing else offers BP practitioners the speed.
Gary Chan explained how the City of Walnut Creek implemented BPM, the results received, and the City's vision of the future. This was the first time I've heard the details of a far-ranging deployment that involved all employees and will eventually link all customers (residents) in City projects. Plus, they brought the entire project home for under $100,000 and in less than six months.
BPM is the execution of software, measures, and processes than enable rapid, more accurate, decision making. It makes for fiscal responsibility.
Had a manual system. Nothing real-time. Two-week old reports. Monitor project progress.
Implementation of Metastorm, from signing the contract to generating reports, took place in 5 ½ months. Six weeks for training. Now installing web version. The City no longer uses any other project management software.
Creating paperless environment. Little training required: they pick it up at the push of a button. On-demand reports. Tracks all project communications. Automated processes for approval and to escalate multi-level project changes. Let's public service employees who don't work 8 to 5 communicate with others.
The total tab for the software and some expert advice from the vendor was $85,000. The hold costs down, Walnut Creek did most of the process design in-house.
Walnut Creek is currently putting the app on the Web. They envision opening up the system to citizens. If you've got a pothole in the street in front of your house, you log it on the system and monitor the trouble ticket from there on.
Difficulty implementing is that companies are not organized by process. We don't need to control so much as to do the right thing. How are our haphazard processes doing? Then how can we do them better?
This is all about making business more efficient, not about adding infrastructure.
BPM has an overall architecture for management.
What are our PKIs? How are we doing against those indicators? How could we do better? What's that worth?
Janelle: At the enterprise level, all the PKIs I know of are financial. (Should Workflow Institute help develop the intangible PKIs?)
One view: IT will come under the business managers. Contrarian: We've been there before. IT people think all Business people are idiots; the business people think IT people are idiots. Another contrarian view: When more people can make changes without coding than there are coders, things will change. Right now there is one BP analyst to every ten Java coders. It should be the other way around.
One view: IT vs. the business. IT should be the business.
Are there efforts to establish standards at a higher level, e.g. accounts receivable? There's SCOR. There are also semantics being developed for some 300 industries.
"Information Resource Management" covers everything IT should be doing.
Business Intelligence has demonstrated how coding can be delegated to business people. It's time for BPM to get on board.
From luncheon conversation:
Who's the #1 thought leader in this space? Geary Rummler.
Who do the vendors sell to? It's sort of like the training market. The natural buyers lack budget and clout. Few firms have a Chief Process Officer, so there's no natural prospect at the top level either.
I plan to summarize these reports and attach my consclusions. Then they'll go on the Workflow Institute site.
Yesterday I had lunch with Jinlei Ni, the former CEO of China's Beida-Online.
You've may have heard how China's telephone system leapfrogged poles and wires, heading from zero to cell phones with no intermediate stops.
Business in China is going through the roof, making almost unimaginable gains. Workers at all levels need business skills. Think of eLearning as the cell phone. Imagine leapfrogging instructors, classrooms, and chalk talks.
We may form a community of practice to tackle the challenge. Drop me an email if you'd like to be kept informed.
Brainstorm Group.Tuesday, June 22, 2004. Hyatt Regency, San Francisco Airport
by Janelle Hill, METAGroup
Confusion among the terms: BPM, SOA, On Demand, Adaptive Organization. BPM includes integrating human activities with required data & systems.
True e-Business has yet to happen. Although process management theory is mature, process thinking & use of BPM technology is not.
Adaptability of Business Processes
How much is too much? How often? Don’t do it all; do the processes that need to be adaptable.
To understand the bounds and potential of adaptability, business users must have an appreciation for the technologies.
Standardized top business documents for reusability; standards based, bullet proof
Point to Point one-offs, hard-coded, complex, high cost, specialized skills, single implementation infrastructure (VAN), data interchange only
Brokered architecture encourages reuse, Simpler tools, metadata driven engine, Standaradized application adapters, Transport Choices
High entry cost, Specialized skills, Emphasis on data an message transformation, not process, Not bullet proof
Lowers costs with standards – fewer skills required, commoditization drives down software cost, leverages existing data nd process. E.g., $500K in 2002, $50-250I in 2004. Visual representation (BPMN). Open (XML). Supports multiple levels of process abstraction in the modeloing palette. Change the process and automatically change the code.
The more your applications expose themselves as Web services, the easier they link to existing systems.
A summary of this report will appear at Modeling must become a business discipline – not a creative pastime. Get a real modeling tool, not just a drawing tool like Visio. The model facilitates the conversation between business process and IT. It defines what events – human or system interactions – advance the process. Abstract objects hide implementation details. (It’s software application-agnostic.) This just lets you define where you want business processes to be adaptive. BPM is a Service Oriented Architecture. Interoperable, virtual network. Challenges of BPM… (Business modeler = someone “like a former McKinsey consultant, who really understands the big picture.” I can’t imagine the cost of putting together a team of these guys.) IT culture shock: From Code to Models. Model mindset – not just learning the tool. Willingness to share development responsibility. This is a new game for IT, which has been accustomed to squirreling away during development and returning with a solution. If IT architects don’t buy in, this won’t work. BPM is both a strategy and a set of technologies. It requires business and IT to work with one another. Educate everyone, then assess readiness. Establish notational standards (not just Visio drawing). Peter Fingar, co-author of BPM, The Third Wave and The Real-Time Enterprise Peter is great. He wraps BPM into a package management can buy into. It's a Strategy-Execution Machine. Give your people "Work Processors" so they can get your business aligned. Bravo! Dot-com bust: $3.5 trillion sucked out of market. 300,000 jobs lost. Enough technology already. RTE = real time enterprise; BRM = business process management. Executives are fed up with three-letter acronyms and technology being foisted off on them. They’re reading Nick Carr’s “IT doesn’t matter” in Harvard Business Review. Carr suggests that IT is a commodity. Fingar says IT is nothing but an enabler. Porter taught us that differentiation is the key to competitive advantage. (Don’t read Porter; it’s soporific. Read Max Strategy, a 100 page parable.) FedEx founder wanted to “sell time.” Poo-pooed at first, Fedex IS NOW A $20 billion enterprise. George Stalk’s Competing Against Time is the argument in favor of BPM. We need a better vocabulary than IT’s to get managements excited about this. Toyota and Honda managed structural changes that enabled their operations to execute their processes much faster. Toyota went through a two-year internal M&A. (Now you can do it with BPM.) HBR July 1988. Change has switched from episodic to evolutionary. What was discontinuous is now a flow; the pace of innovation is what’s key. Serial innovators will run circles around the competition. Time-Based Competition Cycle, product design, lead, lag, time to market The most value for the lowest cost in the least amount of time. Cheaper, Better, Faster. Toyota: Empower the people on the line, not just the production line. “Downsizing was the objective of BPR.” Time based competitors: ········· Compress time to mfg and distribution ········· Cut time to develop and introduce new products ········· Cut inventory thru value-delivery system ········· Lever all competitive differences Process maps are not the object. The point is whether that map will execute with my business. We need executable BP models. BPM is not IT Software Development, its an IT tool that enables business people to build and manage processes “Time is the scarcest resource.” – Drucker GE: Digitization of business process was the key. Now it's shifting to managing processes. Time-based competition is not new. But the BPM System is a way to make it real. Look for his new book, differentiating BPM from IT. No one in the corner office has a clue what BPM is. BPM is all about strategy execution. Typical value chain has 22 companies in it. With BPM systems, the tide has shifted--For the 1st 50 years
