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November 12, 2007


Jon Husband

I just cannot figure out why there is such a persistent belief that there is a realtively stable / static / fixed (fill in with your word) way of going about relating to and interacting with customers (and colleagues, for that matter). Your poinnt re: improving and extending is bang-on. McLuhan's quadrant of media extending, obsoleting, reversing and expanding (I think - I tend to forget the fourth dynamic) is apt here .. taken from the good book McLuhan For Managers - New Tools for New Thinking.

Actually, there are "stable" ways of going about things, but IMO they are derived from principles, and so are always taking on new forms (with the principles underneath, and in-forming, the form).

But .. and it is a big "but", I think ... we have been moving into a new ecosystem of interaction for a while now, less top-down, less one-way, less just "open wallet and consume", or "shut head and work on task", and so this set of conditions (which don't seem to be going away) demands new design principles.

I'm probably inarticulate about this, and scattered, and maybe wrong. ... but plainly the ability to go online and connect, link, complain, comment, converse, search for other complaints and whines and so on offers a new set of conditions somewhat more powerful than sending a letter of complaint or phoning to whine.

No wonder the gatekeepers and higher-ups don't like all this so much. There's the opportunity for more accountability, beyond "just trust us".

Earl Mardle

There's also MUCH less ability to maintain the appearance of control. That scares the hell out of people whose lives depend on being able to deliver consistent pictures so they can rise in the system.

Actually I was thinking yesterday that I am, for the first time in my life, not just "doing whatever is next" which has been a really good approach for me.

Now, for the first time, I am working consciously on making some things happen, like reducing reliance on cheap energy, promoting local in my life (better links with neighbours, walk to work, medical centre 4 minutes walk, dentist 8 minutes etc.)

But the other side of it is the process. I still don't have a plan which requires an assumption that I can know something about the future. I can't. period.

So I have a strategy. That then informs each decision. OK, I have eliminated debt but the strategy also calls for not adding new debt (credit card to be paid off in full every month - if you can't, don't buy, if you have to buy, substitute a transaction)

Then there is cash in hand (not too little, not too much - gut feel leads that one for now) but if there is a little surplus, how do I use it? Gold? No. Shares? Hah!

Tools, yes. Steel has a huge energy component so get it while it is cheap.

Next level is machine tools, bench grinder? Yes. Can sharpen old tools, fits the strategy.

Repairs on the house. Do them now while they are cheap and the sophisticated materials are available. Had a talk with a shoe repair guy last week, he's next for a visit with some old boots that are made with "modern" materials that could not be repaired until recently. Get it done now.

Yesterday a friend offered me her small freezer for free, I think she's a bit crazy but cold storage for bulk food is a good thing. Next step, PV backup to keep it running in power cuts.

What will I end up with? Two points.

1. I don't know, it will be the best I can achieve using the resources available at the time I made the decision.

2. There is no "end".

Jon Husband

.. and it sounds (to me) like you are now working and living more consciously from principles that are yours about life and work .. which (I think) reinforces or demonstrates my point.

You are not "in control" of your life (none of us are in control of our lives) but you are designing and shaping it based on principles in which you belive ... seems to me.

Earl Mardle

living consciously pretty well describes it I think. Or at least more deliberately conscious.

Belief is not a good word for me, it gets too much freight.

Does a snail believe in the principles by which it lives? Dunno, I suspect belief is not necessary because it has no choice about the principles that determine HOW it is going to live and die, it does what is next.

And yet, the doing next that I have done has in large measure been based in a system that is itself a fiction and I don't know whether I have woken up from the fiction or just become the snail, responding more authentically to the conditions in which I have to live.

Talking with my niece a few weeks ago we got onto sustainability and I used the example of a yeast in a wine vat. It breeds and grows through many generations swimming in abundance, but it still uses up all the sugar and drowns in its own effluent. The question I put to her was whether the human species is smarter than a yeast and the evidence is not good so far.

Do I know more? Do I know better? Or have I stopped trying to KNOW (which at some level involves fitting the data into a framework) and started to experience the world a little more immediately and respond to that?


And what does that imply for KM?

Jon Husband

And what does that imply for KM?

I like your points a lot ... while I appreciate most of what it has brought us humans, I think we have spent too much time adoring Netwtonian and Cartesian principles and using them to try to control the irrational process we call life

Did you by any chance run across and read this ?


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