#MSLOC430 | Week 1-2

Already more than two weeks since #MSLOC430 kicked off. This online course is the open section of MSLOC 430 – a graduate course in the Master’s Program in Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern University. The goal of this course is to explore enterprise social networking innovations and their impact on work and learning.

Some reasons I joined this 6 week programme:

  • Previous #xplrpln last year under guidance of Jeff Merrell and Kimberly Scott was a rocking experience
  • These online gatherings are unique occasions to (re)connect with PLN explorers and other Social Learning pioneers of this world
  • I am dealing with the challenge of networked learning on a daily basis in my job as a Project Consultant in the online learning industry
  • It’s been so long since my last blog post !

When I say “joined” it may sound a bit presumptuous indeed as my time has been pretty scarce the last few months. Still I have managed to catch up on a few blog posts and some interesting discussions in our Google+ community.

Initial Inquiry

One of the learning models Jeff suggested to explore is the “Community of Inquiry” (CoI). I had never heard of that term before and I thought it could be something similar to the Community of Practice (CoP) as described by E. Wenger.

The CoI framework is primarily described as a way to approach and design online learning in higher education, but very quickly some #MSLOC430 explorers, including me, brought this rather academic model under the lens of the business microscope…

« Par ma foi ! il y a plus de quarante ans que je dis de la prose sans que j’en susse rien, et je vous suis le plus obligé du monde de m’avoir appris cela. » Monsieur Jourdain (Le Bourgeois gentilhomme – Molière, 1670)

…Or to quote the more contemporary Jennifer Rainey in her blog post Communities of Inquiry in Pursuit of Change : “I am now convinced that not only can I relate to what a CoI is, but that I have been involved with one in the past and preparing to lead one now.”

In that same post Jennifer shared generously about her specific experience of Learning Communities in the context of change management and innovation.


It took a few days to Helen Blunden and her sharp sense of critical thinking to come out of the “Australian bush” with some thoughts provoking questions about the “Teaching Presence” in the CoI model : “how can this be of benefit to say, a group of business bankers, engineers, doctors etc who have a pesky performance problem to solve together? Who would they (and could they) trust and respect as a”teacher”?”

Alea Jacta est…That question turned into a rich debate in our G+ community where we discussed definitions and various challenges, constraints and opportunities of a CoI for business performance and innovation.

When one Helen is around another Helen is not far ! In her post A Community of Inquiry: initial inquiry (from the business end), Helen Crump offers a good summary of some of these exchanges.


Mentioning Helen Crump’s post brings me to LTUK15 that took place last week in London and where I actually had the chance to meet Helen for the 1st time – “for real life” as my 5y. old likes to say. Nice to meet you Helen !

Back to the online world and Dave Kelly’s backchannel about LTUK15. The following link went flickering while I scrolled down his rather exhaustive list : “Beyond the Hole in the Wall: Discover the Power of Self-Organized Learning.” I really enjoyed reading this short TED-book by Sugata Mitra, one of the keynote speakers at the show and the inspirational force behind Vikas Swarup’s Slumdog Millionaire novel.

“Surely, we need to understand the conscious brain and how it works in order to understand the nature of learning. Yet, that seems to be a tall order. I think the nature of learning is hidden in the new science of self-organization and emergence. To understand learning, we must understand how self-organization happens and what leads to this mysterious process called “emergence.” When an audience claps continuously for a long time, the claps start to come together in a boring, rhythmic kind of way, as if there were a conductor waving his baton and saying, “Clap, clap, clap, clap.” Only there is no conductor. The sounds of the claps self-organize, and the rhythm is emergent. No one organized it. It just happened.” says Sugata Mitra.

“The only condition for self-organization and emergence seems to be that every part of the system must be connected in some way to every other part. For example, neurons in the brain are simple switches, but connect them all together and the whole mass begins to think. Could education be a process of self-organization, with learning being the emergent outcome?”

Is this concept of emergence and connectivity not similar to what we are exploring with the CoI model, and with Networked/Social Learning in general ?

On a slightly different note, my 5 Rhythms dancer’s mind was put in motion by Sugata Mitra’s organic and rhythmic approach to Learning (and if you wonder why I am suddenly talking about dance, please look at the name of this blog…). How different bodies – completely unknown to each other and without any particular choreography skills – can get in synch and potentially learn from each other after just a few minutes of being in movement on the same dancefloor?

The Dancers = Learners

A dancefloor = dedicated online space

The music = tech solutions and social features

The 5 Rhythms map  = curated resources

The teacher = cognitive presence…

The sum of all these element means (much!) more than simply adding them one by one (=the box ticking…). I can dance alone, in my kitchen, in silence, without any map and any guru ! Although my learning experience will certainly be different than dancing for 3 days in a church with 100 other movement maniacs…


Warning > what follows are (really) half-baked and processing thoughts towards Week 3-4…

What can all this mean for social and connected learning in a business context ?

  1. Intentions need to be clarified for a healthy development of the Cognitive Presence. Inquiry begins with a “triggering event” say Swan, K., Garrison, D & Richardson J. (2009) in A constructivist approach to online learning: The community of inquiry framework. When that trigger has been clearly identified, let’s make sure everyone understands “what we are trying to achieve?” and “where/how we  are trying to create value (ie. sharing knowledge, improve performance, fixing specific issues…) ?”
  2. Passions need to be ignited. In the Social Presence, people need to feel empowered and know what is expected from them, individually and as a group > transparency, emotional intelligence and clear “contract” (time spend, rewarding system, resources allocated…).
  3. Teaching Presence could be everything but a one size fits all approach. Depending on 1) and 2) (and many other parameters like level digital literacy and maturity, level of trust, market conditions, number of participants, internal politics…) > we need a broad range of skills to be found in community managers, mentors, sponsors, coaches, network weavers, guides, ambassadors, early adopters, gatekeepers, “jesters”…

Relying on these different spheres of influence and a complex system of overlapping dimensions, the CoI model IMHO clearly offers an interesting framework to support and develop online learning in business organisations.

My intention for weeks 3-4 is to look in more details for potential and practical applications of this rather theoretical model though, in terms of new work practices, areas of focus (concerns?) and skills needed to support the emergence of knowledge & learning in communities and self-organised online spaces.

And the dance goes one… Any new ideas/movements welcome of course !

