Seeking perpetual Beta


After 10 years of blogging here, I have compiled my best posts into an ebook. It’s called Seeking perpetual Beta: a guidebook for the network era. Instead of digging through over 2,500 posts on this site, now you can read a cohesive narrative that covers learning, working, and managing in the emerging network era. This ebook is the result of a decade of seeking, sense-making, and sharing knowledge on the Web.

“the best $25 you’ll ever spend on yourself” – Susan Scrupski

“One of the best purchases you’ll do this year!” – Luis Suarez

“masterful synthesis of 10 years of blogging about networks” – Jon Husband

Scroll down to read the introduction and table of contents.

The ebook can be purchased for $25 (13% HST incl for Canadian purchasers)

Upon making your purchase, you will receive an email within 24 hours (usually much quicker) to the address you provide PayPal. It will contain 2 PDF’s (total 1 MB) formatted for smartphone and tablet. The latter is suitable for printing. (more…)

Medicine, Mistakes and the Reptilian Brain

Pasteur said that discovery favoured the prepared mind. A diagnosis, also a discovery, must favour the prepared mind. Yet medical schools have been inattentive to preparing the mind to meet the patient, inattentive to errors, inattentive to attention, inattentive to inattention, and inattentive to the study of the self which is to be inattentive to the minefield within. – JMM

medicine mistakes reptilian brainDr. John Mary Meagher has over 40 years experience as an emergency physician. In Medicine, Mistakes and the Reptilian Brain, he combines lessons from health care, aviation, and some of the greatest thinkers in history to examine why mistakes are made and how to develop methods to overcome the reptile within all of us. While focused on physicians, there are many lessons that anyone can take from this book.

Dr. Meagher identifies three core tendencies that increase errors in medical practice:

  1. Apathy
  2. Haste
  3. Egoism (more…)

Three elements of digital transformation

Altimeter released a new report yesterday, called Digital Transformation: Why and How Companies are Investing in New Business Models to Lead Digital Customer Experiences.

For those of us in this field or related ones, much is not new, but confirmatory.

  • Benefits:
    • Leadership and employees feel empowered through education.
    • Decision-making and processes become more efficient across departments.
  • We found that businesses often remodel or bolt on mobile, social, and digital functionality to an aging offline/online infrastructure that is counterintuitive to customer behavior.
  • Team members want to feel empowered to do the work that’s necessary while feeling a sense of ownership in the process.
  • In its own way, digital transformation is making businesses more human. (more…)

Enterprise knowledge sharing requires trusted relationships

As the economy gets more networked, open organizations are becoming a necessity. Businesses are increasingly dependent on complex social interactions. Products are becoming services, as we can see with web apps, software, and even books. Trading intangible goods and services today requires trusted relationships, and often across distances. Internally, work teams that need to share complex knowledge require tighter social bonds. These are developed through time, with experience, and most often informally. Trust is a human quality. But the major barrier to encouraging informal social relationships at work often comes down to a question of control. (more…)

Move the hierarchy to the rear

In an environment where everyone is a leader, some other mechanism needs to be put in place to ensure that everyone can maintain and optimize the tenets of fairness, trust and transparency so the entire organization can move forward. – Harrison Monarth: HBR

The foundation for this “other mechanism” is the wirearchy framework: 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.” But what is the mechanism and why is it important to have an environment where everyone can be a leader? After all, most leaders are quite comfortable where they are. They worked hard to get there, didn’t they? (more…)

A beacon of light

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” – Anne Lamott

When Christopher Mackay and I started talking about my new website design we first discussed what my business means. I mentioned that clarity was important to my clients and that often I engage them when they are in a chaotic state where it is not certain what the outcomes will be. I have learned over the years to be comfortable in not knowing what will happen and not having all the answers at the onset. As Chris and I talked, the idea of the lighthouse emerged. It is not just a beacon of light but a landmark and a place of departure. Living in Atlantic Canada, the lighthouse is a common, though vanishing, symbol of the region. The lighthouse in my new website design is local. It is at Cape Jourimain, not far from where I live and work. In this new network era of perpetual Beta, it is good to stay grounded. Ken Homer has described this blog as “a beacon of light in the dark landscape of organizational learning”, so it just seemed fitting. (more…)