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I remember using a contraption just like this

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 24, 2005
Filed in Fun

My first ‘real’ job was working as a research assistance at the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies. We had a similar setup for our Tektronix terminals taking snaps of primitive geographic information systems. [Thanks Seth]

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Gareth Morgan’s 15% concept

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 20, 2005
Filed in Collaboration

In our work to design complexity-based interventions our aim has been to create small initiatives, which in themselves are designed to address specific issues, that when taken together over time have a widespread effect on the broader system (organisation, division, team). Today I discovered Gareth Morgan’s description of essentially the same approach which he calls […]

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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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Edward Tufte New Chapter from Beautiful Evidence

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

For one month Edward Tufte is making available a chapter from his upcoming book, Beautiful Evidence. Tufte wrote 3 of my favourite books which I love because of their simple beauty and their insightful portrayal of how to best convey information with graphics:  Envisioning Information , The Visual Display of Quantitative Information , Visual Explanations. [thanks […]

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Complexity, Stories, and Knowing

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 18, 2005
Filed in Business storytelling

Ken Baskin presented this paper at the 2004 International Workshop on Complexity and Philosophy. I haven’t had a chance to read the paper yet but the topic seems interesting. Thanks to Fabio Boschetti at CSIRO for alerting me to this one.

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Some obstacles can be a right pain

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 18, 2005
Filed in Fun

Thanks to Bill Gibson for this one.

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The relevance of the open source model for communities of practice

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 17, 2005
Filed in Collaboration

I totally agree with Mitch Kapor’s when he says: “Open source heralds a global paradigm shift in social and economic value creation of enormous proportions, the extent of which is almost completely unappreciated.” While Mitch admits he is going out on a limb with this statement, I think the simple idea of a distributed community […]

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The role of free will in social complexity–does it exist?

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 16, 2005
Filed in Collaboration

Dave Snowden frequently says: “Humans are not ants. We have ‘free will’ and can impose order on an otherwise complex system.” This sounded like a sound statement to me and I happened to mention the idea to Sue Blackmore while at a meeting of complexity scientists (and a ring-in like myself) in Canberra—we were considering how […]

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Community of practice adoption in government agencies

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 14, 2005
Filed in Collaboration

Government agencies have for some time embraced the idea of communities of practice. Australia seems to be behind the US and Europe in adopting CoPs but it might be simply that Australians tend to avoid trumpeting their successes and agencies haven’t described their CoP activities. I’m personally aware of a number of CoP efforts in the […]

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Corporate narrative is not storytelling

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 13, 2005
Filed in Business storytelling

After hearing Dave Snowden describe the importance and application of stories in organisations for the first time, I became extremely excited by the idea and raced off to write a story. I was in the middle of a project helping a client develop a competitive intelligence capability and the engagement was exilarating. So I wrote […]

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