When I talk about explanation skills, I often hear a common response: “Boy do I know someone who needs that!” Over time I’ve found that, often, this person in need is a scientist or research professor who can’t seem to explain their work or current projects in an understandable way. It’s a fascinating paradox. You could reason that the most informed people would have the best explanations, but it’s not often the case. Many times, the inverse is true. As I first learned in the book Made to... Continue Reading
From time to time, I participate in conference calls and online discussions that are focused on subjects that I should care about: knowledge management, communities of practice, online learning, etc. More often than not I find that these discussion become academic discourse and generally make me feel the same. I honestly respect academic discussion and I believe academia lays the foundation for what we know and understand. But man, that kind of discussion is just not for me- and perhaps I'm... Continue Reading
The idea from this paper by Ronald Burt is that people who participate in a number of groups or networks are exposed to a wide variety of perspectives and ways of thinking. By virtue of this exposure, these same people are able see holes across groups and find new ways (new ideas) to bridge the holes. This often results in innovation. I've only read about 1/2 the 58 page .pdf, but I highly recommend it. Clay at Many-to-Many has a little more on it:Many-to-Many: Social Origin of Good Ideas
Manifesto for the Reputation Society Abstract: Information overload, challenges of evaluating quality, and the opportunity to benefit from experiences of others have spurred the development of reputation systems. Most Internet sites which mediate between large numbers of people use some form of reputation mechanism: Slashdot, eBay, ePinions, Amazon, and Google all make use of collaborative filtering, recommender systems, or shared judgements of quality. But we suggest the potential utility... Continue Reading
Harvard Business Online: Can Absence Make a Team Grow Stronger? I'm going to have to buy this report. This is what I've been working on the "Workspace" of this site- virtual workspaces for teams. If you want to check it out, let me know. Article Description: Some projects have such diverse requirements that they need a variety of specialists to work on them. But often the best-qualified specialists are scattered around the globe, perhaps at several companies. Remarkably, an extensive... Continue Reading
Go take it now Via RSS feed: Joi
ACM: Ubiquity - A Conversation with Andrew Hargadon I really enjoyed this interview. Andrew is an associate professor at UC Davis Grad School of Management. In this interview he debunks many of the widely-held ideals about innovation. I like the way he thinks. On the difference between innovation and invention: Innovation is the practical exploitation of any novel idea. Novel ideas can be inventions in the strict definition of the term, which means they didn't exist before, but most often... Continue Reading
Clay Shirky: A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy I'm a big fan of Clay's and he always enlightens me with each writing. This one is a transcript of a keynote he did on April 24th at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology conference. It's long, but it provides some juicy insights into the behaviour of groups who gather online. Like me, he believes that a revolution is underway in the use of the Internet as a social tool.