IT has automated the business, for the next 50 years BPM systems will be used to automate IT. Competition is one end-to-end value chain vs your end-to-end value chain. Peter conceptualizes a Work Processor. It’s the competitive weapon of choice. BPMS inside. What does it do? It squeezes out time. This squeezes out the right kind of costs. NDA… The specs. Doesn’t automate people out of their jobs, but instead amplifies their work by providing human connections, a shared information base, a communal knowledge base, shared design tools, shared problem-solving tools, and a command and control capability over existing IT systems…all without onhe line of code. Underpinning include cognitive science, HCI, AI, pi calculus, M, collaborative filtering, semantic search, etc. Peter told me he is putting the finishing touches on his new book, which takes the Work Processor metaphor forward. Expo break BPM Thought Leader Panel: Creating the Process Oriented Enterprise Q: John’s familiar with the automation of human processes. That market never took off. What’s different now? What’s the trigger to growth? A: BAM, Web Services, etc., are all helping from a technical perspective. Accountability and governance issues raise issues of corporate control. A triggering event is the thought of the CEO going to jail. Q. Greg, senior execs ready to take on process responsibility? A: Yes, there’s a general understanding that processes are vital. Senior managers feel like they can’t understand ownership and execution. They must own the automation of the process. Q. Mark, why do you think outsourcing is the right approach? A: It becomes easier and easier to construct a contract if there’s outsourcing involved. Both parties need to manage their risk. Challenge – example – call center answers in funny accent you can’t understand. A measure might be how long it takes to get a question answered. Either party can game the system. John: Can an outsource guy go to jail? Who owns the process? Who decides? Rachel: customers are just starting to implement Sarbanes-Oxley. There are interesting court cases on the way. How about process insurance? Seems to me companies and their outsourcers need a pre-nup. Q. IBM’s modeling tool for BPM is a way to draw boundaries. What’s your experience? Do customers take ownership of the models? A: The most successful contracts go that way. BPM can enhance teaming, too. IBM is committed to standards. They are the only one with a BPEL runtime engine. Off the shelf processes viable? IBM: I’d call them process templates. RosettaNet and UCCNet involve processes, too. Use the 80/20 rule. It’s similar to packaged ERP. Takeaways from IBM at First Data Train motivated analysts Culture change required Find success everywhere Build confidence in the modeling process through ultra-competency Whatever you do, don’t give the analyst job to anyone in IT. They won’t buy it because they know better. Reading List: Luncheon speech by key sponsor Enron. Worldcom. Power blackouts. Hurricanes. Every one of these is the result of broken processes. Agility is the cure-all. AIIM finds that 44% put BPM on the top of CIO to-do lists. IDC says Managing Business Processes is #1 call in IT. The prime sources of BP value are: BPM is not IT. BPM works by consolidating the white space on the chart, not IT. Gartner looked at 50 BPM projects. 2/3 took less than 6 months to implement. 2/3 were primarily human focused. 2% had no human component. 60% hd no system activity. (Which makes me wonder if this is really BPM.) I asked METAGroup’s Janelle Hill if BPM designers were thinking about the workers’ quality of life that would result from implementing BPM Suites. She told me that process designers were aware that BPM would fail without people. They focus on human systems. I replied that eLearning experts all parroted the mantra that what counts is the people, not the technology. Then they sell and install the technology, and the workers are left to sift through excruciatingly poorly-designed programs. Do BPM folks factor the satisfaction of the worker into the equation? Alas, Janelle told me, no. It’s the old one-quarter-at-a-time thinking. I said we would address the issue at the upcoming Workflow Symposium. No show.
Competing on Time with the Revolutionary Business SEx Machine
Modeling must become a business discipline – not a creative pastime. Get a real modeling tool, not just a drawing tool like Visio. The model facilitates the conversation between business process and IT. It defines what events – human or system interactions – advance the process. Abstract objects hide implementation details. (It’s software application-agnostic.) This just lets you define where you want business processes to be adaptive.
BPM is a Service Oriented Architecture. Interoperable, virtual network.
Challenges of BPM…
(Business modeler = someone “like a former McKinsey consultant, who really understands the big picture.” I can’t imagine the cost of putting together a team of these guys.)
IT culture shock: From Code to Models. Model mindset – not just learning the tool. Willingness to share development responsibility. This is a new game for IT, which has been accustomed to squirreling away during development and returning with a solution. If IT architects don’t buy in, this won’t work.
BPM is both a strategy and a set of technologies. It requires business and IT to work with one another. Educate everyone, then assess readiness. Establish notational standards (not just Visio drawing).
Peter Fingar, co-author of BPM, The Third Wave and The Real-Time Enterprise
Peter is great. He wraps BPM into a package management can buy into. It's a Strategy-Execution Machine. Give your people "Work Processors" so they can get your business aligned. Bravo!
Dot-com bust: $3.5 trillion sucked out of market. 300,000 jobs lost. Enough technology already.
RTE = real time enterprise; BRM = business process management. Executives are fed up with three-letter acronyms and technology being foisted off on them. They’re reading Nick Carr’s “IT doesn’t matter” in Harvard Business Review. Carr suggests that IT is a commodity. Fingar says IT is nothing but an enabler. Porter taught us that differentiation is the key to competitive advantage. (Don’t read Porter; it’s soporific. Read Max Strategy, a 100 page parable.)
FedEx founder wanted to “sell time.” Poo-pooed at first, Fedex IS NOW A $20 billion enterprise.
George Stalk’s Competing Against Time is the argument in favor of BPM. We need a better vocabulary than IT’s to get managements excited about this.
Toyota and Honda managed structural changes that enabled their operations to execute their processes much faster. Toyota went through a two-year internal M&A. (Now you can do it with BPM.) HBR July 1988.
Change has switched from episodic to evolutionary. What was discontinuous is now a flow; the pace of innovation is what’s key. Serial innovators will run circles around the competition.
Cycle, product design, lead, lag, time to market
The most value for the lowest cost in the least amount of time. Cheaper, Better, Faster.
Toyota: Empower the people on the line, not just the production line.
“Downsizing was the objective of BPR.”
Time based competitors:
········· Compress time to mfg and distribution
········· Cut time to develop and introduce new products
········· Cut inventory thru value-delivery system
········· Lever all competitive differences
Process maps are not the object. The point is whether that map will execute with my business. We need executable BP models. BPM is not IT Software Development, its an IT tool that enables business people to build and manage processes
“Time is the scarcest resource.” – Drucker
GE: Digitization of business process was the key. Now it's shifting to managing processes.
Time-based competition is not new. But the BPM System is a way to make it real. Look for his new book, differentiating BPM from IT.
No one in the corner office has a clue what BPM is.
BPM is all about strategy execution.
Typical value chain has 22 companies in it.
With BPM systems, the tide has shifted--For the 1st 50 years IT has automated the business, for the next 50 years BPM systems will be used to automate IT.
Competition is one end-to-end value chain vs your end-to-end value chain.
Peter conceptualizes a Work Processor. It’s the competitive weapon of choice. BPMS inside. What does it do? It squeezes out time. This squeezes out the right kind of costs.
The specs. Doesn’t automate people out of their jobs, but instead amplifies their work by providing human connections, a shared information base, a communal knowledge base, shared design tools, shared problem-solving tools, and a command and control capability over existing IT systems…all without onhe line of code.
Underpinning include cognitive science, HCI, AI, pi calculus, M, collaborative filtering, semantic search, etc.
Peter told me he is putting the finishing touches on his new book, which takes the Work Processor metaphor forward.
BPM Thought Leader Panel: Creating the Process Oriented Enterprise
Q: John’s familiar with the automation of human processes. That market never took off. What’s different now? What’s the trigger to growth?
A: BAM, Web Services, etc., are all helping from a technical perspective. Accountability and governance issues raise issues of corporate control. A triggering event is the thought of the CEO going to jail.
Q. Greg, senior execs ready to take on process responsibility?
A: Yes, there’s a general understanding that processes are vital. Senior managers feel like they can’t understand ownership and execution. They must own the automation of the process.
Q. Mark, why do you think outsourcing is the right approach?
A: It becomes easier and easier to construct a contract if there’s outsourcing involved. Both parties need to manage their risk. Challenge – example – call center answers in funny accent you can’t understand. A measure might be how long it takes to get a question answered. Either party can game the system.
John: Can an outsource guy go to jail? Who owns the process? Who decides? Rachel: customers are just starting to implement Sarbanes-Oxley. There are interesting court cases on the way. How about process insurance? Seems to me companies and their outsourcers need a pre-nup.