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Surrender into complexity : a move towards self-directed learning

In reaction to my last post on Learning in Suspension, a good friend of mine tweeted this question :

Challenging one. Especially when it comes from someone with a long experience in meditative movement practice. My first reply was:

You know that one don’t you? When not sure of the answer, reply with a question. Meanwhile a voice inside was saying: “suspension as a moving stillpoint”… although I wasn’t really sure of what it could mean.

Until I read this piece on Complexity by Esko Kilpi where he writes:

“Complexity is a paradoxical movement in time that is both knowable and unknowable. Stability and instability cannot be separated here. It is a dynamic that is called stable instability or unstable stability.”

For me this dance with oxymoron’s unveiled some similar patterns between the paradoxical movement of Learning in Suspension and Learning in Complexity.

Complexity means a totally different theory of causality says Esko Kipli. In a world where the “if-then” model of management is over, one can no longer count on a certain given input leading to a certain given output. What emerges is something that is partially known and partially unknown because of the almost indefinite number of variables influencing what is going on.

Non-linear learning in a non-linear world.

“As long as the work environment hovered between the Simple and Complicated domains, organizations and their L&D departments could take charge of the “learning”— via top-down training programs, traditional e-learning courses, and refresher training and help people apply the best practices and the good practices — pillars of what made the Industrial Era so successful. The L&D and HR had to ensure that employees received some 12 days of training per year and hope that this would make employees effective and efficient at their work and deliver business results.” writes Sahana Chattopadhyay in her post Heutagogy, Self-Directed Learning and Complex Work.

Then she adds : “With the advent of the creative economy (aka Networked Era), there is barely any hope that such training programs will work to build proficiency and capabilities that can meet the demands of the day.”

That’s why she sees Heutagogy as a way forward. A heutagogical learning environment facilitates the development of capable learners and emphasizes both the development of learner competencies as well as development of the learner’s capability and capacity to learn” (Ashton and Newman, 2006; Hase and Kenyon, 2000). “Heutagogy applies a holistic approach to developing learner capabilities, with learning as an active and proactive process, and learners serving as the major agent in their own learning, which occurs as a result of personal experiences” (Hase & Kenyon, 2007, p. 112).

Using the Cynefin model from David Snowden, Sannah describes in this interesting diagram how she understands the relationship between cause and effect, linked to the type of knowledge and the way to learn.

Points of discontinuity for self-directed learning

In his article Unleashing the power of Self-Directed Learning, Richard E. Boyatzis points to some important ingredients for a fruitful self-determined learning landscape.

1) Engage your passion and create your dreams
Based on the premises that adults learn what they want to learn – they need to discover who they want to be – their “Ideal Self”. A reflection of the person’s intrinsic drives vs. the “Ought Self”.

2) Discover your Real Self. See the change and be aware of ego-defence mechanisms that can conspire to delude us into an image of who we are that feeds on itself, becomes self-perpetuating, and eventually may become dysfunctional (D. Goleman). Remember the frog? If one drops a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump out with an instinctive defence mechanism. But if you place a frog in a pot of cool water and gradually increase the temperature, the frog will sit in the water until it is boiled to death.

3) Identify or articulate both your strengths (those aspects of yourself you want to preserve) and your gaps or discrepancies of your Real and Ideal Selves (those aspects of yourself you want to adapt or change).

4) Keep your attention on both characteristics, forces or factors – do not let one become the preoccupation! To contemplate change, one must contemplate stability. To identify and commit to changing parts of yourself you must identify those parts you want to keep and possibly enhance.

5) Learning Agenda vs Performance agenda. Create your own personal learning agenda and focus on development. Performance agenda results in people becoming defensive, not wanting to fail or not wanting to look bad.  Learning orientation arouses a positive belief in one’s capability and the hope of improvement, while performance goals arouse the wrong parts of our brain for development. Read also this recent contribution from D. Goleman on LinkedIn.

6) Experiment and practice desired changes. Or to quote Charles Jennings : “Work then learn, then work in an improved way“.

7) Relationships that enable us to Learn. The new economy is not about technology, it is about a change in the basic assumptions about the nature of work in a networked environment. These relationships create a “context” within which we interpret our progress on desired changes, the utility of new learning, and even contribute significant input to formulation of the Ideal. However there is a strong necessity of feeling psychologically safe for that change process. Read also How to accelerate Trust by Simon Terry.

Knowledge is not stored in content anymore it comes from the process of communication and co creation – Sannah Chattopadhyay

E. Boyatzis says in conclusion : “In guiding yourself or others through the self-directed learning process, the learning points can be used as signposts, or benchmarks. […] Please remember, people do not gain these discoveries or experience the epiphany of the discontinuity in a smooth manner. One person may take minutes to achieve a breakthrough of one discovery, and yet another discovery may take several days, weeks, months, or even years.”


(Dancing to the clapping of bands. Egyptian, from the tomb of Ur-ari-en-Ptah,
6th Dynasty, about 3300 B.C. – British Museum.)

A hard-boiled gumshoe dancing in Cairo

In his post Drive like an Egyptian, Steve Wheeler describes what it takes to reach your destination safely in Cairo’s traffic chaos, as a metaphor for self organised learning spaces, “where unwritten rules have evolved to maximise the potential of the tools and environments with which we are increasingly familiar. Learning is no longer linear. Learning in digital environments is a meandering experience, where hyperlinks take you down new and surprising avenues, and conversations take an unexpected turn.”

In his metaphorical story of The Detective as a sense-maker, Richard Martin draws the picture of “the hardboiled gumshoe” vs. the cold/logical/rational type of detective.

“The flâneur and gumshoe recognises that there are no right answers; that they alight upon one possibility among many. That itself is informed by instinct and previous experience, by networked knowledge and serendipity.”

“They accept that they cannot grasp the whole picture, nor comprehend the complete system. Their quiet periods of observation, sitting in cars, listening to wiretaps, looking through cameras and binoculars, allow certain elements to emerge from the chaos.”
“It is not a case of simply what they know, but who they know as well. Their connections and their access to the stories and accumulated wisdom of those people becomes part of the value they themselves can offer. There is also something about understanding the enabling capabilities of the tools available to them too. About having the competency to use them in ways that add value, support sense-making and facilitate the sharing of knowledge and information.”

In 5Rhythms dance, the dancer is not expected to learn any linear choreographed/rehearsed steps, yet the practice comes with some general rules : don’t talk on the dancefloor, keep moving & breathing, keep your eyes open,  etc… The 5R Map – flow/staccato/chaos/lyrical/stillness – is a general container, wherein the dancer is free to express, experiment and move in a conscious way. Usually there is an accredited teacher in the room, someone who plays his/her selected tunes and “holds the space”. Some of these facilitators are more instructional than others obviously, although in general the approach follows a pull model (vs. push) and we are free to ignore any of these guidelines (in drop-in class format at least – it may differ during workshops where guidelines become slightly more specific).

