Coherent Organization – Internet Time Blog Thu, 05 Nov 2015 01:35:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What is Real Learning? Sun, 25 Oct 2015 06:04:03 +0000 How to learn socially, experientially, and informally. Learn how to learn by yourself and with your colleagues. Three-minute video.

Real Learning in Pictures (illustrations from the book)

Does your organization need to take advantage of social, experiential learning? Spread it around. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

Jeff Bezos: his management values Wed, 02 Oct 2013 18:09:50 +0000 Continue reading Jeff Bezos: his management values ]]> 1. Base your strategy on service, not gadgets. Products and technologies will always change. What never goes out of style is a commitment to “wider selection, lower prices and fast, reliable delivery.”

2. Obsess over customers.

3. Be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time. Bezos tends to take a long-term view on innovations that don’t pay off right away.

4. Work to charge less. Many companies try to charge as much as they can, when they can — Amazon’s culture emphasizes frugality.

5. Determine what your customers need, and work backwards. “Specs for Amazon’s big new projects such as its Kindle tablets and e-book readers have been defined by customers’ desires rather than engineers’ tastes,” says Anders.

6. “Our culture is friendly and intense, but if push comes to shove we’ll settle for intense.”Data — not social cohesion — rules Amazon.

7. Be willing to fail — often. Amazon recognizes that failure is a natural part of the innovation process.

8. “In the old world, you devoted 30% of your time to building a great service and 70% of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts.”

9. “Everyone has to be able to work in a call center.” Perhaps a page borrowed from the US Marine manual, in which every marine, regardless of rank or specialty, is a rifleman first. All Amazon managers are expected to be trained as call center representatives.

10. “This is Day 1 for the Internet. We still have so much to learn.” Bezos first said that in 1997, and still believes it.

The Masterclass on Informal Learning Sat, 03 Aug 2013 01:18:39 +0000 Continue reading The Masterclass on Informal Learning ]]> Your organization has decided to tilt in the direction of informal learning. Colleagues tell you that it can be faster, better, and cheaper than traditional approaches. You need to satisfy increasing demands with reduced staff and budget. You’re concerned that your current offerings will not satisfy the new generation of workers. So now what do you do?

Two options

1. Masterclass for L&D managers, instructional designers, and senior instructors on the concept and implementation of informal learning.  This is generally a one-half or one-day onsite engagement with thirty to forty people.

2. Retreat for CLOs, HR directors, planners, and policy makers on the philosophy of informal learning, the change management process required to support it, and the corporate culture that fosters its success. Two or three managers spend two days at the Internet Time Lab in Berkeley, California, in a heavily personalized experience.

What’s covered?

Here’s an overview of the topics from recent Masterclasses.

What is the organization’s primary goal?
How well are you preparing people for the future needs of  the organization?


Introduction to informal learning. Push vs. pull. The spectrum. How to recognize it in its many forms.


A dive into 70:20:10 as an example of informal, experiential learning.


A dose of my philosophies of what matters in life and learning.


We talk about how schooling is the wrong model for organizational learning and discourage using schoolish vocabulary.



















From this foundation, we explore communities of practice, capturing and disseminating news, knowledge sharing at Intel, experiential learning at Xerox, conversation at HP, volunteerism at SAP, Twitter at Deloitte, product knowledge at BT, and learning from microblogs. We also address implementation and values at a large company rollout, curation as learning, and creating the business case in several different industries.


702010 Forum - 10 point approach to implementation (2)

Depending on the level of the group, we may apply the 10-step implementation program from the 702010Forum.

Recent Masterclasses and Retreats



We recently conducted half-day Masterclasses at the WorldBank (above) and Dutch high-tech company Ordina (below).


Senior managers and strategists attended a two-day management planning retreat at the Internet Time Lab earlier this year.


Members of the Internet Time Alliance may join us virtually or in person during a retreat. In this case, Harold Jarche and I joined forces to help this team launch an expansive nationwide educational arm for a major non-profit.

haroldTo maintain quality, I offer no more than four Internet Time Lab Retreats per year.



Reinventing management, the Stoos movement Sat, 26 Jan 2013 20:22:05 +0000 Continue reading Reinventing management, the Stoos movement ]]> Full house (10) for today’s Hangout on Air. I don’t know how many watched on YouTube.

