Thursday, 15 November 2012

Harold Jarche on the need for #corporate #networking and learning

During the Learning Day at the European Environmental Agency (EEA), an organisation filled with knowledge workers, I had the pleasure of hearing a keynote of Harold Jarche ( @hjarche and www.jarche.com ). These are my live blognotes.

An interesting central idea is the fact that all knowledge workers need to have time to do nothing, simply relax, get their heads into an open, wandering, creative state. I totally agree. Without pauzes, my brain would not be able to compute and emotionally process all the input absorbed by the day.

Breaking down barriers
Change is human. Although at every moment in time, we - as people - feel that something will be there forever. But we are only surrounded by artificial barriers. These barriers are artificially created. Organizations are the same, the barriers, guidelines are provided... These barriers are sometimes set up to create an idea of trust, balance, ... but in fact these barriers can be restrictive. If we want to grow, we need to share knowledge. As such we need to break the barriers down, enabling fruitful change. 
hyperlinks subvert hierarchy (from the cluetrain.com manifesto)

Moving from local to global
We live in a less barriered world: self-publication, group forming across the world, unlimited information. In the past we linked up with people with similar interests locally, due to simply physical realities... now we can link up with people from around the world. So from a learning perspective our learning group grows (personal addition: this also means that the group that lives inside the personal zone of proximal development grows, as more people can potentially be in this). Groupforming is now becoming networks. This has an effect on mentorship: per mentor you can only have so many learners, but with the growing group more mentors can stand up and the learners themselves can become mentors.

The web has changed the way we work.
How we start businesses (get online financial support), couche surfing....

An interesting question put forward by Harold is from Robert Kelley, "What percentage of the knowledge you need to do your job is stored in your own mind?" research. The percentage decreases, but ... I am not sure about this, as the brain builds on its experiences, as such - even if we look up something, the basis of what we pick up is actually stuff we know. So - to me - the 'new' is not that new, it is only a small part of new, but mostly it is building upon personal knowledge.

Anything that can be automated will be automated
Anything that can be automated will be automated: production, outsourcing, law (when big corporate law goes to court, all the information needs to be organized. Now this search is done by computer data software), banking.... even to drive through: you go to a MacDonalds, someone in India takes the order and sends the 'burger computers' the order...
So if you are looking for work, look for the far right handside, otherwise you will loose it. (I agree!)
Talent is seldom outsourced, labour is. Live and work is in perpetual beta (I agree so much!).
So byebye teachers?

(personal note: although the above is true, I feel this is only true because we belief in the non-human at this point in time, money and profit is the goal, but that is not human. Because of this focus on non-human factors, humanity is out of balance. We should use the web, the new world order to shift back to the central goal: humans - think Star Trek society, the technology serves humans, no money needed).

Connections drive innovation
We need input from peope with a diversity of viewpoints - Tim Kestell (or Kastell?).
How do we connect the open world with the corporate world.
Communities of Practice: weak and strong social ties. "You know you are in a CoP when it changes your practices".
Rob Cross, et al. The Hidden Power of Social networks, HBS, 2004. is mentioned => the people that are more connected are the most connected, it is not the smartest people.

Collaboration versus cooperation
collaboration: working together for a common objective. Cooperation: openly sharing, without any quid pro quo. Corporation is linking with each other: yin/yang balance. 
Knowledge sharing networks is build on openness, for it enables transparency, which fosters diversity of ideas => trust! (agreeing here, any willingness to communicate openly is based on the feeling of trust).

We should all move into transparency to get to innovational drive.  Mentions Nancy Dixon on knowledge management: do not go to hierarchy, but to a networked corporational architecture.

Some nice quotes:
"All models are flawed, but some are useful.
"Assume positive intent" says Harold, things work better with this as a starting point.
"To change behaviour you have to do it 40 days in a row for change to stick".

Social network analysis shows trust (e.g. twitter traffic can show those persons that are trusted)

These are his presentation slides