Personally some guidelines I like to hear – and practice – are the following ones : “take ownership of the beat” and “break the beats”. It really helps me ground myself in my own dance and explore a full spectrum of movements – on a physical and, sometimes, emotional level. Probably one reason I am still practising the 5Rhythms today with that level of focus and engagement comes from this self-determined learning process, where I can learn new things continually and land in new places I wasn’t aware of before… In the rhythm of Chaos I can completely surrender. It’s also the place for knowing; where strengths (unstable stability?) can be discovered (shaped) and where I may see what I am ready to let go and change, creating space for something new to come in, replace, or mix with the existing…

A driver in Cairo, a gumshoe and a 5R dancer ? If they have something in common it might be that they are all self-directed learners reaching for meaning (survival…) in a VUCA world.

“A lighted match does not cause a fire. Rather, the fire took place because of a particular combination of elements of which the lighted match was just one.” – Esko Kilpi

As a way to conclude on this fairly chaotic mash-up, I thought I would share this Digitalism remix from the classic “Fire in Cairo” by The Cure…

Do you think of other tunes as soundtrack for this blog post and the Self-Directed Learning process at the digital age ?

Please share them below and let’s keep dancing!

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Learning in suspension

Chaos as a “moment in suspension”. Since my last post on tactical serendipity, life has served me some strong tasters of these kind of moments I must say.

Like Maha Bali wrote in one of her first articles related to #Rhizo14 back in January : “Anyone who becomes a parent is forced to embrace uncertainty. […]” Clearly, parenting has become an important part of my learning path recently… Certainly a good topic for another post one day.

“If only I could convince my students that uncertainty is actually a good thing in formal (and informal) learning! Maybe thinking of it as serendipity instead of uncertainty would put a more positive spin on things […]” added Maha in her post.

I was too late for D. Cormier’s Rhizomatic party at the start of this year unfortunately. I will certainly try to attend next time as it looked like an interesting cMOOC – where “c” stands for connectivism, but also for chaos apparently. A sort of “tribal gathering” for social learners and bloggers interested in the future of education.

Chaos is the 3rd rhythm in 5Rhythms : the dance of unpredictability. Chaos means more than looking for a sort of ecstatic trance. Actually it’s not looking for anything; it’s all about releasing. Releasing our head, starting with the rest of the body. The foundations of Flow and the drive of Staccato help us create a safe space where to gradually dissolve into the dance and surrender. Chaos is that moment of suspension (freedom?)  when the dancer becomes fully present. Less ego, no more talking heads or judgement. That moment of nothingness is when something new can emerge…


Image credit : David Wyatt  – “One False Move” in http://www.onyamagazine.com/

The “moment in suspension” mentioned at the end of my last post came from biologists/philosophers Humberto Manturana & Francisco Varela. Their theory on change is detailed by Peter Senge & Co in an interesting book called Presence – Human Purpose and the Field of the Future.

“Most change initiatives that end up going nowhere don’t fail because they lack grand visions and noble intentions. They fail because people can’t see the reality they face”, write Senge & Co.

The authors illustrate with a story about US engineers from Detroit who went to Japan in the early 1980’s investigating why Japan car industry was outperforming US. These engineers came back complaining that their Japanese peers had not shown real plants “because there were no inventories”. Actually they didn’t realise they were in front of a just-in-time production system – totally new for them!

Seeing our seeing is only the beginning of the change process and that moment of suspension can be of big discomfort say Senge & co. They also insist that suspending does not require destroying our existing mental model of reality (like Chaos in 5R is not about looking for the trance). We only need the ability of removing ourselves from the habitual streams of thoughts, by creating a safe container – where we feel safe to put things into questions.

Easier said than done. When we begin to develop that capacity for suspension, we almost intermediately encounter the “fear, judgement and chattering of the mind”.

“Anxiety is freedom’s actuality as the possibility of possibility” Søren Kierkegaard

Senge & co say there is nothing inherently wrong with collective voice of judgement or internal censor. Its problematic when it goes unrecognised. The difference between a healthy group or organisation and an unhealthy one lies in its members’ awareness and ability to acknowledge the fact that they feel needs to conform. Enhancing that awareness does not require a search and destroy mission against our internal fears or judgement, it only requires recognising and acknowledging them.

New learnscapes

Last month I had the chance to meet up with Andrew Jacobs, L&D Manager at Lambeth Council and active social learner and blogger. Over the last few years, Andrew has managed to transform the way people learn in his organisation – from a push to pull model, aka 70.20.10.

Like in the story of US car manufacturers in Japan, I was wondering what would traditional L&D practitioners & formal trainers think after their visit to Lambeth Council ? Would they complain they were not shown a real Council ? Personally I was impressed by Andrew’s story and the digital learnscape he has been building up there. In one of his recent blog posts, Andrew listed 50 big ideas to change L&D, crystallising his non-conformist approach. I have picked up 10 here :

  1. Make connectivity and sharing a catalyst for all learning.
  2. Don’t require people to come to a course.
  3. Make any space in the workplace into a learning space.
  4. Make people accountable to one another, not the L&D function.
  5. Help your business understand what training, learning and development are for.
  6. Promote learning through networks, not curriculum.
  7. Use social media and ESN instead of email.
  8. Design your learning function as a think tank to understand and address your business problems.
  9. Create support based on the ability to self-direct and design their own learning pathways.
  10. If people underperform, hold them accountable. Find a way to make support meaningful, social, and knowledge-based.

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ” ― Alvin Toffler.

In 21st century learnscapes, new technologies are only the enablers. The first challenge is to (re)create a safe container for new ideas and unvarnished views to be exchanged in the workplace and trust to be the main pillar of a more collaborative learning culture. L&D is too important not to be taken seriously.  Seriousness doesn’t need to mean ultra-linearity, infantilising and spoonfeeding though. Leaving some space for a slightly “chaordic” –  tactically serendipitous – approach will probably help empower learners by increasing their sense of ownership and critical thinking. In an open and self-directed learning environment where one has to learn how to “learn in suspension”…


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Y/N : a staccato dance into serendipity

In Staccato managers & middle dancers was mentioned the subtle balance between fluidity and clarity. Recently I have been balancing between some other polarities : in a staccato dance between Yes and No.