We had a good discussion of the Stoos Movement and combining agile with management. Or replacing management with agile.


Slides from Hangout:
[slideshare id=16193869&doc=stoossummary-130126132103-phpapp02]

Transcript from Hangout:

You invited people into the hangout.

Peter Isackson

9:49 AM

Hi Jay

You invited people into the hangout.

Loretta Donovan

10:37 AM

Given my audio issues, I’ll text. In the healthcare industry, there is agile behavior without agile management.

Individual performers (nurses, MDs, technicians) need to be aware of the results of their actions. But leadership does not.

Bjorn Billhardt

10:40 AM

Great listening to everyone – my plane is leaving so I have to log off. Thanks for organizing Jay!

Loretta Donovan

10:42 AM

Tenure, academic publishing, the “old boys club” are holding back the business schools.

Jim McGee

10:43 AM

@Loretta – excellent point about existing organizational reward systems

Loretta Donovan

10:45 AM

I’m seeing the Boards of some organizations playing a greater role in shifting management models.

Most of that is caused by the economics of doing business.


10:46 AM

Jeff— The guy in Seattle who has used agile throughout his organization is Bill Justice. I’ll try to track down his coordinates.

Jim McGee

10:46 AM

Boards have the advantage of being more aware of the external environment than management

Loretta Donovan

10:46 AM

Jim, I agree.

Jim McGee

10:47 AM

time for us all to reread Alinky’s “Rules for Radicals”

Loretta Donovan

10:49 AM


Jeff Tillett

10:58 AM

This was great Jay thanks for sharing the conversation as always!

Peter Isackson
11:01 AM
I have to leave. Thanks. Bye.

Loretta Donovan
11:02 AM
Excellent point, Dave.

Dave Ferguson
11:03 AM
Thank you all. Jay, I appreciate the invitation.

Anne Adrian
11:04 AM
thank you; interesting perspectives..always learning

Loretta Donovan
11:04 AM
Great discussion, everyone. Thanks, Jay.

Jeff Tillett
11:04 AM
Great hangout everyone!

Janet Laane Effron
11:04 AM
Thanks! Nice to have had the chance to stop in

Jim McGee
11:04 AM
thanks Jay as always for your enterpreneurial energy


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Pope sells Vatican to Google Mon, 21 Jan 2013 04:53:38 +0000 Continue reading Pope sells Vatican to Google ]]>  

exchange sold-sign

Capitalism’s epicenter and holy shrine, the New York Stock Exchange, has a new owner!

A guy in Atlanta bought it.

This is like Disney buying the Capitol or the Israelis buying Mecca. Unthinkable.

Founded in 1792 by twenty-four brokers under a buttonwood tree at 68 Wall Street, this is where the rules for buying and selling bonds and shares of companies were drawn up and agreed upon. For more than 200 years, brokers who knew one another performed all buying and selling of stocks and bonds face-to-face. That was then. Now speedy algorithms are replacing the brokers.

The world we’ve lived in for the last hundred years is giving birth to a new planet, a realtime world that will take getting used to. It is among us now, an alternative economy and worldview, meming our brains, lulling us into acceptance, visible in pockets, and chipping away at our current beliefs. It’s good; it’s bad; it’s disruptive.

Where do you stand on human/machine interaction? Or machine/human interaction? Ready for your implant? Notice any difference in the pace of life lately?

machineThe Stock Exchange morphing into code is a shock to the system for those of us accustomed to human buffers like F2F brokers and not to cyberscenarios like Terminator 3’s Rise of the Machines. If this can happen, anything can happen.

The same scythe cuts throats in the music business, book business, manufacturing, retail, commodity businesses, newspapers, service, communications, and anything else that can be automated or outsourced. Hundreds of miles of empty local storefronts bear witness that Amazon can deliver faster, better, cheaper. Incredibly so.

I have ordered things from Amazon in the morning and been delighted to get their smiling package the same afternoon. They must have pitched it on the truck as soon as I pushed the button on my end. When Amazon is this convenient, I and a lot of others I know, will keep pushing the Bait Bar marked “Amazon Prime.” Read Charles Jennings’ recent post: change or die.

zon2 zon1Amazon gets stuff to me quickly because robots are moving the stock around in the local warehouse, devising the best way to hand stuff to humans for shipping. What will the L&D robots do?