Q. IBM’s modeling tool for BPM is a way to draw boundaries. What’s your experience? Do customers take ownership of the models?
A: The most successful contracts go that way. BPM can enhance teaming, too.
IBM is committed to standards. They are the only one with a BPEL runtime engine.
Off the shelf processes viable? IBM: I’d call them process templates. RosettaNet and UCCNet involve processes, too. Use the 80/20 rule. It’s similar to packaged ERP.
Takeaways from IBM at First Data
Train motivated analysts
Culture change required
Find success everywhere
Build confidence in the modeling process through ultra-competency
Whatever you do, don’t give the analyst job to anyone in IT. They won’t buy it because they know better.
Luncheon speech by key sponsor
Enron. Worldcom. Power blackouts. Hurricanes. Every one of these is the result of broken processes. Agility is the cure-all.
AIIM finds that 44% put BPM on the top of CIO to-do lists.
IDC says Managing Business Processes is #1 call in IT.
The prime sources of BP value are:
BPM is not IT. BPM works by consolidating the white space on the chart, not IT.
Gartner looked at 50 BPM projects. 2/3 took less than 6 months to implement. 2/3 were primarily human focused. 2% had no human component. 60% hd no system activity. (Which makes me wonder if this is really BPM.)
I asked METAGroup’s Janelle Hill if BPM designers were thinking about the workers’ quality of life that would result from implementing BPM Suites.
She told me that process designers were aware that BPM would fail without people. They focus on human systems. I replied that eLearning experts all parroted the mantra that what counts is the people, not the technology. Then they sell and install the technology, and the workers are left to sift through excruciatingly poorly-designed programs.
Do BPM folks factor the satisfaction of the worker into the equation? Alas, Janelle told me, no. It’s the old one-quarter-at-a-time thinking. I said we would address the issue at the upcoming Workflow Symposium.
This Tuesday and Wednesday, I'll be attending the Business Process Management Conference down the Peninsula. Why? I'm learning as much as I can about BPM because it underpins the revolution I foresee in business, computing, and learning.
Besides that, the Workflow Institute is conducting a conference on Workflow Learning in October, and I'm one of the ringmasters. It's always a good idea to know what you're talking about.
Workflow is the convergence of work+flow to achieve an optimal balance of work results and individual fulfillment. Business culture is breaking free of the industrial-age mindset that bottom-line results and worker happiness are natural enemies. Work can be among life’s greatest joys; flow drives a loyal, over-achieving workforce. Workflow research investigates how work and flow can converge to replace an unproductive either/or situation with a mutually beneficial worldview of both/and.
The Work I deal with is knowledge work, usually in an environment of next-generation computing which embraces Web Services, agent-based software, enterprise interoperability, extreme adaptability, and many lessons from the Internet. The goal of work is production and accomplishment.
Flow is the trickier piece of the puzzle. I am thinking of Flow in the psychological sense, as Mihaly Csizentmihalyi describes it.
People in flow are fully enjoying their work because they are so engaged in tackling difficult and worthwhile tasks. Channeling flow into work draws on meta-learning, appreciative inquiry, worker empowerment, instructional design, emotional intelligence, and a new concept of the nature of work. Flow is vital because drudgery is avoidable.
Mihaly's writing is uplifting, for example:
He says that instead of One-Minute Managers, we need hundred-year managers. The author is quite pragmatic about business taking a long-term view. Happy people do better work. They have higher morale; they are less likely to jump ship.
We've had opportunities to improve working conditions again and again. The peasant's lifestyle was impoverished and hard, but the early factory hand or coal miner working 12-hours days in wretched conditions certainly had it worse. People were not treated as machines. Foremen didn't beat machines. Supervisors didn't yell at and berate machines. Plant managers didn't abuse machines to the breaking point. No, the industrial workplace treated people worse than machines, as if they were throw-away tools.
We've come a long way, you think. Out of sight out of mind. But sweatshots, slave labor, stoop labor, lost limbs, and the working poor are all there if you look. Not to mention McJobs.
At least you can see the McJobs. I fear something nearly invisible: the working environment we are creating for knowledge workers.
Twenty-five years ago, the common wisdom was that by the time we reached the 21st century, our biggest dilemma would be figuring out what to do with all our leisure time. Even scooting around in your personal helicopter gets boring after a while.
Instead, we've got a world where nearly everyone has to work. Nobody feels they have enough time. Uncertainty reigns. Cancer, ulcers, and stress are leading us to premature graves. Our institutions are a shambles. Fewer and fewer people take pride in their work. Work encroaches on family time. Labor-saving technology merely raises the bar on what's expected. One in five American workers do nothing on their jobs but show up. The mass of knowledge workers lead lives of quiet desperation. We're rats in a maze.
I am optimistic about the future. Breakthrough technologies are poised to shower us with many gifts. We have in our grasp the ability to create jobs that challenge the worker and grow with her. We can provide clear goals, immediate feedback, and a balance between opportunity and capacity, the very things that define Flow. We can leverage the coming networks and interoperable, smart software to pull ourselves out of our ruts. Or we can engineer the most mind-numbing, rote, awful jobs the world has ever seen.
At the Workflow Symposium, I'd like to get these issues out in the open. How can we learning professionals make the future world of work a more enjoyable and, therefore, productive place? How can we apply our knowledge of learning and behavior to humanize the workplace? How can we ourselves attain flow in our work by performing in an enlightened manner?
I hope you'll join me in taking the higher ground.
When Jennifer Hoffman asked me to record a few thoughts from Training Directors Forum on a tiny RadioShack IC recorder, it struck me as kind of hokey but since I'm always open to experimentation, I recorded a blurb.
Someone responded yesterday, so I trekked over to InSync Center to post a reply. Once there, I saw a few friends' faces and felt obligated to hear what they had to say. When I heard Lance, Ghenno, Marc, Saul, Harvey, and others giving their extended sound-bites, it triggered their larger messages. It helped to have their photo alongside, tool
As I upgrade the Workflow Institute site, I plan to add some soundbites you can call up with a button. Jennifer's done a great job of making this easy to use. I suggest you take a look.
Meanwhile, on the screen, this message just arrived in my gmail box:
I Durga doing research in e-learning standards relationship and its role.
So I am conducting survey on this area. Here I attached my survey form. I will be happy if you could give me your opinion. I look forward to a favorable reply.
Please send my form by email or Fax.
A year ago, I would have opened the attachment and answered this chap's questions. Not now. For all I know, this is a virus-bomb being lobbed inside my firewall from a spoofed address. A wolf in sheep's clothing.
A pity this crap is so commonplace.
The San Francisco Bay Area has been blessed with great weather for a few days, and nature is ripping me away from my computer to go for walks. This morning I wandered down the hill to join the Saturday ramble of the path wanderers. Along the way, I plucked ripe purple and yellow plums from the trees overhanging the sidewalks. Then a season first brought a smile to my face: the first blackberries of the season. Yum. I'll be nibbling as I hike for the next couple of months! Picking wild berries as I walk is one of life's greatest joys, right up there with discovering cool shells on the beach.
The best back-to-nature walks around here are in Tilden Park, about a mile from here. When I started out yesterday, a buck was standing at the end of the block. (Today a small specimen raced past us on a busy shopping street down the hill, startling drivers and pedestrians alike.) Tilden is hilly and rugged. The grass is already brown but flowers and the red leaves of the poison oak punctuate every vista with color.
Tromping up the hill, a fellow with a dog passed me. "This is the cardiovascular section," he said. I told him that's why I was here.
Health was only one justification for my tromp. I'm hatching a new concept of what's going on in the world, and nature's a great place for quiet contemplation. It blows my mind that I can see San Francisco from the East Bay hills. It's jam-packed with people. Yet the guy and his dog are the only creatures I see during an hour of hiking.
This morning, when I awoke, I wrote: "We are at the dawn of an era that will change the structure of business, the nature of work, our view of the world, and our impressions of ourselves. Our culture and institutions are stretched to the breaking point. After a quarter-millennium of the Industrial Age, humankind is poised to rewrite the rules, abolish modern slavery, stop plundering the earth’s resources, and focus on using our time wisely.
