How To Flock In 3 Easy Steps

Here is a short video that illustrates the amazingness of flocking – the ability of birds (and other animals) to work together in a network with only very limited, local sets of rules. Graphic designer Craig Reynolds developed this computer modeling called a Boids model many years ago; wherein randomly moving objects are given three simple rules of engagement in the network: Collision avoidance – cohesion Velocity matching – alignment Flock centering – separation and, lo! a flock is formed in real time, with absurd coordination and cooperation, yet without any central controls. This, friends, is how we need to model … Continue reading How To Flock In 3 Easy Steps

Flocking + Schooling

Complex systems often follow simple rules. Flocking and schooling are examples in nature of vast, networked information systems. It is network theory been played out in real time in the real world, in a way that organizations can only begin to imagine happening. Don Tapscott has a great video on crow murmurations that speaks to this phenomenon. I wrote about it here. In this behaviour and communication system, there is no leader or global information; but sets of local rules and interaction. The nodes, and their interconnectivity, drive the behaviour of the network. Knowing that, in complexity, there is no grand scheme … Continue reading Flocking + Schooling

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

Where Do You Learn?

How do you discover information? Where do you learn? I belong to a community of e2.0 practitioners, Change Agents Worldwide, and a question was asked in that community: where do you source your information from? The below graphic, from Joachim Stroh,  is the answer. The ability to learn – on your own, every day, in perpetuity – will be a key differentiator in the future of work. These are some very simple places to start… ←This Much We Know.→ Continue reading Where Do You Learn?

The Future of Work: Defining “Talent”

One of the big intellectual shifts I have made in recent times is that I will not be an “employee” my whole career (writing as someone who had barely an entrepreneurial bone in his body, I had always imagined a corporate life.) So, I am building muscle as “talent”, and reorienting my professional work around networks and new talent service models. There is some good content about this in the recent Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2013: Leading indicators. Increasingly, we will work in a wirearchy, coming and going via projects and connections, in and out of the enterprise, often running parallel work … Continue reading The Future of Work: Defining “Talent”

The Future of Work: A Murmuration

Every day, 15 minutes before sunset, a murder of crows thousands strong flies East from downtown Vancouver to ready themselves for the night in Central Park, Burnaby. The daily sight is mesmerizing. Crows have taken over in the city. Smart, whippet-fast learners, iterative testers, communal, supportive, deeply networked – crows have destroyed the urban population of plodding, blank, beady-eyed pigeons. As you guessed, I am using this as a metaphor. The future of work demands us to be social, connected, networked, learners. Only if we join, and participate in, a collective, networked intelligence will we prosper. I will leave it … Continue reading The Future of Work: A Murmuration