During the last few weeks I have been helping some friends set up a Twitter account and start growing an online community around an artistic lab exploring the deeper meaning of masculinity. Have a look @deepdivingmen if you are interested in the question. I am… so I took a deep dive in the twittersphere in search of #masculinity #manhood #betterman #gender and multiple other related hashtags and handles.

For various reasons I had to say no to the role of performer in that physical theatre project. Meanwhile, saying yes to this type of contribution behind the scene offers me a great opportunity to put in practice some learning from my journey into digital curation and social learning.

In that process of connecting, networking and curating I continually face the dilemma between yes and no. Yes it’s relevant for the project and its – still embryonic – network, no that’s noise only. “It’s like breathing information in and out”, says Harold Jarche in Jane Hart’s essential reading Social Learning Handbook 2014. The network is meant to get bigger while at the same time it needs its own boundaries to remain specific and nurturing.

traffic_light_treeThe Traffic Light tree by sculptor Pierre Vivant
Go or No Go ?

Usually I find it quite easy to say yes… opening the flow of information and letting myself go, seek, explore, observe and discover new ways. Like the “modern flâneur” Richard Martin describes with his incomparable lyrical style in his post Reaching for Meaning. But the digital flâneur in me also needs to say no, wake up, put boundaries and set up efficient filters. Or as Richard puts it : “The present day flâneur is not quite as dissolute or aimless as our antecedents”. Finding that balance in the social web is key, as it can pave the way to serendipity.

“Serendipity powers the social web” writes Angela Maiers in her article Making Serendipity Tactical: Is Randomness Part of Your Leadership Strategy?

Serendipity is a yes to the flow of information and a no to noise. In the meantime it’s a no to the “consciously prepared, overly-planned, highly-articulated life” and and yes to randomness and the digital flâneries. Here are a few extracts from Angela Maiers’ recipe on how to let the serendipity do it’s magic :

Put Some Randomness Into Your Routine : Serendipity occurs when you go looking for it. Through the process of putting our guards up, protecting our identity, and summoning unnecessary barriers, we also condemn possibility, eliminate chance, and choose sameness and an uninspiring journey down the well-worn path.

Get Out There : Getting yourself out there, engaging the world with an open mind and exploring the unknown leads invariably to positive experiences, new connections and new opportunity and possibility. Twitter is a useful tool for accelerating the process of injecting random online experiences into life and turning them into a source of offline fun, opportunity and possibility.

Connect : One of the easiest ways to increase serendipity is to be a better connector. The easiest example of how to be a connector is to connect two people you know who you think can create special value together.

Tribe Hop : The most valuable tribe is a tribe of unusual suspects who can challenge your worldview, expose you to new ideas, and teach you something new.

Slow Down : Become a master at noticing. Notice everything, especially taking note of the needs of others and responding with empathy and compassion.

Collaborate : Collaborators are everywhere. You will find them in the grey areas between silos. Just look up from your current business model! Make sure you seek out potential partners and “sandbox mates”.

Exactly on that same day I was reading and rereading Angela Maiers’ inspiring post, I saw Serendipitous Connections Lead You To a Better World published by Helen Blunden, who I had the chance to meet – virtually – in the “ambiguity sandbox” of the #xplrpln MOOC back in October. See how the concrete and professional situations she describes reflect directly on some of Angela Maiers’ advices about changing habits, reaching out, noticing, collaborating, etc…

Serendipity seems to be an essential ingredient to make sense and connect the dots in the social age. In my own modest experience creation is often (always?) a reaction to something/someone coming across my way. Or instead of creation should I say “transformation” ? Described as the ultimate stage of engagement and deep learning by Steve Wheeler in his presentation Digital Age Learning.

As a 5 Rhythm dancer, I believe serendipity takes its roots in the 3rd rhythm of Chaos. After the seeking in Flow – exploring the space with fluidity and grounding circle movements –  and the filtering of Staccato – channelling the energy with purpose and boundaries, Chaos is the zone of letting go. In Chaos we trust our body and instincts, release our head, let our conditioning, stereotypes and prejudices dissolve. Chaos is a form of “in balance”, a moment in suspension…between yes and no.

In that unpredictable space something new (ie. a movement, an image, a shape, an emotion…) might come our way, be released or transformed – if that makes sense.

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#Socialleadership : curation, reputation and social capital

This week I attended Julian Stodd‘s masterclass on “Social Leadership”.

“Social Leadership is not intended to replace other forms of Leadership”, writes Julian on his blog, “it’s complimentary”. He defines his NET Model of Social Leadership as a style of leadership suitable for the Social Age. It carries Leadership over, out of purely formal organisation spaces into the semi formal spaces that surround it : like in on-line communities & professional networks i.e.

This model consists of three Dimensions: Narrative (which covers ‘Curation’, ‘Storytelling’ and ‘Sharing’), Engagement (which looks at ‘Community’, ‘Reputation’ and ‘Authority’), and Technology (which explores ‘Co-Creation’, ‘Social Capital’ and ‘Collaboration’).

What I find interesting in this map is the holistic and contemporary approach. Also the suggestion that, in the Social Age, virtually everyone can become a Social Leader.

Here are a few ideas on 3 sub-dimensions that caught-up my particular attention during that inspiring day.

The first one is “Curation”. The first step in the Narrative dimension and also the very first step of the whole NET model. The word Curation seems to be on everyone’s lips at the moment, and not only in the Social Marketing field where “content is king”. Julian defines curation as “finding things out and determining what’s valid from what’s just noise. It’s about identifying networks and communities and seeing where the nodes and amplifiers sit. It’s about quality and coherence, not volume and mass.”

How do leaders choose a space to curate ? Are they Subject Matter Experts, do they act as mentors, or are they L&D practitioners / coaches? Which tools do they use and who is the audience ? Why curation needs agility and daily practice to stay relevant ? How do we proceed from discovery to perception, and from perception to interpretation, in order to create “magnetic stories” (as opposed to “push communications”) ?

Related post on Curation here following the mini-MOOC “How to be an efficient digital curator” I completed back in January.

A second sub-dimension is “Reputation”. In the Social Age, active reputation management is critical to establish Authority. Although it’s a different type of authority than the positional one inherited from the industrial era. Knowledge is not power anymore vs. sharing knowledge. Active reputation management starts with mapping the communities, locate them, identify their purpose and identity, establish the roles, support engagement, take time for reflection (and listening!) and then narrate. By doing so Social Leaders help others to see patterns and make sense of them, and then suggest new practices to enter the dimension of “Co-creation”.