In 1848, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Denmark, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, and others revolted against heavy-handed, absolutist rulers. In 2004, workers and business leaders are rejecting inflexible, top-down, Industrial-Age holdovers out of step with today’s fast-paced, networked, egalitarian world.
Business leaders are confused. Strategy is a luxury. A sea of information washes over us. Entropy replaces purposeful behavior. The future is a crap-shoot. People dread their jobs. Executives feel they’ve lost control. Corporations destroy the environment. Politicians destroy the economy. All is chaos. Chaos creates stress, and stress fosters cancer, heart disease, stoke, adult-onset diabetes, and mental collapse. Change is preferable to continuing the charade that nothing’s wrong.
The model for the future is biological. Nature doesn’t have executives, managers, supervisors, or bosses. No one’s in control. Living things interact with one another and their surroundings. They adapt. They grow. It’s not planned; it just happens. There are no hidden agendas, no shadow organizations. In business, complex interactions will spontaneously create organizations without bosses, software without programmers, webs without weavers, and learning without instructors.
Imagine the opportunities of businesses that are distributed, decentralized, collaborative, and adaptive. Everything flows. Slack evaporates. Cooperation replaces competition. Learning and work merge into a single stream.
I'm refining the mission of the Workflow Institute. We want to make the world a better place. Luckily, I've got some great advice to draw upon.
"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew."
Yesterday evening my friend Jason at Google/Blogger asked me, "Got your Gmail account yet?" I said I thought I'd wait until the privacy and intrusion issues died down. My said I should give it a whirl. I just signed up.
In the press coverage of email-with-Google-ads, I'd missed a valuable benefit of Gmail. With a gig of storage, you only need to delete old mail once a decade. In fact, when you push the "Trash" button, this message apprears: "No conversations in the trash. Who needs to delete when you have 1000 MB of storage?!" Furthermore, you don't need folders. You can tag an email with multiple labels for retrieval purposes. When you want something, just search for it. I'll take Google's word for it that their search is faster than that of Outlook or Eudora.
It would certainly be handy if I could upload my past emails into Gmail, so I'd have everything in one place.
For the present, I'm going to forward mail from other email accounts to Gmail. If I decide it's not my cup of tea, I can always cut off the forwarding and go back to my original set-up.
I'll add comments as I gain experience with Gmail.
There's no way to import a contacts file. Agh. My Outlook file has 1,000 names.
The contact list contains a place for free form entry. I may use this for my frequently called directory. (I don't have a PDA and don't really want another gadget in my life right now.)
Pro: I like being able to label emails for easy recall. It's less klutzy than folders and one mail can have multiple tags. Also handy to be able to attach a star to an email that requires follow-up (which you can easily remove when you've done it.)
Con: When I send an email with an attrachment, I am locked out while the attachment uploads from my machine to the mail server. This interrupts the pace of my work.
Jerry Johnson, one of my instructors at business school, taught us facetious business maxims such as "There are always three things." As I've become grayer and wiser, I've found that Jerry's rules often held up well. There often are three things.
Jerry's universal, three-step model of everything has proved itself particularly useful.
Applied in a learning context, it's a reminder to pay attention to what comes before and after a focused learning experience. Pre-work, screening, and maybe a getting-to-know-you pizza party before, and follow-up sessions, an alumni support network, and recognition after, can turn a lackluster workshop into something inspirational.
Thoughtout most of my life, I've been in a hurry to complete the 1-2-3 and get on to the next project. The fourth letter of my Myers-Briggs is always a big "J," indicating that I value Closure. I thought of projects like phone calls: 1. Ring, 2. Talk, 3. Hang up.
On Tuesday I was chatting with a friend in the U.K. We were using Skype, a nifty combination of instant messaging and free VOIP phone calls. We had been talking about all manner of things for twenty or thirty minutes when a client call interrupted our conversation.
When my friend started to say good bye, I suggested we not think of it like that. We weren't terminating our conversation; we were merely putting it on hold. We'd pick up where we left on whenever Skype showed that we were both online and available. Recognizing our conversation as a flow of information rather that a discrete event let me keep it open. Our conversation is like my connection to the net. It's up 24x7 but frequently idle. It's not off, it's merely not in use. Our conversation is not over, it's merely on hold.
Tuesday night half a dozen of us went to see the interminably long screed against business called "The Corporation." This movie slams business very hard, saying that if the corporation is legally a person, it's a psychopathic one. Examples abound: Monsanto shutting down a (true) Fox news story, Bechtel trying to charge Bolivians for water, Kathy Lee and Nike employing child labor, a market research outfit counseling retailers to increase sales by teaching children how to nag, and IBM colluding with Nazis. Noam Chomsky tells us it doesn't have to be this way. Michael Moore cuts up and tells us the only thing the corporation cares about is the bottom line. Milton Friedman agrees.
This movie is anything but balanced. Corporations = bad, bad, bad. Nonetheless, it raises some fundamental questions. The corporation is heartless. It has no morals. It leaps borders, becoming more important than government. It pollutes the environment and suffers no consequences. It pledges allegiance to only its shareholders. Public companies are following the old 1-2-3 model:
How can we get corporations to focus on the longer term? How can we hold them accountable for damaging the earth? What would make corporations support sustainability?
Yesterday I walked half a mile down the hill to Berkeley's Live Oak Fair, so named because it takes place in Live Oak Park, a block up from Wavy Gravy's house. I go every year. It's free. And fun.
All manner of crafts are on display, from ceramics to exotic clothing to handmade jewelry to vibrant framed photos of bears, coastal fog, and mountain tops. (That's scuplture made of forks to the right.) Four aisles of booths. This being Berkeley, the shoppers wore Birkenstocks, dashikis, face paint, Free Tibet t-shirts, mu-mu's, peace symbols, tie-dye, and other proto-hippy accoutrements.
On the other side of the creek, a four-piece combo played wonderful music while people noshed on smoked salmon caesar salad, pesto pizza, and Polish sausages. Kids splashed around in the creek itself. (The creek comes above ground a block upstream and disappears back underground at the perimeter of the park. Environmental activists are "daylighting" Berkeley's five major creeks.)
From Tom's http://www.tomkillion.com:
"Tom Killion describes his technique, tongue-in-cheek, as "faux ukiyo-ë" to emphasize his aesthetic debt to the landscape prints of early 19th century Japan, but also to acknowledge his embrace of early 20th century European / American wood-engraving and book illustration techniques and styles as well. Among his influences are both the Japanese ukiyo-ë landscape masters Hokusai and Hiroshige, but also European and American wood-engravers such as Eric Gill and Rockwell Kent. Killion carves his images into cherry, all-shina plywood, Amsterdam linoleum and other block materials using Japanese handtools. He prints his often elaborate, multi-colored images on handmade Japanese kozo papers using oil-based inks and a German hand-cranked proofing press."
At the booth, Tom had a set of proofs showing each stage of the making of the print you can see over his left shoulder in the photo. I took a photo of each proof, thinking they'd make a nifty animation. Unfortunately, I'd need to use a camera stand to do this right. The results (caution: large files) are in the Comments section below.
Click to see the animation
Wednesday 6/16/04. 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Meeting Coordinator: Jay Cross, [email protected]
1. Post mortem on ASTD and TDF
2. Suggestions for fun places to meet
3. Whatever moves you
ThirstyBear Brewing Company
661 Howard Street (next to Chevy's on Third)
San Francisco, CA 94105
How to identify the group:
Jay will wear his name tag from TDF
This is an informal meeting.
The Thirsty Bear is the only combination tapas bar and microbrewery in the world. The tapas are quite good. You need not feel embarrassed if you are a non-drinker.
It's Sunday morning and I've giving myself the luxury of interspersing web crawling with work. I just landed on Robin Good's Online Collaboration news page.
