Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

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Making headway in a new network

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 18, 2006
Filed in Communication, Culture

A first day at a new organisation is often daunting. Apart from just getting up to speed with what you are supposed to be doing you are also trying to find out who you need to know. In a connected world your social network will be one of your most valuable assets. Much has been […]

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Google’s experimental decision market

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 13, 2006
Filed in Culture, Leadership Posts

Last September I reviewed James Surowiecki’s book Wisdom of Crowds. At the end of the review I said: I can understand why, as Surowiecki laments, few organisations have implemented group decision-making—because it removes power from those who have the authority and responsibility to implement the decisions. So it was a pleasure to discover, a little […]

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Michael Crichton and complexity science

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 8, 2006
Filed in Communication, Culture

Here is a set of videos of Michael Crichton (author of Jurassic Park and other techo-thrillers) presenting at The Smithsonian Associates and The Washington Center for Complexity & Public Policy. His 60 minute talk (plus Q&A) focuses on the topics of fear, misguided predictions and the impossibility of managing the environment with a mindset of linearity. Using […]

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Barriers to public participation

Posted by  Andrew Rixon —November 26, 2005
Filed in Culture

This comes from yesterday’s Australian Financial Review regarding a contentious desalination plant which Sydney is planning for. The key points which the paper reported were: “Plans for a desalination plant in Sydney have been released for public consultation.” “The decision to build the plant is final, says the minister.” Now I’m not quite sure where this fits […]

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Our tendency to categorise and the effect on sensemaking

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —November 22, 2005
Filed in Culture

Patti over at 37 Days provides a brilliant and humorous description of Richard Nisbett’s work on how westerners and Asians perceive the world differently. Her renditions of Dick and Jane stories are priceless. According to Nisbett our early years of language development consist of Western children being taught nouns while Asian children are taught verbs. And […]

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Great quote from Brian Arthur on sensemaking

Posted by  Andrew Rixon —October 16, 2005
Filed in Culture, Leadership Posts

This has got to be one of the best quotes I’ve seen regarding sensemaking, from an article of Brian Arthur’s in the Harvard Business Review. Imagine you are milling about in a large casino with the top figures in the high-tech-the Gates, Gerstners, and Groves of their industries. Over at one table, a game is starting […]

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A couple of things I’ve learnt about interventions

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 27, 2005
Filed in Collaboration, Culture

Late last year I described some initial thoughts on what makes an intervention. Here is an excerpt: We call them ‘interventions’ because they are designed to intervene in the ‘natural’ way of things. They are undertaken to create a ‘disturbance’—thus allowing new patterns to form. This approach is different from a project in which a […]

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Cultural attractors – Dan Sperber on the Edge

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 30, 2005
Filed in Culture

If you love reading essays by some of the world’s top thinkers, then get onto the Edge mailing list (www.edge.org). This month’s set of essays included one by the French anthropologist, Dan Sperber who is known for his work on a naturalistic approach to culture. While Dan’s essay on culture was short (I would have […]

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An example of an intervention

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 28, 2005
Filed in Culture, News

In a previous post I’ve described the difference between interventions and projects. On the radio this morning (ABC 774) I heard about what I would classify as a classic intervention. The Victorian government has announced a series of changes to how they will combat domestic violence. One of the interventions will be the ability for social […]

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Skimming over the organisational issues

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 14, 2005
Filed in Culture

James Dellow made the following comment: I think there are some barriers to blogging inside corporates that Shawn’s paper skims overs. For example, IT architecture, business culture and security. I mean we’ve had groupware for years and some organisations still find it hard to use it well. Your right James, I did skim over those […]

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