#Unsquirrel 2: The Fruits Of Idleness

Dang! I should unsquirrel to myself a bit more often. Here I was, on the last day of 2013, writing about flanerie: How could it be that this word, this idea, this approach to life has passed me by all these years?!… it’s a flâneur’s life for me. And yet, all along, squirreled away, hidden, I had this nugget from printed publication unknown, from the German Marxist commentator Walter Benjamin (from The Arcades Project): Basic to flanerie, among other things, is the idea that the fruits of idleness are more precious than the fruits of labour. Amidst the existential angst of … Continue reading #Unsquirrel 2: The Fruits Of Idleness

What Modern Art Teaches Us About Opinion + Opportunity

Yesterday, I made the comparison between modern art and SocBiz. I shared a piece of (modern) art consisting of this definition: modern art = I could do that + yeah, but you didn’t. If that is true, and it is, then modern art is also about a) showing up; b) thinking and applying ideas; and c) sharing those thoughts and outputs. Ergo, it is the same for social business / networking. You see? Interesting things emerge when you have an opinion, a position, and you are willing to share it. Having the opinion is important, it stakes a claim, it … Continue reading What Modern Art Teaches Us About Opinion + Opportunity

A Network Is An Idea Factory

I hope you will have already seen Jason Silva’s Moments of Awe videos. Just delicious. In a recent interview, he explained his kaleidoscopic network approach to his work, “…when I see sentences and words, I see a network of connections. The manic geometry of associational thinking is probably the best description how my brain works. It is all networks. Ideas are networks.” It brought to mind an association from 50 years ago by the neuropsychologist, Roger Sperry (via Brain Pickings) of the analogy between neurons and ideas: “Ideas cause ideas and help evolve new ideas. They interact with each other … Continue reading A Network Is An Idea Factory

I Must (Re)Learn to TRUST

In my recent reading about networks and the future of work, I have seen the word ‘trust’ flash like a lighthouse. Here are just a few quotes I have recently squirreled away. Seth Godin says: “The connection economy isn’t based on steel or rails or buildings. It’s built on trust and hope and passion.” Stowe Boyd talks of the need for ‘swift trust’ in the future of work. Harold Jarche, meanwhile, believes “Connected leadership starts by organizing to embrace networks, manage complexity, and build trust.“ Nilofer Merchant, in a great Wired article, has this to add: “Relationships are to the social … Continue reading I Must (Re)Learn to TRUST

Embracing Complexity: Office Space

Just as in cities, offices that are complex, alive, interactive are the ones where things happen. This was proven by Thomas Allen. The Allen Curve posits that “interactions between different workers declined exponentially depending on the distance between their offices.” Indeed, “researchers on different floors almost never had anything to do with each other. This effect starts to take place when people are 50 metres or more apart.” Newer office design encourages interaction. Steve Jobs famously (via his biography) decreed that his (Apple, Pixar, NeXT etc.) offices limit the number of toilet blocks and have them in a central place that … Continue reading Embracing Complexity: Office Space

The Community Manager As Maxwell’s Demon

More from my Complexity MOOC: this time a learning from the second law of thermodynamics, about entropy. Entropy is the ‘heat’ or loss created by changing energy state in a system. It can be considered the cost of that transfer. [And apologies for any holes in my understanding. It was not real education; just a MOOC :)] The idea of entropy can be transposed to information management theory, as the unpredictability of the data. Moving data, sharing information, aligning teams and organizations all cause entropy. This is a cost to the system. The second law of thermodynamics shows entropy as a … Continue reading The Community Manager As Maxwell’s Demon

When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Flâneur

How could it be that this word, this idea, this approach to life has passed me by all these years?! Fuck fireman, astronaut or Prime Minister, a flâneur is who I want to be, it’s a flâneur’s life for me. Of course, wikipedia has all the details. It is long, sumptuous, beguiling: a literary type from 19th century France…[i]t carried a set of rich associations: the man of leisure, the idler, the urban explorer, the connoisseur of the street. Susan Sontag describes the photographer / flâneur as an armed version of the solitary walker reconnoitering, stalking, cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers … Continue reading When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Flâneur

#FutureOfWork Words: Swarm, Weak, Sketch, Spontaneity, Patterns, Experiments, Hyper

A fascinating analysis of the future of work over the next decade by Gartner analysts come my way. Read the article here, but I want to highlight two emergent themes. This near future will be full of shadow, a grey zone of uncertainty: work will be spontaneous; sketched, non-routine, in perpetual beta, following patterns and insights, and everywhere / anytime. Secondly, we will be constantly forming, storming, and norming our work networks: we will take advantage of weak links, swarm, move out into our ecosystem, hyperconnect. Are these words and ideas you can subscribe to? Can you grab on to … Continue reading #FutureOfWork Words: Swarm, Weak, Sketch, Spontaneity, Patterns, Experiments, Hyper

Working Out Loud With Gratitude. #RelentlessHumanity Yo!

Working out loud (WoL) – sharing your knowledge transparently, moving towards your colleagues and stakeholders, asking for and offering help – is the approach to work that puts people (and networks) before process. I like the tag #RelentlessHumanity to describe this endeavour – enterprise social networking tools are there to push our collective humanity in a way that Facebook et al has done in our private lives. I am always thirsting for the chain reaction BOOM! point where this idea scales in the enterprise. We have to start somewhere. The excellent John Stepper is getting very meta, working out loud about working out … Continue reading Working Out Loud With Gratitude. #RelentlessHumanity Yo!