Robin filters, reviews, and points to noteworthy items on the web. His interests and mine dovetail, so I can spend beaucoup time sifting through what's here. For example:
There's the start of a great debate over centralization vs decentralization. The decentralists picture their position as:
How's this for a self-referential play-within-a-play? "Individuals, the future "newsmasters" and "digital information librarians" will
be the ones that will elect themselves to become active filters and aggregators
of the increasingly vast amounts of information becoming available online.
Without them, you would be either submerged or you would have to surrender to the poor, superficial and frequently manipulated reporting available through
mainstream media channels only. Individuals are also the new sustainable artists of tomorrow.
So much great information, so little time.
But that's not what I intended to ponder and write about this morning. Robin's Online Collaboration blog also lists this pointer:
When I posted my presentation to the Web, I mentioned it on thisblog. In typical blog fashion, that entry has scrolled off the page. For visibility, that's worse than being "below the fold" on the front page of the paper. Off the page means Lost in Space.
As anyone who has run an ad campaign knows, nothing really happens until the ad is repeated again and again, sinking into the buyer's consciousness. Imagine the multiplier effect of hitting a diverse group of readers again and again that this post is out there for free viewing. Maybe I'll put a pop-up box of faves on the front page to give the good stuff longer tenure there. While I enjoy creating new stuff, the 80/20 rule tells me there's more payback from seeking exposure from what's already here.
CLO magazine June 2004 - Jay Cross
What would you think of an assembly line where workers didn’t know where to find the parts they were supposed to attach? Absurd, you say. Heads would roll. Yet for knowledge workers, this is routine. Consider a knowledge worker stymied by a lack of information—hardly an uncommon situation. In fact, in many professions, knowledge workers spend a third of their time looking for answers and helping their colleagues do the same.
How does our knowledge worker respond? She’s five times more likely to turn to another person than to an impersonal source, such as a database or a file cabinet. Often she asks whoever happens to be close by, the denizen of the next cube or someone getting a cup of coffee. Half the time, this person doesn’t have a clue.
Only one in five knowledge workers consistently finds the information needed to do their jobs. This happens to “knowledge customers,” too, half of whom bail before completing online orders. Other studies have found that knowledge workers spend more time re-creating existing information they were unaware of than creating original material.
All this slows the pace of the enterprise, burns out the workforce with scut work, reduces responsiveness to customers and increases job dissatisfaction. Reinventing the wheel, looking for information in the wrong places and answering questions from peers consumes two-thirds of the average knowledge worker’s time. Slashing this waste time provides a lot more time to devote to improving the business, reducing payroll or, more likely, a bit of both.
This knowledge productivity problem is destined to get worse before it gets better. The haystack is getting bigger exponentially. Corporate information doubles in volume every 18 months. Half of the recorded information in the entire world has been created in the past five years!
Specialists used to keep their heads above the floodtide of incoming knowledge by knowing “more and more about less and less.” In today’s interconnected world, boundaries between disciplines are becoming porous. Everything’s multidisciplinary. We have to know more and more about more and more.
Successful organizations will connect people. Learning is social. We learn from, by and with other people. Conversation, storytelling and observation are great ways to learn, but they aren’t things you do by yourself.
Job one is to help knowledge workers find the answers they need. Rob Cross and others describe many ways to go about this in a marvelous new book, “Creating Value With Knowledge,” edited by IBM’s Eric Lesser and Laurence Prusak (Oxford University Press, 2003).
If people are going to go to other people for answers, make it easy for them to get to people in the know. (Get them to look for their keys where they’re likely to find them, not where the light’s better.) Set up help desks to support new product rollouts and organizational initiatives. Have the help desk apply the 80/20 rule and document the common queries in a mercifully short FAQ. Then, tier responses by triage. First query the FAQ, then ask the help desk, and if those don’t work, contact the prime subject-matter expert.
Learning a new software release is a special case. Since a release generally builds on an existing foundation, workers more often need answers to specific questions than the sort of overview that workshops and courses provide. Trial-and-error is a great way to learn—as long as there’s a way to deal with roadblocks. Since the release is new, learners won’t find answers in-house. In this case, outsource mentoring to a firm that does have the answers.
Web standards and smart software can monitor workflow to provide lessons or contacts precisely when they are needed.
Now that business organizations have been de-layered, downsized and re-engineered to the bone, how will they transfer their special ways of doing things to new employees?
The answer lies in exploiting the savvy of seniors, the wise elders who have “been there, done that” and can offer counsel and know-how to the newcomers. Old hands often make outstanding sales and service coaches, too.
Here's a baker's dozen of interesting things. I offer them up in hopes that you'll reciprocate.
In the early days of the Web, proto-bloggers shared links with one another. "Look what I found"! Karma ruled the day. Let's share what we've got, man. Someone on the Well pointed to Yahoo! and we were enthralled. You could go through every link on Yahoo! in few hours but it was the largest link list we'd ever seen.
If you enjoy any of these links, post a link to one of your special places in the Comments section. Share the wealth. Maybe we can start a movement! Make the gift economy a reality!
Bob Horn, inventor of Information Mapping, visualized and described hypertext long before the Web was invented. His "maps" of connections and thoughts explain concepts better than any 10,000 words, often nearly instantaneously.
Many a workshop or conference on strategy or a reorganization or a new product launch could be replaced by a good cognitive map and a discussion. I imagine the lessons would stick better, too. Workshops try to fancify and retell what's going on. PowerPoint reductionism. Cognitive maps, by contrast, attempt to diagram the real thing.
Three years ago, Bob Horn, Jim Spohrer, and a bunch of other polymath geniuses got together under the auspices of the NSF to discuss the convergence of cognition, biology, nanotech, and information technology. The common thread of Nano-Bio-Cogno-Info? It's all code. This is better than science fiction.
I had the good fortune of chatting at length with Bob right after he returned from the NSF session several years ago. The event was a catalyst for his thinking deeper about unravelling the Human Cognome. Cognome? You got your genome and your bionome. Why not?
Today I was delighted to see where Bob has taken this. Here's his preliminary cognitive map of for researching the Human Cognome itself.
A small chunk:
Bob suggests these major themes for study of the Human Cognome.
Capitalworks' Jeff Kelley addressed this morning's meeting of the Learning Economics Group on the topic of Dimensions, Dynamics and Drivers of Learning: Optimizing Learning Value for Capital Effects. If you really want to get to Level 4 at the highest level, Jeff's your man.
Lucky for you, you can grab Jeff's PowerPoint presentation here.
Capitalworks' logic and findings are the best I know of. They inspired my understanding of informal learning and metrics. The Capitalworks material is so compact yet so eloquent that it's almost poetry. Let me amend that. It's poetry if you're conversant with the concepts of finance.
Jeff and his partners get it. Jeff contends that "Learning is the single greatest contributor in all enterprises to superior operating performance and robust value creation."
Capitalworks stalks Learning Effectiveness, defined as:
Learning is the great enabler of flows and exchanges of knowledge. With flow, you are primed. Everyone has workarounds. Workarounds are really positive. Learning transcends hierarchical constraints. Organizations are not optimized to connect demand drivers. In fact, we're living with obsolete, 19th century organizational structures created for an illiterate workforce long before the advent of computers. Jeff points out that "Optimizing dimensions, dynamics and drivers of learning are natural means of transforming costs of coordination in all enterprises and their ecosystems." Learning itself is the ultimate workaround.
Learning is one of our primary earning assets and we should manage it that way. Looking at the flows, here's the Value Creation Circulatory System:
It's nonlinear, continuous. Process orientation. Feedback loops are critical. A single measure doesn't get us there. (Emergence, emergence....)
What enables flow? Self-study contributed as much to job proficiency as instructor-led training programs. Own volition. Regard selves as professionals. Informal learning dynamics contributed 70-to-80% of operating performance. Cohesion of social practice contributed to learning effectiveness, with informal learning as an enabler. Conversations are the primary conduit:
Read this one twice if you need to; it's important. "We see contributions by learning, like other intangibles, through value drivers. They enable us to depict causal relationships in the interactions associated with transactions, decision flows, procedures and other normal activities. Value drivers interact in clusters and sets throughout organizational work practices."
