Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

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Podcasting is taking off but when will it make it into organisations?

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 19, 2005
Filed in Communication

Today’s Age has a article (requires free subscription) on Podcasting, the audio version of blogging, and suggests its adoption is outpacing its text-based cousin. While the numbers are still low—5000 podcasters in the US—the idea is exciting considering Polanyi’s idea: you know more than you can say and you will say more than you can write down. If it […]

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Internal blogs, taboo and organised dissent

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 28, 2005
Filed in Communication

Dennis Hamilton has written a short piece describing his experience blogging inside the firewall—he works for an architectural and engineering firm. Dennis mentions three issues which differentiate an internal and external blog: losing support for your blog (your ideas) can be career limiting; mentioning taboo subjects can be career limiting; and criticising your organisation can be career […]

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Anecdote circles and yak shaving

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 20, 2005
Filed in Communication

Seth Godin believes ‘Yak Shaving’ is the single best phrase he’s learned this year. It describes those situations when you are extremely sidetracked when trying to get something done. Here is the yak shaving incident described by Seth:   Yak Shaving is the last step of a series of steps that occurs when you find something you need to do. […]

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Assumptions about monitoring

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —February 11, 2005
Filed in Communication

Hi Michael, thanks for you kind comments about my blog. As you’ve probably gathered, my thoughts on monitoring are developing so I appreciate your questions. Take the following comment you make: One question that comes to mind immediately is an extension of his base assumption that there’s an optimum level and pace of monitoring given […]

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The Art of Monitoring

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —February 9, 2005
Filed in Communication

Organisations that operate in complexity need a monitoring regime. Combining the following three approaches to monitoring will improve an organisation’s ability to adapt in uncertain circumstances. The three approaches are: monitoring at intervals monitoring at events creating signposts Monitoring at intervals Some things change quickly while others move at glacial speed. Consequently, when monitoring a […]

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Tool for Thought

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 30, 2005
Filed in Communication

Steven Johnson writes an essay in the New York Times pondering the future of writing with the availability of tools like DEVONThink. It helps you locate those ideas you managed to type into your computer and then promptly forgot by feeding the system a sentence of two, such as a paragraph from the new book you are writing. Steven tells us about the interesting […]

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The act of setting boundaries

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 30, 2005
Filed in Communication

Complex systems lack explicit boundaries. Any boundaries which exist are imposed by people who are attempting to constrain and simplify the system for a particular purpose and therefore these boundaries are artefacts affected by the designer’s biases, interests and vision. This is not bad situation, we just need to remain aware of how boundaries were […]

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A metaphor for attractors and strange attractors

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 19, 2005
Filed in Communication

The concepts of an attractor and strange attractor from complexity science can be difficult ideas to grasp, but I came across this metaphor by Bill McKelvey which you might find useful. “As a metaphor, think of a point attractor as a rabbit on an elastic tether—the rabbit moves in all directions but as it tires […]

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Updated view on complex system intention

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 3, 2005
Filed in Communication

Thanks for your comment Matt. I agree, the diagram does suggest that ‘known’ is a subset of ‘knowable’ etc., and this wasn’t my intent. Here is a new version of the diagram. The space between the boundaries indicates the breadth of possibilities. The wider the space, the greater the possibilities. In the complex domain it […]

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Malcom Gladwell blinks

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —December 23, 2004
Filed in Communication

A story on Malcolm Gladwell is Fast Company’s cover story. He has a new book out called Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. It’s all about how we make split second decisions. I hope he makes reference to Gary Klein’s work in this area.

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