The other sub-dimension I wanted to mention here is “Social Capital”. When Gutenberg invented the printing in Europe, people didn’t suddenly start reading books “en masse”. Most of them had to learn reading first I guess? Many Leaders from Gen X or above may still need to catch up on some social and collaborative tools today – not too late but it’s time as underlined by Brian Solis at LT14UK. Likely technology is here to stay… and to change again. In the meantime, we can’t assume that Digital Natives know how to use social tech in the workplace and for their own professional development. The last CIPD report on “Social Tech, Social Business” was quite clear on that question.

Increasing Social Capital and Digital Literacy are conditio sine qua non for Social Leadership to infiltrate large organisations IMHO. Reverse mentoring is regularly suggested as the solution : formal senior leaders share their experience and tacit knowledge while rookies show them how to catch up with collaborative tools and social networks… That may be part of the solution indeed: both humility and generosity are great fertilisers in the on-line space.

And certainly two qualities that Julian demonstrates with consistency. On and off-line.

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Staccato Managers & Middle Dancers

Staccato is the second rhythm in 5 Rhythms dance. The rhythm of clarity, purpose, masculinity, passion and fire. The Yang energy. Sometimes during workshops we practice dancing in lines; one dancer takes the lead and his/her followers reproduce the same movement. This exercise is supposed to help amplify the rhythm of Staccato.

One mantra in 5 Rhythms dance is that there is no right or wrong movement. From the moment you are embodied in your dance that should do. That said, in these “dancing lines” things can go so badly for me… I know that may sound judgemental and I should just keep dancing my feelings. It’s not about the movement as such though, but rather its quality and texture. Sometimes my body simply refuses to follow unclear, fluffy, unfinished or fake movements. Then my mind – and ego of course – also come across the way: “Sorry, not following you just because you stand in front of the line!”


Tutsa Dancers from Changlang District in India – from Wikipedia

Staccato Managers
Things happen slightly differently at work obviously… It’s a question of professional survival. Although with the emergence of Enterprise Social Networks (ESN’s) some old post-industrial management theories and practices may have to adapt.

In his blog post “What Is Wrong With The Hierarchy?”, Oscar Berg declares : “What we are seeing now is a shift from hierarchy to the network as the primary organization system for an enterprise. In the light of this, it is easy to see that middle management is becoming irrelevant and displaced, and that it is there we will find the greatest resistance to change, trying to maintain status quo.”

That sounds like a very staccato statement indeed. And although I like moving in that powerful rhythm, I also like to think things are not always as black or white.

Oscar Berg brings some nuances too by saying : “It (ESN) poses a threat to those managers who are not really good coaches, mentors, visionaries, sales people, networkers and so on.” Obviously there seems to be hope for some middle managers at least…

Even more so. Simon Terry looks at this from a slightly different perspective in his article Middle Managers need to use their Networks and Authority : “Enterprise Social Networks could become a place where middle managers practice authority based on actions, decisions and authenticity.”

That sounds also quite staccato to me, in a more positive way. It’s definitely a call to action for more clarity, transparency and authenticity in the decision making process. In the Social Age, authority can’t rely anymore only on hierarchical position and bilateral emails send around the organisation from a corner office of the building. “Middle managers needs to play a role of networking the organisation across the middle” says Terry. “They have to get straight at the heart of the networks where they can use their authority by acting.”

Let’s not mix up “Acting” with “Controlling” though. In Management in Networks, Harold Jarche says : “Managers must actively listen, continuously question the changing work context, help to see patterns and make sense of them, and then suggest new practices and build consensus with networked workers. […] They act as servant leaders”.

Let’s take a Yammer group for team cooperation as an example. The manager’s role is not to push communications (in worst cases via emails), validate the objectives, set up the rules and then wait for people to engage in conversations. The manager is expected at the heart of the group discussions, sharing her insights and also her doubts. Taking action as a manager doesn’t necessarily mean showing up for each problem with a pre-packaged and/or non-risky solution. In the ESN “ambiguity sandbox”, participants should feel it can become possible to “play seriously” with other peers and team members, whatever the hierarchical level. Everyone can become a teacher. No need for superheroes. Even less super-egos….

“They (managers) have to share their knowledge with juniors and across silos. And not only the explicit knowledge about what they do, but more important their tacit knowledge about how they do it.” says Terry. “Build a reputation as a generous middle manager who is happy to collaborate, share information and advise and you will find people beating a path to your door.”

Middle Dancers

While people will be beating the path to the Social Leader’ door, Staccato dancers will be shaking hips on the beats of the drums, sharply and fiercely. In that exercise of the dancing lines as mentioned above, I am wondering what would happen though if the leader stands in the middle of the line rather than at the front ? Before starting the exercise, the leader could take a moment to tune in with the ones at the front of the line, making sure they understand the nature of the movement to reproduce. Then check that the dancers behind are able – and willing – to follow the movements. It would be interesting to see what sort of energy that new setting would generate. And how the “middle dancer” can lead, but also refine and adjust his own Staccato movements and vibrations, surrounded – and why not influenced – by other empowered leaders/learners. That’s the art of Staccato : staying fluid in clarity. The balance of being present in the Yin & the Yang…

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One day at #LT14UK

I had the chance to spend one day at the Learning Technologies 2014 at Olympia London a few days ago. Compared to last year it seems clear that somehow the economy is recovering and some companies are keen on re-investing in L&D : queues were longer and some stands much bigger – especially where the words “social” and “collaborative” were attached to new technologies.

Related article : 2014: the year for change in L&D? (Personal Today).

While some happy few were attending Brian Solis’s keynote speech, I was waiting for the first free talk to start and I was skimming through #LT14UK (btw that hashtag entered UK Top10 during the week) on my phone when I bumped into one ex-colleague, who moved to the Learning Tech industry last year. Something she said about one challenge L&D providers are facing today caught my attention. “It is really hard for our developers to make the right choice in terms of which technologies they are going to use as the industry is moving so fast. By the time your product is on the market, clients want something else”.

Right at the same time, the “digital anthropologist” Brian Solis was pointing to the lack of urgency most businesses demonstrate in their adoption of new technologies… Hmmm.

