The Brand of Absence: TMSIDK Ep.4

[Teach Me Something I Don’t Know, episode 4]


A GIF a day keeps the doctor away. Ain’t nothing as memetastic as a good animated GIF (hard G, sorry).

After 20 years, GIF are only just finding their groove, witness their recent embeddability inside Twitter. No matter how hard “the internet” tries, GIFs keep on giving.

Quote of the Week

This one is an oldie but goldie: wirearchy is

a dynamic two-way flow of  power and authority, based on knowledge, trust, credibility and a focus on results, enabled by interconnected people and technology – John Husband

Compare and contrast to your experience of hierarchy, and you unlock the definition’s genius.

Framing Device

We put so much energy into our work hierarchies. And we then spend more time re-engineering them too. Gack. Meanwhile, in the real world, Wirearchy has all the value, hierarchy is simply the vassal.

I could try to dissemble Simon Terry’s excellent treatise. Or I could just copy the entire article. But you should read it all here,  and then consider where your organizational energy goes; and perhaps challenge some of it.

Here is the intro:

Your hierarchy doesn’t work. It is. No value has ever been created down your hierarchy. Nothing of value occurs because of the flow of resources, information or power up and down a hierarchy. All the money invested in perfecting hierarchies through restructures are a massive exercise in waste. Much of the money in perfecting the flow of information up the hierarchy suffers the same fate. The focus on the hierarchy is a focus on status relationships, not the relationships of work.


The real engine of value in your organisation is the interactions and collaborations in and through the hierarchy. These collaborative relationships are where the work gets done and where the formal hierarchical decisions are shaped, influenced or frustrated.


From the Corners of the Internet

Ah, Gene Wilder, RIP.

A Gene Wilder pause is worth 1000 words. It is the absence, the space in between,  that reveals his genius.


I spend less time these days watching music videos; although perversely, I do spend a lot of time listening to YouTube music videos. For every Beyonce video that works simple because…Beyonce, it is rare that a video deepens the experience of the music. One such case: Massive Attack & Ghostpoet with their ambiguous and disconcerting Come Near Me.

I was in Bristol recently at the time of their homecoming concert on The Downs. Theirs is a brand of absence – of what is left behind, out of sight. I remember seeing them in concert 20+ years ago. They stood in the shadows of the stage lights and smoke. Massive Attack make it about you.

←This Much We Know.→

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