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Organizations and organizational constructs are boundaries. Stocks and flows of knowledge is not enough to describe them as there is some form of transformation when crossing. The measurements on inside are different than outside. For instance outside the firm the efficiency of knowledge interactions can be measured as currency (contracts, profit, market share, etc) But inside we know monetary incentives yield false results, they are too easily gamed. The inside currency is not concrete. It isn't contracts or obligations, as those are artifacts of hierarchy. I suspect the internal currency is favors, freely given and redeemed. So to address your observations on finding a viable pace please consider the translation at the boundaries. In KM classes long age we talked about "impedance mismatch" I have no memory of the original source of the term.
Chris, I think we are in violent agreement as the sayings goes. My discussion of managing didn't address and isn't sufficient for those who have a formal responsibility to manage and shirk, or worse subborn their responsibilities. Those cases present different aspects or patterns of emergence. Your source material is a NETOPS, which I recall is a concept of operations instruction for the HQ staff's. I haven't read any of it and wasn't thinking of this set of patterns as I read your post.
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I agree with all you have said with one exception. We can not "seek to manage" and also have "no one in control". If we effect a change then we have managed something, and we are now also in some manner of control. If we try to manage and do not accomplish any change, then we are part of the "no one." The first is emergent, the second is not. It is nothing! Except I am afraid, a source of much of the tension that leads so readily to war. Yes there's extreme complexity but there is one point on which we must be clear: war is a distillation of tensions, and peace is a relaxation, or to stay with the metaphor (drinks;) a dilution.
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Yes Chris. I am using Cynefin concepts and am familiar with some of your discussions with Dave Snowden. I understand that the Marines view things quite differently and don't mean to distract from their courage and sacrifice in their peacemaking missions. In relative terms and a very far distance there is a metapattern that I'm trying to describe. Military officers are trained in war, from Sun Tzu to Machiavelli and strategy to tactics. States have turned to war habitually, until only recently with MAD doctrine; and perhaps not, according to Pinker and others. In my geopolitical and military strategy courses we had some readings and discussions of just wars and peacemaking, and though I'm not qualified to offer an opinion, the authors and experienced are few and far between. One quote I remember well (but can't attribute) was "peace can't begin until war has burned itself out".
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Yes indeed. In addition it seems that the processes of organizing for war are easy - contextually simple, well known, and acceptable to many. On the other hand, we little about the processes that contribute to peace. These processes are neither complicated or complex, they remain chaotic and resistant to articulation. This may be why there are so few paths for peacemaking, and why few can agree on what steps are acceptable in unwinding the tensions behind the wars.
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I'm not sure what this means, as emotional intensify is only a part of a reaction. Begs a question like .... what is your level of interest (in the story)? From weak to strong and don't care. Don't have any data to back this up.
The conceptualization of springs works well here where you enumerate variables that modulate the connection, using modulation in the manner of Dave Snowden's Cognitive Edge blogs. I propose there is another modulator, Innovation, between cost and schedule acting in a different opposing manner. Innovation may cost and is inherently unpredictable, but it's results can reduce cost or shorten schedules. Or both, and it can also reduce both types of risk. Innovation by way of R&D or SBIR once was a mainstream activity with lots of funding. It seems to have fallen out of favour with the ascendancy of COST and open architecture. I wonder whether the relationships conform to some increase in Program/project complexity (that can be mapped to Cynefin domains).
Toggle Commented May 24, 2014 on Elements of Project Success at Herding Cats
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The reasons that most managers may fail to understand may not be that obscure if we consider the definitions of success. Steve Jobs was a notorious micro-manager, and he was also recognized as intensely focused on what his employees' probably considered to be exceptional levels of customer usability, cost controls, branding and secrecy. Agile, or at least an effective agile process, is similarly focused on rapid delivery of products and services that are recognized by the business as providing immediate value. If you don't have that urgent need, then conventional programming techniques are adequate for success. Executive management, to distinguish it from project and program management, is based on a different principle. Management at the top of the corporate ladder is based on control of information and resources. Success is in the delivery of tough decisons when needed. If its a good outcome, its win-win; if not, then the manager gets the blame. Management then is a matter of risk - balancing the knowns and unknowns at different degrees of complexity. Steve Jobs was, I suspect, a master at such balancing.
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2011 on Quote of the Day at Herding Cats
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Tonyjoyce is now following Nonsensemaking
Dec 9, 2009
I have not had the fortune of knowing the good Doctor other than through his obituary. I can't help wondering whether he would not have described his particular area of speciality and infinitesimal expertise as "nonsense-making" vice "non-sense making" Of course this shouldn't be confused with sensemaking of either the Weickian or Snowdenian forms.
Toggle Commented Dec 9, 2009 on He will be missed at Nonsensemaking's blog
Tonyjoyce is now following The Typepad Team
Dec 9, 2009