Digital Darwinism” says B. Solis should be a call to action to embrace new technologies at work : “We need to use new tech at work as we use them as human beings in our daily life”. Learning comes more and more “from the outside in”, as networked workers learn outside of the organisation to apply their insights internally. “70% of business leaders think introducing MOOC in their organisations” he continued.

Later that day I heard someone else saying L&D professionals should take the role of “MOOC’s curators” – by facilitating access to external open online learning experiences and then re-framing the learning internally on social and collaborative platforms. I liked that idea.

Another promising (realistic ?) approach underlined by Solis is the “Reverse Mentoring”, where younger staff help managers catch up with technologies. “Digital literacy is something leaders need to learn to keep and increase credibility in their organisations” he said.

One of the most retweeted slides during Solis’s presentation was a picture challenging the view that new tech make us anti-social.

Solis also talked about “Generation C” – C for “Connected”. An ageless group of people who have adopted the right mindset for a digital lifestyle. The “digital citizens” as Jane Hart name them.

More snippets from this presentation were curated here by Martin Couzins.

During the rest of the day I attended several free talks. Here below some takeaways from two of them :

1) Cultures of contribution : how to motivate engagement with online learning communities (Brightwave)

Engagement is build up on 3 pillars :

– Technologies
– User experience
– Culture

What can we learn from the consumer space? Learners benchmark e-learning offers in their organisation with what they see or use in their daily life, and we can’t blame for that. Netflix is one famous case study of that user experience (UX).

Related article : How Netflix Reinvented HR

Strategies should be elaborated in order to transfer that consumer experience into the workplace. It is crucial on enterprise social networks that content is easily archived and made searchable though, unlike most public social networks (Facebook being champion of non searchability).

The active users are the ones who share and contribute, by creating but also by “curating” content.

How technologies can feed social learning? It is essential to integrate Tin Can API technology in an informal learning platform to capture the learning experiences.

That links to the role of curation (by a community manager or facilitator) in order to make sure important “learning moments” can be made visible for everyone and give opportunity for even more discussions and sharing.

Synchronisation with Mozilla open badges can be a good system of recognition and motivation for the social learner. Other systems can also be integrated in the platform itself with reputation/experience points, gained when your resources are shared and commented. Which can lead to more visibility for Subject Matter Experts.

Informal learning on a social platform seems to follow that 4 step dynamic :

Capture / Share / Curate / Motivate.

Andrew Clare, Head of Learning Technologies at KPMG, offered a few more insights from their collaboration with Brightwave on a specific virtual classroom project:

– Spend enough time on the “business requirements” before even meeting the potential vendors.
– Paint a  compelling vision. Stick to it by communicating continuously and being flexible.
– Offer enough support for employees – especially senior leaders and decision-makers. Even take them by the hand and go with them step by step through the platform. Prepare a quick start guide with clear instructions and a “help-desk”.
– Be explicit about the types of behaviours you expect and define role model behaviours.
– Focus on user centric technologies and find your early adopters.

Related article : The 6 Pillars of The Digital Workplace

2) Making your first MOOC (Ben Betts – HT2)

The main reason I wanted to attend this session is because of #dcurate MOOC set up by @bbetts, @burrough and @martincouzins, which I followed during January. It was a great occasion for a non virtual handshake and a quick chat with these MOOC “wranglers”.


Their session was about what defines a MOOC and the experience with #dcurate.

An important distinction needs to be made between xMOOC and cMOOC. That last one is called “connectivist MOOC” and is the type of MOOC I am personally interested in.

In cMOOC, the only real indicator of success is the number of connections and the conversations shared. No real timetable, set platform or instructions…Even the content is secondary and functions more like a trigger for the participants to engage in conversations online.

A cMOOC should be open and people allowed to drop in and out, with no pressure on completion. Some MOOC’s, like the #dcurate, can also integrate a gamification system, which needs to remain flexible though.

Related articles on #dcurate MOOC:





Something I noticed clearly that day is the term “curation” was highlighted in each of the sessions I attended, as a crucial ingredient for successful online and social learning.

Eventually, talking about curation, David Kelly is certainly the curator “par excellence” if you want to discover more on the Learning Technologies conference :

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My Curation Engine

Since my last post Curating on #dcurate, I have been musing on my “Curation Engine” while looking at ways to make it more dynamic. With at the back of my mind this quote by G. Siemens : Knowledge has become a process rather than a product.

My first intention was to map this curation process with some Mind mapping tools. After a few unsuccessful attempts, I finally found this “Ripples” template from Prezi and thought it was appropriate for the story I wanted to tell.

This particular story is about my journey into digital curation as a possibility to support my continuous personal/professional development, enrich my 2.0 contribution, nurture my PLN and – along the way – help some of my peers/friends look by themselves at how they could adopt a similar approach for their own needs.

You can use this link to the presentation if you are not able to open it straight from here.

Taken out of context, this engine might look quite mechanical and a bit “gadgety”. Although I am well aware that curation is only one part of the equation; what Julian Stodd calls Social Leadership. It seems to be one essential part though, if we want to make more sense and share our stories. Finding our ways among the myriads of softwares and apps out there is also part of the learning process in my humble opinion. To try new things and actually take control of them – instead of being used or overwhelmed by them – could also help reduce some anxieties about the adoption of collaborative tools in the workplace, whilst increasing digital literacy and social density.

Having said that, I would like to insist that this “engine” is based on my own personal and ongoing exploration. How I try to navigate online, aggregate information and make sense to what I search/encounter. This engine is still under construction (and will remain so for a while…). It works for me as a “beta vision” to help me clarify my intentions, create the right habits and become more consistent.

It is mainly inspired by :

– The Seek-Sense-Share model developed by Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) expert Harold Jarche.

– The 5 Rhythms Map as devised by Gabrielle Roth, where Flow / Staccato / Chaos / Lyrical /Stillness are the main gateways. That movement meditation practice has infiltrated many areas of my life, including my learning process as you may notice if you read other posts in this blog.

– All the resources shared by @burrough and @martincouzins and all the discussions from the 300 participants during our online course  How to be an effective digital curator? – which I completed a few days ago. Again a big thanks to the organisers for this opportunity to learn.

Would you have any suggestions, questions or feedback about this Curation Engine, I would love to discuss them with you here below.

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Curating on #dcurate

How to be an effective digital curator? is an on-line open course set up by @burrough and @martincouzins on a social learning platform called Curatr.

