Here are some of the things I learned via Twitter this past week.
Value creation has thus been shifting from protecting proprietary knowledge, to fostering collaboration, both within the company and beyond its boundaries, in order to help the firm participate in as broad and diverse a range of knowledge flows and thus improve its competitive position. It is within this context that one has to consider the business value of social networks, and their impact in helping people better connect with each other, and build sustaining relationships that enhance knowledge flows and innovation.
via @bbetts -Oscar Berg: Why traditional intranets fail today’s knowledge workers
To conclude: a major reason why traditional intranets fail today’s knowledge workers is that all information they provide access to is produced with a push-based production model. This model assumes that all information resources on the intranet must be produced in advance (only serving information needs which can be anticipated) by a small subset of all available resources (employees) and that the entire body of information needs to be supervised by a few people for the purpose of controlling the message, format and/or organization of the information resources.
A Man with a PhD: Natural selection: networks & diversity
One thing to remember is that true and pure natural selection would tend to drive genes to the best possible – the most fit – actually removing diversity. To a first approximation, selection would seem to produce a single set of genes that are ‘best’ evolved for a particular environment. Any other set of genes would be less fit.
In reality, selection is often not that fine, there are a range of different gene products that can probably be almost equally fit and most biological systems are designed to support a wide range of diversity.
This argument implies that one cannot hope to get ahead of others just by finding the “right” network. “People think of their network as something they can expand, or buy a new version of, or change in some dramatic way as if it were clothing that you can take off and put on,” Burt says. A network does not give added competitive advantage independent of your effort. Rather, it allows a person to become more skillful at managing various connections so that he gains greater competitive advantage. It is what a person does with his network that counts.
Serendipity is the emergence of desirable novelty from a chance encounter, the discovery of something wonderful, unknown and unpredictable. It is the act of unexpected cross-pollination, the seed of something new.
Much of lasting value comes into being serendipitously. How many of the most amazing things that have happened to you have happened because of an overheard word, an accidental encounter, a connection made by a friend? Serendipity is the antithesis of control.
The moral of the story is simple. Connections drive innovation. We need input from people with a diversity of viewpoints to help generate innovative new ideas. If our circle of connections grow too small, or if everyone in it starts thinking the same way, we’ll stop generating new ideas. And then we’ll forget things like how to make a fishing hook. Or a trident missile.
“I’m a scientist. I had nothing to do with education. But then my six-year-old boy went to school and his teacher told me, ‘He’s a nice kid, but he asks too many questions,’” said François Taddei, the author of an education report published last year for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
“This is the problem of the French system,” he added.
“You are supposed to know the right answer. You are not supposed to express your own opinions or ask questions.”