Insider knowledge: Michael has already blogged about his presentation and set it on a time-delay for publishing so even though he won’t touch his computer, at the end of this presentation a blog-post on his presentation will be posted, and here it is http://www.michaelsampson.net/2008/04/notes-on-the-ke.html. Old link lying in wait http://www.michaelsampson.net/chaos.html
The title of Michael’s presentation ‘Collaboration without Chaos’ is, says Michael an oxymoron, as collaborative work is chaotic, it’s disordered and hard to follow as people go through ideas and work with each other.
Is a meeting chaotic? Of course it is, minutes help to organise this by creating a summary or a shared agreement:
- What do we do now?
- Who has the monkey on their back?
- What did we agree?
- Where are we at?
- What else needs to be done?
These principles apply to collaboration, discussion threads are chaotic, and these require summation by a person. It is the conflict within the medium that generates ideas and we don’t want to lose that.
Michael talked about the knife, the fork and the spoon of collaboration.
7 volunteers to join Michael on-stage, my colleague Catherine Grenfell is up there (why is everything 7 with Michael?), the 7 have place names (3 x Hong Kong, 2 x Sydney, 2 x Boston etc), they are joined by Leslie a new member and she is looking for the global offices. She chooses on randomly and then the 7 are asked to fold down their pages, the bottom part contains information about the number of people that have visited the pages, their rating and their tags. This is capturing implicit knowledge and making it available. It also shows who the experts are, by what they have tagged, written, visited. We gave a virtual round of applause to the volunteers. This is social rather than machine algorithms, ‘rate this content,’ ‘tags for classification,’ ‘expertise surfacing.’ Experts are able to see what’s not there (as well as what is there).
How do we make it work within the organisation?
- Greenfields environ: Group Swim
- Existing: leverage what you have by adding in social algorithms
- Easy things: the right technology, avoid tools that make life harder, train on functions and the practices
- Hard things: new technology threatens the social order, how do people actually work, collaboration tools become invisible
One blog to rule them all: http://www.michaelsampson.net/2008/04/notes-on-the-ke.html ,or at least one to help with some of the chaos
Q: Are these things fundamental, or will we look back in 10 years and say this is totally out of date?
A: The concept will stand, the tools will change.
Follow-up question: Will the approach change?
Answer from the group: The core people stuff will apply
Q: Is there a role for experts in the future?
A: About giving organisations as well as people a way to collaborate
NB: Not all the questions are presented here. The questions section was interesting as it was very philosophical and future-thinking.