L&D’s name is on the makeover list.

Have you thought about how your L&D is going to be disintermediated, flipped, automated, AI’d, reconnected, supercharged, reconfigured and rejuvenated?

How is your L&D going to satisfy learners la Amazon? Anything could happen. Think about it. I do.








Your social wishlist Thu, 15 Nov 2012 18:50:35 +0000 Continue reading Your social wishlist ]]> How will you take advantage of your in-house social network?

Use networks to create services and share collective intelligence

Your company will install an in-house social network. The only question is how soon. Wise Chief Learning Officers are thinking about how social networks will augment learning & development.

Imagine that a Senior Executive in your company returns from Thanksgiving weekend having read white papers from IBM that say social business is the next step in the overall evolution of business. Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Fast Company had already told him that brainpower has become the engine of innovation. It’s inevitable that businesses will construct networks that connect everyone in their ecosystems to co-create and deliver services that delight customers and share collective intelligence. Social business is the flavor of the day in the C-suites of the Fortune 500.

The allure of social business is captivating. McKinsey, MIT and others report that companies that embrace social business models:

  • reduce time to market
  • increase the level of innovation
  • speed up access to knowledge
  • reduce operating costs
  • make in-house expertise easier to tap
  • increase employee satisfaction

The social business juggernaut has arrived and the time to get on board is now. Front-running companies are installing social networks like Chatter, Jive, Connections, Socialcast, Yammer, Socialtext, Sharepoint, Ideo, and HootSuite like there’s no tomorrow.

The exec secured a mandate from the executive committee to experiment with social networking in three areas of the company, international sales, manufacturing resource forecasting, and learning & development.

You’re Chief Learning Officer. You’ve been doing your own research on “Enterprise 2.0” and learning networks. You appreciate that social business — connecting everyone in the organization in networks makes sense. You’ve also sensed a groundswell in the learning and development community favoring social, self-directed, “pull” learning.

You recently read a compelling argument that people in knowledge organizations learn three to four times as much from experience as from interaction with bosses, coaches, and mentors. And they learn about twice as much from those conversations with others from in classrooms and formal learning programs.

Social business is the flavor of the day
in the C-suites of the Fortune 500.


You could deliver a much bigger bang for your training buck by greasing the skids to make experiential learning more systematic, coached, and attractive.

The senior exec called you to his office and explained, “We’re going to experiment to find out how in-house social networks might strengthen our L&D and a few other areas in the company. Several vendors of social network suites have offered us incredibly deep discounts if we make up our minds in the next two days. I know it’s a sales gimmick and they don’t think we can do it. I need you to give me a one-page list of the capabilties you require from social software to make the most of social learning and carry out your vision of what we need to do. It’s an outrageously short fuse request but do your best.”

Let’s test your skills and ability. What functions would appear on your list?

Close the magazine, take out a sheet of paper, and jot down your requirements. What features would you need and why?

Here’s an example

Mobile access – Half of America’s workforce sometimes works away from the office. Smart phones have surpassed PCs for connecting to networks. More people Tweet from their phones than from their computers. If we don’t have mobile capabilities, we’ll lose more than half of our audience.

Jot down what you need. Turn to page ____ to check your list against the nine features on our wish list.

EDITOR.* This answers section goes on a page further back in the book.






Requirements for in-house social learning network

Profiles – for locating and contacting people with the right skills and background. Profile should contain photo, position, location, email address, expertise (tagged so it’s searchable). IBM’s Blue Pages profiles include how to reach you (noting whether you’re online now), reporting chain (boss, boss’s boss, etc.), link to your blog and bookmarks, people in your network, links to documents you frequently share, members of your network.

Activity stream – for monitoring the organizational pulse in real time, sharing what you’re doing, being referred to useful information, asking for help, accelerating the flow of news and information, and keeping up with change.

Wikis – for writing collaboratively, eliminating multiple versions of documents and email, keeping information out in the open, eliminating unnecessary email, and sharing responsibility for updates and error correction.

Virtual meetings – to make it easy to meet online. Minimum feature set: shared screen, shared white board, text chat, video of participants, ability to record. Bonus features: persistent meeting room (your office online), avatars.

