Engineers without Fears

The Rise of the Hedgehogs

Engineers without Fears

Not only do the foxes do better at prediction but they were more likely to change their minds when events did not occur as expected and they less likely to engage in hindsight bias - i.e. misremembering both their own predictions and those of their rivals in a self-serving way.

crown seal

Engineers without Fears

Vagabonds use me to adulterate their cups of change in exchange for cigarettes. Neck hugging Bubble reining Cloth catching Shining Cutting Closing I make a glass bottle a monarch. I seal royal lips. No gossip in my court.

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storytelling (2): ken robinson busts some moves

Engineers without Fears

There's a distinct change in gear that occurs with this story. At the Single Origin coffee morning , I was having a chat with Mal about the story thing and he said that there are two TED videos with stories that absolutely blow him away. And before he said it, I knew what one of them would be.

story challenge: rip kungler responds

Engineers without Fears

They were "onboard" (to use the industry jargon) if we could set it in a little village not far from Chang Rai. Rip Kungler responded to my challenge to his honour on the CSTC list regarding the story competition with this digital poem.

social software & worldvision - interview with keith don

Engineers without Fears

What changes does this require of World Vision? Things that were previously overlooked internally have to change. We have to make people see the real stories and if they share in those stories and their urgency then we can make change happen.

transformer

Engineers without Fears

This one on organisational change is similar to their Web 2.0 change mckinseyAs much as McKinsey might bug me, they have an enviable access to senior execs and do churn out useful surveys. number in that it kicks off with the bleedin’ obvious: Transformations with well defined targets tend to do better than those without. Having visible involvement from top people is important. Focusing on the positive as well we the negative (go positive deviants!)*

edge of life

Engineers without Fears

The AIDS virus has killed (and changed the lives of) people close to me. Cairo Walker hits us with another painting. Like CW, I have a fascination with viruses* and pathogens in general. I studied a bit of pathology at Uni.

live and direct

Engineers without Fears

The only justifiable reason to get on a stage is to change the world a little bit, everything else is ego. And if you want to change the world, that means that the action is out there in the audience - they are the future and you, as a speaker, are the past. Tim "Mumbrella" Burrowes is over live blogging (or tweeting) and Katie "GetShouty" Chatfield is feeling the same way. It's important to note that this kind of activity is still limited to certain events full of "webby" people.

facing the swarm: the coming obsolescence of the big idea

Engineers without Fears

Generally this is a heroic idea that will change everything. But the world is changed by small ideas. Educated people in business love The Big Idea. I am falling out of love with the Idea of The Big Idea. I think the problems were face as a species are so complex, are so wicked that just a few Big Ideas won't do. We need a swarm of lots of Small Ideas small ideas. Micronotions that propogate across the memescape.

muhammad yunus - strategic doer

Engineers without Fears

Changing the world is the most exciting thing in the world. MY: There should be another show, "Who wants to change the world?" And who not only see it but choose to act in a positive way to change it. MY: See making money is an exciting thing. You can find a lot of pleasure in making money. We have to make a decision that I will not live my life in a way that will take away the enjoyment of life for another person - that simple decision, that's all.

blog dress - further reflections on the pew report

Engineers without Fears

as your body changes under the influence of hormones.

enterprise 2.0 book review: is an andrew mcafee a communist?

Engineers without Fears

Of course, the thing about technology & social change is that you never can tell. This morning I was rereading chapter of 6 of Changing the Conversation in Organizations , where Patricia Shaw very carefully takes apart the tradition that Argyis comes from. I've just finished Andrew McAfee 's Enterprise 2.0 book *.

i only have 2 problems with the term "design thinking".

Engineers without Fears

Over the Christmas break, I read Change by Design and The Design of Business (having consumed The Ten Faces of Innovation a couple of years ago) - and there are several other books on the topic available. And those are the words "design" and "thinking". It's the New. Thing. So what is design thinking? Well, according to Roger Martin, it's abduction - which is all very clever but not especially helpful.

has marketing eaten social software?

Engineers without Fears

Now that may be who its intended audience, in which case they ought to change the name to make that clear - the "Social Media for Marketers Club" is nicely unambiguous. First off, let me say some nice things about the people that put on the Social Media Club in Sydney. They volunteer their time. They put on very professional events that attract a lot of people. They are kind to animals and help old ladies across the road.

i'm not a racist but.