This “FLOOC” started on 8th January and was originally planned for 2 weeks. It has now been extended till 29th Jan, which is great news 1) it gives more time for participants to catch-up with all the conversations taking place on the platform 2) it allows me to take a breath and come here to think back on what I have learned so far 3) and that creates the opportunity to practice and apply some of the insights from the course…

So here is it. Without any pretension. Just a short summary of what I am trying to articulate as my main “half-baked” takeaways so far.

What is Curation ?
Maria Popova – professional curator at http://www.brainpickings.org – says : “Curation is all about pattern-recognition, seeing how various and diverse pieces of content fit together under the same taste umbrella or along the same narrative path, so the guiding principle has to be the sole storyteller with a strong point of view.

In another interview she described a curator as “a catalyst enabling the global conversation, operating in a networked ecosystem of meaning that helps us better understand the world and each other.

That last part “understand each other” caught my attention…  I didn’t necessarily see it like this before. What if digital curation is not only a way to make sense, increase expertise and separate “signals from the noise”, but also a contemporary way to help people better communicate, strengthen their community feeling and collaborate more efficiently with each other in this increasingly complex world ?

Like many other participants in the course, I also found that presentation by @corinnew was a brilliant overview of what curation is or not (curation vs. aggregation/creation).

Why Curation ?

That enthusiastic intervention (2min) from @RobinGood is certainly a great motivator for me to start curating more seriously :


Why am I interested in curation personally ? My first answer would be simply : I “cannot not curate”. Most of the time I do it just for myself and my own personal and professional development. I am curious about many things and I tend to immerse myself fully in a topic before I can connect the dots and it starts making sense for me. I don’t like staying at the surface or being spoon-fed. Which means a lot of information to process!

In that process I started using Twitter as a search engine, partly to avoid the Google Top10 syndrome. Then I realised that Twitter was best used to share and connect with people. Gradually I have discovered that actually the more I share, the more I learn ! This was particularly true during my 1st MOOC experience with #xplrpln back in November.

In my current EMEA HR role, one of my projects is to build up across the region a dedicated on-line platform for market knowledge and business intelligence. It’s a great collaborative project but also quite frustrating : as soon as the information is there – formatted, on brand, clean and approved – most of it is obsolete already…

Knowledge has become a process rather than a product. G. Siemens

That’s why I am looking at how to promote a smarter way to curate and share that information internally. How and why employees can use social media and digital curation, not only to enhance their personal brand (externally/internally), but also for their own professional development and to increase their collaborative skills.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Maimonides

What are my intentions ?

Watching that short – but essential – video from Ross Dawson (1min), I guess my intentions with digital curation can be located on all 3 levels he describes.

Not entirely sure about the order for 1) and 2) though…
1) Develop my own expertise
2) Contribute
3) Online presence

Where to start ?

Here I have listed a few tools which I think can help me become a more effective curator :

User-friendly news/magazines/blogs reader. I have systematically unsubscribed from all the newsletters I used to get by email and sent them to that tool. I also try to regularly feed this reader with new blogs I discover along the way. It’s very easy to create different categories on Feedly, and then to read or skip through what you need when you need it.

Twitter (and Twitter Lists & Hashtags)
Read @ActivateLearn’s “How to build your peer learning network when you don’t have time?” At the bottom of this article you can also read @tanyalau’s comment about her own experience with Twitter.

Also read Maria Popova’s views about Twitter in her interview with Nieman Lab

Very useful social media dashboard to keep track of different topics (via #), schedule your tweets, shrinks links, see your mentions on Twitter and participate in Twitter Chats (and much more than that if you need it as a marketing tool). You can also subscribe to a Premium free trial that gives you access to a huge amount of resources from Hootsuite University.

I discovered that read-later App thanks to one of Sam’s comments in the course. It works fine and allows me to read articles offline. Great for the tube ! But also I think I might use it as an extra filter for what will be send to my library on Diigo or not. That process should also help me better tag what I send there… since I going to read (part of) the content beforehand (doh!)

Life saver! A social bookmarking site where I can centralise all my findings with annotations and tags. It comes with the possibility to create groups and share specific bookmarks with specific targets.

The following tools I am not using on a very regular basis yet, but will try to give them a proper go soon :

Peartrees – I like the serendipitous aspect of that tool and it’s design, although it is a bit too small on my smartphone.

Scoop.it – It looks a bit overwhelming for me at the moment but I need to explore it further for sure.

 Storify (for sharing) – I still remember that brilliant Storified story during our #xplrn MOOC on “how we would define PLN to our mum”… A great example on how to brings more narrative to Twitter.

The idea here is not to multiply these tools indefinitely but to find those that work best for me and allow me to power my curation efforts, build-up my PLN further and make my contribution more valuable.

Read also Allan Johnson’s article where he shares his own Twitter workflow and suggests several tools and apps to help academics make the most of their valuable time in contributing and curating content.

About the #dcurate course.

The amount of resources shared by the organisers is quite impressive and the way the platform is designed encourages discussions between participants. I miss a place inside the platform (other than email notifications) where to see replies and comments on my posts to make it easy to follow on conversations. A few help buttons here and there could be useful too.

The gamified approach is also new for me. I am not a super competitive person by nature but I decided to “play the game”. Maybe that brought me to comment and reply to other’s comments more than I might have done normally. Aha – when competition brings conversation ! Well done to the platform designers.

I can relate to some of Jo‘s views on her blog. Sometimes I thought I had nothing really to say or I was repeating myself. By making the efforts to write down comments and answers, I started realising I had more to say than I thought originally and some ideas got clearer. And now of course I  consider how I could have been more concise in some of my comments! Or to echo John Didion quoted in Jo’s blog…

“Ce que l’on conçoit bien s’énonce clairement. Et les mots pour le dire arrivent aisément.” Nicolas Boileau

OK that’s it for now, time to get back to the course for the final week…

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Fear, Power, Beauty #2

Fear of the unknown and peer pressure were mentioned in Fear, Power and Beauty #1 as potential obstacles to the adoption of social technologies and a more collaborative workplace.

Power is certainly another “Fear-factor”. Hierarchies and the pyramidal org charts are a heavy legacy of the industrial era. To give a chance for Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) to mature and thrive we need to understand what Power means in the new Social era and see how to transform our fears. Let’s not deny the risks nor pretend all can change overnight with some disruptive technologies. If something must change it’s our mindset and our attitudes. Maybe a few dancing steps could also help along that rocky path ?

