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Tensions Between Differentiation and Boundary Blurring

The World Cafe is a lot like the “Blind Men and the Elephant” in that it can be viewed in so many ways (as part of knowledge management, dialogue, deliberation, public engagement, social justice work, organizational development, and so on). Juanita Brown, who developed The World Cafe concept in theory and practice, is like many […]

Digital Habitats & Tech Stewardship

If you are interested in communities of practice and related technologies, there is an exciting new book in print. Recently, I wrote a review of the book through a complexity lens, which you can find here. The authors’ blog about the book is here and a nifty little online interview about it (Ward Cunningham interviewing […]

Food for thought: how do we think about ambiguity?

Chris Jones recently posted On Semantics: Ambiguity is the Enemy and Steve Barth responded with insights about the benefits of ambiguity. If I worked as a bench scientist, production line supervisor, warehouse manager or project manager wearing blinders, I would probably be fully supportive of Chris’ perspectives and puzzled by Steve’s. However, in most of my […]

Bridging KM and D&D

This morning, Sandy Heierbacher of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD) asked about my views on the intersections of knowledge management (KM) and dialogue and deliberation (D&D). Briefly: I think the fields have considerable overlap, but have been isolated from one another for several reasons. The networks of practitioners don’t overlap much, knowledge […]

X-disciplines or lose relevance?

News and conversations are filled with challenges that cross disciplinary divides: climate change, poverty and effective education to name a few. In my consulting practice, I work with leaders who are struggling with complex, knowledge-related challenges. As a researcher, my scholarship hovers around the intersections of leadership, complexity theory and knowledge management. Increasingly, I appreciate […]

Horizontal & Vertical Collide

As I was fine-tuning my dissertation about how respected leaders work in horizontal, boundary spanning environments, I read a story in the Washington Post. In Staff Finds White House in the Technological Dark Ages, Kornblut writes “Two years after launching the most technologically savvy presidential campaign in history, Obama officials ran smack into the constraints […]