Intangibles, which we had thought of the sauce, is what it takes to drive performance.
"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought."
The world would be a more attractive place if every company devoted a moment at least once a month to art and humor.
Training Directors Forum wrapped up midday. I am an exhausted but happy camper. Phil Jones told me 475 people attended (including 83 faculty and about 40 sponsor reps). I felt much more intimate. Talking with vendors and with friends, everyone agreed that small is beautiful. Training Directors Forum has the most loyal customers of any VNU training event.
The small size, combined with healthy breaks, sponsored meals and open bar, and inviting facilities, encourage schmoozing. I talked myself hoarse.
More real learning.
I have more notes and scribbles...but no more energy tonight.
Since the lack of Wi-Fi access in the conference center here has put the kabosh on my plans to blog this event in real time, I'm going to experiment with another format. This entry reports on a session that's not on the program and will take place right on center stage before the afternoon keynote address about four hours from now.
"The fellow who invented local area networks once said that no matter how much you hyped the power of the Internet, it wasn't enough. That's the way I feel about the Future of Learning that IBM has been describing. But it's not just IBM. It's all of us. It's the convergence of learning and work."
Instructional design and business process design are becoming one and the same. Our role will be to facilitate the flow of work rather than dispensing contentl. It's an exciting new world.
Talking with some of you here reminds me of Napoleon saying to one of his field marshals, "We must plant trees along every major road in France to protect our soldiers from wind and cold when they march off to new conquests." "But, mon emporeur, it will take decades for them to grow." "Alors, better start right away."
So today we're forming a community of practice around workflow learning. You don't build a CoP step by step. It's more like lighting a match and fanning the flames.
I don't know what shape this will take. I'll volunteer the WorkflowInstitute site to host the discussion. VNU has established a conference within a conference on workflow learning at Training West to be held in SF this October. If you want to be in on something big, join the community. Help me fan the flames. Let's talk at the reception immediatey following the zebra guy.
Tammy Galvin has stepped down as editor-in-chief of Training magazine, along with Stacey Marmalejo. I'm looking forward to a revitalized Training mag.
The Wild Horse Pass Resort is a classy operation. The help smiles and says hello in the hallways. The towels are full-sized and plush. The fake boulders in the lobby have fake petroglyphs.
Saguaro cactus ribs are built into the gigantic Native American fetishes on the ceilings. The morning OJ is served in handsome wine glasses. But (there’s always a “but”)…there is no Wi-Fi in the conference rooms. So I’m writing this on the fly and will periodically go back to the lobby to upload.
Saul Carliner is exhorting people to take some of the empty seats at the front of the room, saying that it has been proven that people in the front of the room learn more. Saul’s hosting this event, the 20th annual TDF.
Brenda Sugrue, ASTD’s research director, challenges each of us to jot down a research question as a warm-up for her presentation on Benchmarking. Benchmarking is the ultimate performance improvement strategy. Benchmarking research can focus on expenditures, cost/hour, outsourcing, etc., across companies, award winners, profit leaders, etc.
Issues: “Dirty data.” 50% of that submitted to ASTD is rejected.
Brenda displayed data on training budget as a percent of payroll and per employee. The mean % of payroll is 3.6% but the variance is wide. The mean budget is $1626 per employee, averaging $231 to $4,970.
This is interesting but doesn’t tell that much. It doesn’t address the organizations’ strategy, correlation to results, spending patterns, a training industry value chain, a more sophisticated diagram.
ASTD has discontinued its former benchmarking service. The new Benchmarking Forum is asking new questions and developing a Benchmarking Performance Scorecard. It will evolve into an online performance support tool.
Jim L’Allier, CLO of Thompson NETg, is preparing to talk about the impact of various combinations of learning methods. Jim’s framework is Kirkpatrick Levels (agh) and blended/unblended. He just about lost me until he said the measure of evaluation was ability to use the skill (completing a spreadsheet).
27% of the population of the U.S. are boomers (born 1946-1964). We have an aging population. Life expectancy is up nearly 10 years in the past fifty years.
Time to consider retention, succession planning, mentoring programs, knowledge capture, KM, training burden, for in seven years, the boomer begin to drop out of the workforce.
Let’s see now. We have all these wise people about to leave the workforce. Why don’t we redefine their roles where we can continue to tap into their strengths, their knowledge, and their judgment? Instead of putting oldsters out to pasture, make them into coaches, mentors, and high-level help desks. I think the training community continues to draw too tight a boundary around their turf.
Once upon a time, fulltime employees were the only beneficiaries of training. Then we began to add subcontractors and part-timers. Then partners and distributors came on board. Now we talk of training everyone in the value chain, from suppliers to customers. It’s about time to add corporate alumni to training’s charter.
Sam Adkins gave a presentation on the latest in learning technology.
IBM’s Nancy Deviney gave the lunchtime keynote on The Future of Learning. You’ve heard my thoughts on IBM’s learning strategy before. In sum, it’s great.
James Sharpe and Andy Sadler showed a variety of integrated tools for supporting informal, unstructured learning. The demo was compelling because it dealt with realistic examples (figuring out an Excel spreadsheet rather than trying to boil the ocean). Within an on demand workplace, Jim and Andy built a course, enrolled in a class, located experts, set up an emeeting, and more. Guidance was built right in every step of the way.
Training Directors Forum kicked off this evening at the five-star Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa outside of Phoenix. We're in the middle of an
Indian Native American Reservation in the Sonora Desert. This enables the hotel to run a casino which is (thankfully) located away from the resort proper. I hitched a ride in with Marc Rosenberg. It's so pleasant to hop into a car with the air conditioning on full blast when it's 100 degrees outside." border="0">
TDF attendance is up 9% over last year. The evening reception was a chance to catch up with old friends and make new acquaintances. (Note to ASTD: The bar here was free. After what you pay to attend one of these events, the cash bar thing is insulting. It's nickel and diming your best customers.) Many familiar faces: IBM's Margaret Driscoll, Nokia's Andreas Forsberg, Julie Groshens (who's training to run a marathon!), Deborah Stone (we go back decades), Saul Carliner (who kicks this thing off tomorrow morning), Lance Dublin, Phil Jones (who has his heart in this business, as do a lot of the former Lakewooders), Ghenno Senbetta, Fred Posar, Leah Nelson (great smile!), Brenda Sugrue, and many others.
I remember reading Robert Cialdini's book Influence when it was published. Click, whirr, act as if you are a robot. The concept has legs. Bob is presenting here. We talked about Influence, its longevity and rebirth, and his current projects. He's focused on time, specifically, what moments have the most impact. One of his latest experiments was testing which environmental-friendly cards in hotels ("Don't replace the sheets") were most effective. The winner: "Most people do this...."
Richard Leider challenged us to think about "What makes you get up in the morning?" He's spent his time on earth as a "student of the second half of life." Most of us were clearly in the second half; those in the first half were probably in the pool, dancing, getting new tatoos, or doing things that defy description in a professional blog.
Richard has asked many oldsters what they'd do differently if they could relive their experiences. They tell him:
Great grounding talk. I asked Richard if he knew the Fritz Perls remark that at the end of his life, he didn't want to be saved. He wanted to be spent.
The gang from Enspire Learning, demonstrating what it's like to work in a start up. I remember these folks from when it was six guys in a house in Austin. Bjorn tells me they now number more than 20 and are hitting the targets in their original business plan in spite of the recession. Enspire creates cool simulations.
Jack Phillips and I talked for 90 minutes about ROI, values, lifestyle, the future, and more. The power of face-to-face: i now respect a fellow I'd previously classified as focused entirely on yesterday's news. Jack's a delightful fellow and has his head screwed on right.
This is what OPEN means.
Brian Narelle, "CEO/Janitor" of Narelle Creative captured and replayed thoughts from the "assembly" sessions in his delightful cartoons.
Drat! Wi-Fi access is getting spotty.