Engineers without Fears

The reaction times stuff is a little ambiguous but (and this is the part of the research that caught the news headlines) if you want to get an entry-level job in data entry, sales or waiting and you are Chinese or Middle-Eastern then you may need to change your name** if you want to get more call backs. Whenever some starts a sentence with "I'm not a racist but.", you know this conversation is not going to go somewhere pleasant. So are Australians racist? Well of course we are.

uneven

Engineers without Fears

Human beings are generally quite lazy and don't want to learn or change. The future is already here - it is just unevenly distributed.- William Gibson I've been pondering Sean & Ellen's discussion around explicit, tacit & latent needs. It tied to some thinking I've been doing around innovation. We expect innovation to come from high-tech research labs because that's where the dollars and the brains are. But that's fundamentally wrong. Innovation comes from where the challenges are.

happy endings

Engineers without Fears

Social software does not change the world. Keith McArthur has kicked off the Cluetrainplus10 Project with the FAQ and the list of participants. This is my contribution. Companies must ask themselves where their corporate cultures end. The Berlin Wall fell in 1989. However "fell" is not really the right verb to use.

moral panics: young people & the internet

Engineers without Fears

As this ACMA report states (p.2): Despite these changes, other aspects of young people’s discretionary time are notably stable. Electronic media and communication activities overall take up around half of children and young people’s aggregate discretionary time, and this proportion hasn’t changed since 1995. Journalists love an outrage like ordinary people love hot cross buns.

be frustrated

Engineers without Fears

But I am slowly changing. I've been pondering innovation (which is basically invention + entrepreneurship) for a while now. It strikes me that innovators are basically frustrated consumers. They want something. It is not there. And rather than just shrug and say "oh well", they decide to do something about it. Innovators differ from the rest of us in that: They are willing to act on their frustrations. They have the capability to get a result when they do act.

innospivs

Engineers without Fears

You need to actively seek out and embrace innovations that could destroy your business model - because ultimately they will, but the edge is in changing faster than your competitors. Barry Saunders has weighing on the comments section of the previous post with some good ideas and some hot! links! He's also made me articulate another idea that's been running round my head. You may remember this post from a month ago where I state: Innovation = Invention + Entrepreneurship.

objects vs gestures

Engineers without Fears

Some gesture swarms aspire to action but not all achieve it - for example Earth Hour is massive but is it changing policy or behaviour? Is it driving positive environmental change or is it simply making us feel warm & worthy for 60 mins? Social objects have become tres chic. Which in some ways is quite reassuring because we can make lots of them. Human beings are pretty good at making objects. Sites around photos, videos, maps, books, bars, etc.

conferences & the cost of organising

Engineers without Fears

It's still hard to put on an event but the economics have changed. It used to be really tricky & expensive to find people. Finding speakers. Finding venues. Finding attendees. You needed contacts & experience & these were high barriers to entry. Finding speakers is not hard - altho finding good speakers is more challenging - how about a ratemyprofessors * for conference speakers? Finding attendees is still tricky but a lot easier.

dial 247365

Engineers without Fears

But around social justice, environmental change, global inequality - for most of us its too hard. It all started with an article written by Ross Gittins about the response by Australians to the bushfires. I don't want to get stuck into the argument about motivations - that's a whole other can of worms. The point that resonates with me is that we have a collective attention span that would shame a goldfish.

network not-for-profit

Engineers without Fears

World Vision Australia seems to have gone social media ker-azy: Twitter , Facebook , Bebo , YouTube , MySpace , Flickr , and a Snags for Change viral gig. Digging deeper into the social software & not-for-profit world, a few things have turned up. Steve Bridger 's work really knocked my socks off.

brands: long tails, complex systems, stories, communities

Engineers without Fears

The gift of the internet has been to surface human behaviour as much as it has been to change it. Sean offers a link to this paper by Mohammed Iqbal. It's fascinating reading because it provides a grounding for a fancy that I've been toying with for a while now: brands as complex systems. The Long Tail of Meaning MI's paper talks about a power law distribution of brand propositions associated with a brand.

the strategic question for knowledge managers

Engineers without Fears

I can remember sitting in meetings where we were talking about workforce change, systemic organisational risk, improved performance for a group of workers and we'd get asked for some minor changes to be made to a web site. Can you give an example of a game-changing moment that you have had? This throw-away post seems to be still generating more heat than a forest fire.

social media public sector decision games

Engineers without Fears

How you might change the scenario to make it more challenging or useful for participants. I'm doing a conference session in Canberra in November. My session is Social Media and the Public Sector - Examining the Hazards and their Policy Implications. I thought I'd kick things off with some decision games. I will post the 3 exercises up here. You can post up: The decision you would make. decision games social media government

what's a wiki grandad?