Blogs – for narrating work, maintaining your digital reputation, recording accomplishments, documenting expert knowledge, showing people what you’re up to so they can help out.

Bookmarks – to facilitate searching for links to information, discovering what sources other people are following, tracking down experts.

Mobile access – Half of America’s workforce sometimes works away from the office. Smart phones have surpassed PCs for connecting to networks. Phones post most Tweets than computers. Google designs its apps for mobile before porting them to PCs.

Social network – for online conversation, connecting with people, and all of the above functions.

Search – for locating needles in haystacks.

* Note: This is the version of the article I submitted to CLO under the title H0w Will You Take Advantage of Your In-House Social Network? The article that appears in the magazine was edited by CLO editors. The edited version is always close but rarely the same as what I send in.

The Coherent Organization Thu, 15 Nov 2012 04:20:01 +0000 Continue reading The Coherent Organization ]]> Coherent (k-hîrnt, -hr-) means

1. Sticking together; cohering.
2. Marked by an orderly, logical, and aesthetically consistent relation of parts: a coherent essay.
3. Physics Of, relating to, or having waves with similar direction, amplitude, and phase that are capable of exhibiting interference.

(The American Heritage Dictionary)

This post continues an ongoing conversation about The Coherent Organization. While I’ll focus on interchanges among Harold Jarche, Clark Quinn, and myself, as with everything at the Internet Time Alliance, the discussion bears the fingerprints of Charles Jennings, Jane Hart, and Paul Simbeck-Hampson as well.

The lead article in the current issue of Chief Learning Officer is Building a Performance Ecosystem by Clark Quinn. The article describes The Coherent Organization, the Internet Time Alliance‘s shorthand for a company where individuals are aligned with the organizational mission and information flows from outside in and back again in ways that accelerate work.

The underlying concept is that organizations and their people are members of many different types of networks, for example, communities of practice, the company social network, and close-knit collaborative work teams. You need to optimize participation in all of them. Harold Jarche and I hit on this in the midst of a social learning implementation project for a big financial services firm last year.

There’s nothing new under the sun. Harold’s schema drew on and expanded the work of our friend Lilia Efimova:

Harold applied Lilia’s concepts to a corporate network environment:

As Clark pointed out, “The benefits are clear: when folks have maximal information about what they’re expected to do, and minimal barriers to achieve their goals, the organization succeeds.”

At midyear, Harold, Clark, and I built on one another’s thoughts in public. Harold made a key addition: Work teams collaborate; learning networks cooperate; communities of practice do both.

The three of us believe that learning is work and work is learning. In his next post, Harold wrote that “All three of these structures are united by networked and social learning. These are necessary to not only do the work but to prepare for the work to be done: emergent practices.”

Yesterday Clark wrote about detailing the Coherent Organization. He’d populated our network clouds:

Clark then brought like items together and classified them by activity to produce this matrix:

Expanding on the model

Instead of talking about an organization, shouldn’t we really be talking about the Coherent Extended Enterprise? Everyone in the organization’s ecosystem needs to be on the same wavelength. The only way to do that in a world of constant change is through co-learning. Work and learning are converging, as we’ve said, but the workforce now includes lots of people who are not employees. They’re partners, distributors, suppliers, contractors, etc. This is the group we should focus on:

The concept of the value chain taught us that value and costs generated by suppliers and distributors are passed along to customers. Since learning improves performance, it’s in your interest to help everyone in the chain learn to work smarter. Most chief learning officers will tell you “This is not my department.” Pity.

Secret sauce

Businesses have been trying to promote passion in the workplace while keeping other emotions at bay. Denying people their emotions is de-humanizing. We have to start treating people like people. Emotion-driven business is the new frontier. That is why I want to shoehorn another network into Clark’s matrix for The Coherent Organization: the Personal Network.

More and more of my work involves making introductions. Sometimes a project consists of completing the dots and making the connections. For me, work/life balance is a fiction. Without my personal network, I’d cease to function.

Your personal network is where you shape your aspirations, validate what’s important to you, and let your emotions play out.

This will put a lot more boxes on Clark’s matrix but that’s a topic for next time.

Please add your two cents worth.

















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