Joan Blades of MoveOn is the first speaker after lunch. MoveOn is the poster child for political activism on the net. "Democracy is changing. MoveOn Primary: Ending the Money Primary." Over 300,000 MoveOn members participated in the online primary. (More than Iowa and New Hampshire combined.) Substantive communication to and from candidates is possible through online.
Bake Sale for Democracy. Raised $750,000. People are getting together. It starts online but results in face-to-face.
"Driving Votes" encourages people to move to swing states where their votes will count. MoveOn's 50 Ways to Love Your Country explains "how to find your political voice and become a catalyst for change."
Where does the connection take us? Beyond the broadcast culture that creates cynicism. Fox News. Events reported like professional wrestling. Conversation in politics is being reborn.
People have a hunger for connection to core values. Compassion, fairness, justice, opportunity, diversity, community, family, country, freedom, responsibility, democrcacy = WE
Two Americas? But progressive values are American values.
Commercials.... Child's Play, Polygraph, What Are We Teaching Our Clildren? If the Bush admoinistration was your roommate, Al Keyda. These are great.
MoveOn has 2.2 million members, the AFL-CIO 1.7 million.
Lead from the Heart. Don't split the difference. Make the difference.
I asked if other nations have an equivilent of MoveOn. Joan's not certain. The next question asks if we can do it. We're going to need international rules; this administration has been very poor in international cooperation.
Right now, the Iraq War is George Bush's war. If we re-elect Bush, it becomes our war. That's the sort of rallying cry that sets MoveOn apart.
Club of Rome. I'm tired. Raoul is speaking in monotone and I'm drifing off to sleep. I hate to walk out since I'm sitting in the front row and the speaker has been making frequent eye contact. The Club of Rome, Raoul assures us, is more optimistic that the (infamous) Limits of Growth report by Jay Forrester in the 60s. The new concept, pretty loose at the present time, is to educate the world via satellite. Someone asked me, "Why should we believe them this time?"
At this point, my battery died.
|industry economy||information economy|
|command & control||emergent|
Brad contends we no longer need the old model. This is precisely the feeling I've been getting.
Zephyr Teachout, who was part of the Dean Campaign, began by saying "Nobody understands what they're talking about." Look inside any campaign and you find a mess. Organizing, if you can call it that, centers around the message.
Chapters were a dying organizational form (cf Bowling Alone) but technology may revive them.
Marty Kearns began with a poster of a bear catching a leaping salmon with the caption, "A journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very, very badly."
This doesn't do justice to Marty's message, so check out his Green Media Toolshed.
Moderator Bill Pease of GetActive made dozens of summary points such as:
I will miss Sunday's session, for I'm hopping a plane to attend Training Directors Forum in Phoenix.
Once again, I'm at the PlaNetwork conference, sort of a loose confederation of people interested in sustainability, privacy, political activism, networking, and social justice. The location is wireless-enabled and these are my as-it-happens notes and observations. I'll come back to add photos later. (And indeed, it's Sunday morning and I'm adding pictures and commentary I missed when my battery died yesterday.)
The demilitarized Presidio, now part of the Golden Gate National Recretation Area, is a great place for an event like PlaNetwork. Aside from the guns-into-plowshares parallel inherent in a decommissioned 200 year old army post, The Presidio is another world, far from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco proper.
Collaboratory is becoming the core of the event, which organizer Jim Fournier sees as "applied network theory". The network islands are coming together. The electronic agenda is getting in sync with the human agenda, for I think of PlaNetwork as a sort of gathering of the tribes. Kindred spirits for the preservation of progressive values, sustainability, and defeating W.
We know we need to reinvent our social system. (I should tap Gail for advice for Emergent Learning Forum.) Our work is to tease out the synergy (this weekend and ever after). I hope so. Last year's participants vowed to keep the ball rolling but then dropped it.
This theme resonates with what Emergent Learning Forum is after: Fitness. "Through perturbing and nudging each other - each part seeking to optimize its own wel being -- the whoel is strengtehed. When taken together a complete 'answer' emerges that enables the whole parts to be at their 'fittest'."
A "patch" is an analogy drawn from ecology, as in a patch of grass in the prairie; in network theory: a a node or cluster , also a work group, project, company, affinity group, or community of practice.
The rules of engagement are: (1) converse, (2) share, (3) use what you get, and (4) optimize your own patch.
Blue Oxen is hosting the wiki that underlies the conference. They've also set up an IRC and linked to Living Diretory and Neosociety. Wikis confuse the daylights out of some people, even the techno-literate.
What is the value of an ename? A universal private address. Unspammable. A single identifier containing any information you want to share. It’s persistent and portable. Corollary to a personal name. The hard part is privacy and security. The most important thing is control.
I don't quite get it. A fellow describing the ename project alluded to a reported exchange between Isadora Duncan and a porter:
Jim Fournier “drove the Golden Spike” by setting up the first ename.
Jason Lefkowitz, e-Activism Manager, Oceana. "Worst Practices from Oceana." We're too early into this to call it best practices. Oceana is campaign-focused (ocean), international, and science-oriented. They fight individual campaigns.
Core principles: Respect your members' intelligence and you atract smart people. Engage with your members, and they will stay engaged with you. Keep your email short as possible. Don't waste their time. Use direct mail principles. The ultimate objective: to accrue and maintain a positive balance of trust.
Engage with your members. Show them your faces, let them hear your voices. Let them push you back. Encourage their independent efforts -- and give them tools to make those efforts more effective.
Be a storytellker. Go beyond the dry facts. Construct a narrative -- and give them the opportunity to be the hero. Close the circle -- tell them how the story ends. Tell them the end results.
Don Means is the senior political advisor to MeetUp.com. Built two years ago to enable communities of interest to meet in their local areas. Dean Campaign: 8,000 people were leaving their homes to go out for Dean. This changed the way people look at politics for evermore. The technoilogy gives people new avenutes to activism.
MeetUp encourages participation in our democracy, each in their own way. Five to six thousand people are Meeting Up for Bush. (More than that are Meeting Up to impeach Bush. [Applause.])
At one point, 1000 MeetUps for Dean met on a single Wednesday evening. 200,000 were signed up.
Business: Not forced, but venues may pay for listings. Partners who support a particular cause pay for pass-through checks. There is also a MeetUp plus.
Esther Dyson: The essence of MeetUp is that the users use MeetUp, not the corporation.
Esther: Where are RSS feeds, given that email is "broken?" It's not there yet... The non-techies need an explanation of RSS. Oceana has a loink to an RSS FAq. People don't hit the RSS button.
Large organizaitons often like email because of its push nature. They have a hard time letting go of
ppipes.org. Guy stands up in the audience. He's the inventor. "Just putting up feeds is really lame. It's screwing up -- I only wrote it weekend before last." Frustrated with email connections, the fellow created his own RSS feeds. Wow! Jason calls this "a warning shot."
Becky Bond, Working Assets. Activism from within a phone company. Get out the vote. In fact, encourage nonprofits such as Craig's List to link to the Get Out the Vote site by rewarding them for sign-ups.
Ruby Sinreich from Planned Parenthood of American. 1916. SaveROE.com. Separate sites for members. Affiliates key. National supports them.
(I just tried to post this on the PlaNetwork Wiki -- and received this error:
A problem occurred in a Python script.
[email protected] contains the description of this error.")
Continued in next post... Comment removal entry.
This is the fourth in a series of reports on ASTD 2004.
"Profits, like oxygen, are necessary for life, but you don't live to breathe." Arie de Geus
Pat Galaghan charms the crowd at the Canadian Embassy by offering her thanks in both English and French.
Telling Ain't Training is the ASTD Press best seller of all time. (7,500 copies)
Words I heard over and over again: Perform, organization/individual, leadership, change, engagement.
Leverage positive energy for change.
Gloria Gery: "It's a Rubik's Cube sort of problem but you have to solve it in a short time."