Engineers without Fears

Apparently the next generation is effortlessly using social software to change the world. I quite like social software. Hence the blog, the podcasts, the use of wikis & google docs, the twittering, the social network stuff (not much Second Life activity as of yet). And I go around telling people about this kind of thing because I like it but I am also quite a sceptical, cynical person.

an infatuation

Engineers without Fears

My beef is that he cannot possibly satisfy the desire for change that he has both nurtured and ridden. All the Obama vs McCain stuff in the US? It nags at me. Not because I think Obama will lose. It's possible but looking less likely by the day. At not because I think Obama will be a bad president. I think he'll be competent enough. And he seems a better choice than his competitors for the crown.

slow communities & pace layering

Engineers without Fears

Different layers change/move at different rates. Further to Nancy's work on Slow Communities and her question: "when do you need to be fast & when do you need to be slow?". This reminds me of Stewart Brand's idea of pace layering - which he developed to describe our physical environment but which also applies to our digital one (it's a favourite of information architects). Activities, relationships & artifacts all shift at different rates.

banker lend to thy self

Engineers without Fears

No amount of ads about happy banking, or your bank caring about you, or determined to be different, or whatever they advertise to try to convince you they care about you, will ever change the banking culture. Cheryl has a post about banking customer service that ends with the comment: And they wonder why consumers hate banks.

enterprise 2.0 presentation

Engineers without Fears

begin with a small step in the right direction rather than trying to change the world in one go. Here is the presentation from yesterday's conference. E2point04ip View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. Some notes to go with the presentation: This is a revised draft of this presentation I created back in April - with slides 23-28 owing a heavy debt to Patrick Lambe's rewrite. The email detox podcasts with Luis Suarez & co: Part 1 , Part 2 & Part 3. The five steps are: i.

online communities & "tribes"

Engineers without Fears

Seeing as I was probably going to buy SG's book anyway (and I can still cancel it from Amazon if I change my mind) I pitched in. I've been a participant in online communities for over decade (pretty soon after I started exploring the internet seriously in 1996). Being a bit of a freak and therefore poorly serviced by my immediate physical communities, I launched myself into groups concerned with music, chaos magic and other stuff.

hybrid meaning making: human / computer cognition

Engineers without Fears

Please change the query or search options and try again." Basil: Can't we get you on Mastermind, Sybil? Next contestant Sybil Fawlty from Torquay, special subject the bleeding obvious. Back in April, I posted about the Powerhouse Museum's use of human tagging along with automatic indexing. A flood of things have triggered some further thoughts on this topic. I finally got round to reading Clay Shirky's stuff on gin, sitcoms & cognitive surplus.

collaboration tools: centricity

Engineers without Fears

What would you change? Most social software tools have a focus, a centricity. The focus of that tool will effect your use of it. You can try using Facebook as a wiki but it won't really work - because the focuses of each are different. Here are some suggested focuses. What would you add? [In In fact, wouldn't this blog post be better as a wiki page?] Tool Centricity Wiki Page Blog Post Tangler Forum / Thread Flickr Image / Account Facebook Ego-based Network Ning Community YouTube Clip.

measurement in complex systems

Engineers without Fears

A small change to the system may have a big (even catastrophic) effect. By measuring the system we may actually change its state - e.g. sending out an employee engagement survey may actually raise or lower employee engagement. So these 2 properties require us to: Measure the system more regularly when we make changes so we can understand whether our impact is greater or smaller than expected. Further to the previous post , why do we measure?

blogging and you don't know it

Engineers without Fears

And then later on, Russ Weakley came into discuss the planned changes to the Australian Museum website - which involve tagging (both author & user generated) and reader comments. I was talking to a couple of people about RSS and blogs today and suddenly we all realised that if you RSS enable different parts of your site, even if you don't have a site blog, the material will still appear blog-like in an RSS feedreader.

the absurd

Engineers without Fears

We think we want change or creativity but we really don't. Johnnie recommended I pick up Management of the Absurd by Richard Farson. As usual he is right. Most management writers fancy themselves as system builders (pocket Kants if you will). Farson is a writer more in the tradition of Nietzsche. He is less interested in the six things you need to do tomorrow to become an effective manager and more concerned with provoking you into thought and self-reflection.

saddles for the horsemen

Engineers without Fears

Any kind of organisational change requires support from others - including outsiders. Starting here and ending here , Patrick Lambe talks his way out of an apocalyse (perhaps). This is PL at his best - erudite, thoughtful, practical, compassionate. I want to touch on Patrick's last post about struggle and the role of the consultant. It doesn’t rest on us alone, but on all those involved in the struggle, and those whom we encourage along the way.

no touching

Engineers without Fears

Certainly too unpredictable for our rigid change management methodologies and measurement systems. Patrick writes about touch. There is a hierarchy of senses in organisations. Sight is number one. Then hearing. Then smell and taste. And finally touch. The further we get from written language (semantic, numeric or diagrammatic) the less trustworthy the senses become. Touch is the only sense that does not occur at a distance. Touch implies intent - when it's accidental we jump.