I watched two movies during the Christmas break. 1) Mary Poppins: full of beautiful dancing steps ! 2)  Animal Farm : a good allegory of the main traditional forces at stake with Power. On one side Snowball creates meaning and then tries to influence others to follow  – read work for – him. On the other side there is Napoleon who prefers conspiracy and violence – that’s when the pigs start behaving like humans.

What the animated adaptation from Orwell’s “Fairy Story” also underlines is that having the other – who is preferably under you – is a necessary condition for Power to exist. What do you think will happen to the rest of the farm when the Equines will have completed their own counter-revolution?

The world itself is the will to power – and nothing else! (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Towards Social Leadership

A few weeks ago I had the chance to attend one of Julian Stodd’s presentations where he talked about the shift from a “Knowledge Economy” to a “Reputation Economy”. Authority is not about knowing anymore he said, but having access to knowledge, sharing and storytelling.

In Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs), leadership and trust must become a more transparent and incremental process, rather than a transactional and positional one, where power is based most of all on privileges, politics, status (quo) and who has the loudest voice.

In the new “Social Age” it’s all about conversations. Therefore Social Leadership should rely on elaborated content curation, open collaboration and co-creation.

Powerful conversations to beat oppression

In Knowing Knowledge, G. Siemens identifies the “new oppressed” in the digital age as :

– those without access to tools for global conversation
– those without skills to contribute to global conversation

John Stepper describes 5 mindsets that help build up healthy relationships in networks:

Generosity: thinking first of what you have to offer instead of what you need
Empathy: thinking of how the other person will think and react to what you say or do
Authenticity: being your true self
Intimacy: getting beyond small talk to things that matter
Vulnerability: offering up your own imperfections and need for help

Acquiring and developing skills in these areas could certainly help generate more powerful conversations in ESNs, while reducing the risk of “oppression” (and its best ally “defensiveness”).

These specific skills are still rarely listed among the essentials in most traditional job descriptions though.

The Power of Moderation

“Let’s not be naive” says Gordon Ross in his article Intranet Strategy : Understanding the Impacts of Networks, Power and Politics : “Social softwares and digitalised workplace will remain a place of power over the other. As being against power is like being against gravity or air.”

Or put in Orwellian terms: in Enterprise Social Networks all nodes are equal, but some are more equal than others…

By default most organisations are places of different interests and possible conflicts,  where we need to learn how to read social patterns. If power and politics are the mal nécessaire, we need to learn “how power flows through the networks inside the organisation” says Gordon Ross.

One dynamic to avoid is to let ESNs turn into an echo chamber, where everyone shares/follows/likes the same ideas (usually the ones originally posted by more senior people). There might be already enough “Push-communications” channels in most organisations anyway. As mentioned above, conversations can be powerful if participants can demonstrate listening skills, are comfortable with ambiguities and engage in an open and co-creative process. It means accepting the “Perpetual Beta” and learning/practising “what to share, when and how” as Harold Jarche underlines regularly on his blog and in webinars.

“Where insights become the new currency” (@stephentwalsh), another risk is to see participants in ESNs doing (vs. being) social only to enhance their own personal brand (other networks are more appropriate for this i.e. LinkedIn). ESNs should not become a self-promotion fair, where individuals only tend to selfishly serve their own interests (or even worse, use their positional authority for that purpose): requesting help for a project but not taking time to contribute to other conversations, using the platform only to prepare a next career move, etc…

Skilful moderation seems to be key for a healthy development of ESNs, especially in organisations with poor collaborative culture and lack of bottom-up communications. To help create that “safe container”, moderators (or facilitators & community managers) could help in different ways :
– re-frame the debate (i.e. clarify goals),
– re-share ideas (i.e. involve subject matter experts in a specific discussion)
– balance the discussion (i.e. suggest creation of subgroups or closed groups)
– galvanise the conversation when needed (i.e. provide adequate curation, humor is also often welcome!).
Most of all, they certainly need to be able to sense how power flows through the network, as mentioned above.

Creating the space

Moderation in ESNs reminds me of the role of “Assistant” in 5Rhythms dance classes and workshops. Assistants are not there to control, push or try to manipulate anything. In 5R dance, assisting means helping to create the space, ground the energy, fill in the gaps and facilitate the movement where needed. It’s NOT about rehearsing or improving a specific choreography (or showing off). These experienced dancers should have some good understanding of “the Map” and show the ability to read a sort of “co-created partition”. From there they offer their simple presence and movements, knowing that this partition can not exist without the whole group of dancers within the room.

Soft Staccato

Staccato is the second rhythm in 5R dance. After the first rhythm of Flow, Staccato gives place to a more masculine energy (not to be confused with macho energy). That’s where the curves gradually change into lines; where Power and the emotion of Anger can be found and moved through. Not the rigid, painful, forced and patriarchal form of Power – although if you want to, you can dance it… but it’s an exhausting one trust me! While keeping the fluidity of the Flow, the Staccato dance allows a transition into clearer and defined movements.

I personally like what I call a “soft staccato”; a playful place where I feel enough confidence, power and embodiment to experiment and share with others my passions and creativity, but also my frustrations and vulnerability. It’s a place to open, look up in front of us and start a fresh and open “conversation” with other dancers. It’s an experience with our own boundaries and a search for the right dose of firmness and rigour. Through that part of the meditation may come the realisation that Power is not necessarily bad and that the emotion of Anger can become a source of courage rather than a destructive force.

shard_strata Strata (left) & Shard (right) – a dance in curves and lines in the London sky

“It takes two baby… you and me”

Enterprise Social Networks could offer a virtual space to practice the same sort of embodiment, in its professional meaning of course. That may require new skills and mindsets indeed. And once again it’s not about denying our fears, but how to transform them into courage and more authentic and generous sharing. As we look at how to build up a strong presence and more confidence, we need to stay fluid and flexible. From there we can use our passions, expertise and power not to influence and impose on others (like Snowball and Napoleon respectively), but to engage, co-create and learn from each other. And for the Beauty to really happen, that “empowering journey” should also include the right dose of humility and the acceptance that knowing is not all… Sometimes things can be more complex than they look like. Especially in our VUCA world today (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous).

“Unpredictability” is a leitmotif for the third rhythm in 5R dance. But before moving into that third rhythm of “Chaos”, there are some other teachings from Staccato I would like to explore further in a next post.

“Ignorance is an enemy, even to its owner.
Knowledge is a friend, even to its hater.
Ignorance hates knowledge because it is too pure.
Knowledge fears ignorance because it is too sure.”
~ Sri Chinmoy

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