Grand Canyon University, "Arizona's only private, Judeo-Christian, liberal arts university," is renaming its business school "The Ken Blanchard School of Business." I imagine a zany curriculum of The One Minute Manager, Gung Ho!, Raving Fans!, Whale Done!, and Full Steam Ahead! Perhaps students will earn an MBA! degree.
Sam Adkins: "Service-oriented architecture is the end of software as we know it."
Sam also suggested we check out www.alicebot.org, and that soon led me to the Prosthetic Head.
DDI's Periodic Table,
a well-executed concept.
(Click for humongous view.)
The Internet Time Glossary defines Knowledge Management as "whatever you want it to mean."
His views on Knowledge Management echo many of the themes I've talked about here on the Internet Time Blog.
Dave comes up with these bottom-up processes:
That covers just about everything a knowledge worker is challenged to do. Do what you can to improve these dozen processes and forget the top-down stuff.
My thinking is so conceptual that I sometimes see patterns where none exist, but Dave's approach seems like yet another illustration of this:
It is so difficult to free our minds to recongize that context trumps content. There's life outside of classrooms, books, and databases.
This Saturday I'll be attending PlaNetwork in the San Francisco Presidio. It's a great venue for strengthening weak ties.
Sunday afternoon I arrive in Chandler, Arizona, for Training Directors Forum. I'll be there through Wednesday afternoon.
Oxymorons.info lists more than 800 combinations of contradictory or incongruous words, such as 'Cruel Kindness' or 'Jumbo Shrimp.'
|New||Antiques (Arriving Daily!)|
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For a non-laughing matter, how about this post to David Farber's IP maillist:
This is just Strangelovesque....
What was the password which controlled the firing of America's ICBMs for years during the height of the Cold War?
That's right. For *all* of them. The Permissive Action Link codes for all of Americas missiles provided less protection than on an average suitcase.
This is the third in a series of reports on the 2004 ASTD Conference.
|Fifteen minutes before the last breakout session of the Conference, I found myself at the front of a nearly empty room with seating for several hundred. When the big hand got to twelve, fifty or so people had joined me. Whew. I'd hate to give a presentation on collaboration to just two other people.|
This afternoon I meshed my PowerPoint deck with a recording from the Conference. Then Macromedia Breeze uploaded the narrated presentation to the web, converted it into Flash for rapid playback, and stuffed it onto a publically accessible website. This is the way life oughta be.
|The full presentation, narrated, is here. I'll describe the flow of things since you may want to pick and choose what you listen to.||
Here's what a sixty-minute mpg3 of my presentation looks like. Sort of pretty, eh?
|We began by looking at a universal model of everything.|
This led into a discussion of blogs, RSS, plogs, and customer education blogs.
You'll note in the online presentation that major changes in direction are indicated as SHIFT GEARS.
|Next up: the scary part. We are drowning in information, the world grows ever more complex, time is speeding up, and everything is topsy-turvy. Rigid organizations won't make it through this. Flexibility is prerequisite to survival.|
|Networks are the next step in computing, business organizations, and more. As internodal communication costs drop, networks replace hierarchies.|
|The age of collaborative learning is at hand.|
|Mentoring used to be tied to events. Collaboration can be omnipresent. We considered examples.|
We wrapped up with the evolving framework for Emergent Learning Forum.
Internet Time Group on Blogs
Emergent Learning Forum
Spoke, our choice for social software
Social Network Analysis (Rob Cross)
Robin Good is the best source of info on collaboration.
Robin Good & friends
Ross Dawson wrote the book on networking in organizations.
Henry Mintzberg is a professor of management at McGill, well known for his books and articles (Here is his 23-page CV.) He earned both his PhD and his MS in Management from MIT's Sloan School of Managmenet. His appearance at ASTD coincided with the publication of his new book, Managers, Not MBAs.
Professor Mintzberg's website describes the message of the new book like this:
I caught up with Professor Mintzberg at a press briefing and also at an event at the Canadian Embassy. Henry is an entertaining speaker, although I sense that his compelling soundbites cover up some rather weak arguments in favor of his view of management. (Disclosure: I have yet to read more than the introduction to his book.)
In the press briefing, Henry said that as a starting point, he'd reviewed the performance of top grads from Harvard Business School. Only five out of nineteen had a clean record. The losers included Frank Lorenzo, who personally destroyed more than one airline! HBS does not teach management. It teaches only business functions. The students are youngsters. Business is taught as if it were engineering.
Explaining that I would soon be returning to Harvard Business School for my MBA class reunion, I asked for clarification, since I didn't want to mislead my classmates when I gave them the news. Some have said that if you housed HBS's entering MBA class in a large motel in the middle of Kansas, they'd come out a couple of years later having learned most of what they would have had they stayed in Boston. I wondered whether Henry's findings were the result of the admissions policy or the schooling. After all, Henry had said the schooling was largely ineffective.
Reflecting on this exchange later in the day, I couldn't reconcile Henry's ability to judge Harvard from observing a few dozen graduates with his statement that you cannot measure what people learn.
Before the press briefing ended, Mintzberg said that the primary utility of laptops among students was email, not assisting learning.
Henry and I met the next day at a buffet table at a reception at the Canadian Embassy. I'll admit that I baited him. He had complained that MBAs don't learn management. I pointed out that is was he who had a Master of Science in Management and a PhD from a School of Management. My Masters is in Business Administration; it was awarded by the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. Wasn't he attacking the wrong school?
The day before, the subject of Harvard's case method had come up. I said that I didn't think any program should slavishly commit to a single method of instruction. In fact, my reaction to the case method had been to develop the first business curriculum for the University of Phoenix. "The University of Phoenix? Is that Thunderbird?" he asked. No, it's a different operation. "What is the University of Phoenix?" I explained that it was the largest accredited, for-profit university in the world, with an enrollment of 125,000. Its students are working adults who average 34 years of age. 36% of them are enrolled in undergraduate management programs; 20% are taking graduate management courses.
At this point, I was called away to the podium to give the opening remarks. When I returned, I couldn't find the professor. I hoped to find out how someone can study management education for decades, conclude that it's wasted on the young and learned through practice, and not know of the University of Phoenix.
Lest you this I'm just in a nasty mood, let me say that I was really looking forward to meeting Case Western's David Cooperider, and I was not disappointed. David is the father of "Appreciative Inquiry," or "AI" as it is called by its adherents.
Cooperider's core message is to lead from positive emotions and strength, not negativity and problems. As Peter Drucker told him, "The task of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths, making our weaknsses irrelevant."
Just as Marty Seligman's positive psychology focuses on individual happiness in lieu of mental illness, AI builds on achievements, opportunities, innovations, tacit wisdom, vital traditions, social capital and business strengths, not problems. Cooperider contends that organizations move in the direction of what they study. Focus on problems and that's what you'll get ("Deficit Change Theory").
Change begins in the imagination of the creative mind. Before reading about Appeciative Inquiry, I billed myself as a problem-solver. Since then, I've converted into an opportunity maximizer.
We must learn to scale wholeness, to ask what's possible rather than what's wrong, and to move from systems thinking to systems living.
While the AI methodology sounds touchy-feely, the results are real. One organization's recent AI Summit focused on:
Who's doing AI? Blue Cross, BBC, Boeing, Bristol Myers Squibb, British AIrways, BP, British Telecom, Cap Gemini, GE Capital, GlaxoSmithKline, John Deere, Roadway...
Soren Kaplan is working to support AI with Icohere. David said the potential "sends chills up his spine."
David concluded with two of my favorite Einstein quotations:
"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew."
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
Visit the AI website
T - 20 minutes, Thursday morning.
Will anyone fill the chairs at Jay's session?
FInd out in the next installment.
Benjamin Bloom created this taxonomy for categorizing level of abstraction of questions that commonly occur in educational settings. The taxonomy provides a useful structure in which to categorize test questions, since professors will characteristically ask questions within particular levels, and if you can determine the levels of questions that will appear on your exams, you will be able to study using appropriate strategies.
* Adapted from: Bloom, B.S. (Ed.) (1956) Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals: Handbook I, cognitive domain. New York ; Toronto: Longmans, Green, via University of Victoria.