Comments on: Strategy and surfing the wave of serendipity http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/30/strategy-and-surfing-the-wave-of-serendipity/ Design by Ben Crothers of Catch Media Wed, 28 Apr 2010 12:51:50 +1000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.6 hourly 1 By: Club Troppo » Obliquity . . . http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/30/strategy-and-surfing-the-wave-of-serendipity/comment-page-1/#comment-11168 Club Troppo » Obliquity . . . Sat, 20 Mar 2010 15:00:02 +0000 http://gov2.net.au/?p=1744#comment-11168 [...] a kind of giant cost-benefit analysis.  I had a (rather inarticulate) crack at some of the issues here.  I’m pleased to see that the very terrific John Kay has now written a book about it using a [...] [...] a kind of giant cost-benefit analysis.  I had a (rather inarticulate) crack at some of the issues here.  I’m pleased to see that the very terrific John Kay has now written a book about it using a [...]

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By: Nicholas Gruen http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/30/strategy-and-surfing-the-wave-of-serendipity/comment-page-1/#comment-6836 Nicholas Gruen Fri, 08 Jan 2010 00:19:05 +0000 http://gov2.net.au/?p=1744#comment-6836 Thanks Paul, It's always great when 'the source' turns up to a chat on a blog and so it is nice you've helped illustrate this on our blog! Thanks Paul,

It’s always great when ‘the source’ turns up to a chat on a blog and so it is nice you’ve helped illustrate this on our blog!

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By: Paul Bevan http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/30/strategy-and-surfing-the-wave-of-serendipity/comment-page-1/#comment-6827 Paul Bevan Thu, 07 Jan 2010 16:51:05 +0000 http://gov2.net.au/?p=1744#comment-6827 Hi Nicholas (Disclosure: I am the author of the Ariadne Article and sculpted the National Library of Wales's Strategy). I agree with your points about how strategic writing can often be overly vague and, sometimes, even limit the potential of 'thinking' or 'doing' activities. Having said that, I think it is important to "understand what is achievable" or perhaps it would be better to say "not to misunderstand what is likely to be achieved". Experimentation for its own sake can yield fantastic results, however it's all to easy to gloss over the many many failed projects that lie forgotten along the way to a great social media success. Many organizations have projects which have been given specific mandates along the lines of "make our website more like Facebook". These are unachievable aims for most projects, and being realistic when spending public money is surely important? I realise that this sentiment could be interpreted as "be innovative, but not too much" - but really it's about playing the numbers - unachievable aims are far more likely to detract from a project than to push it to greater things. Now having said that, I totally agree with the points both you and other's who've left comments have made about seeing the natural growth of an unforeseen potential in a Web 2.0 environment. Sometimes it's too easy for organisations to be precious about their original aims and objectives. Great article - Paul Hi Nicholas

(Disclosure: I am the author of the Ariadne Article and sculpted the National Library of Wales’s Strategy).

I agree with your points about how strategic writing can often be overly vague and, sometimes, even limit the potential of ‘thinking’ or ‘doing’ activities. Having said that, I think it is important to “understand what is achievable” or perhaps it would be better to say “not to misunderstand what is likely to be achieved”.

Experimentation for its own sake can yield fantastic results, however it’s all to easy to gloss over the many many failed projects that lie forgotten along the way to a great social media success. Many organizations have projects which have been given specific mandates along the lines of “make our website more like Facebook”. These are unachievable aims for most projects, and being realistic when spending public money is surely important?

I realise that this sentiment could be interpreted as “be innovative, but not too much” – but really it’s about playing the numbers – unachievable aims are far more likely to detract from a project than to push it to greater things.

Now having said that, I totally agree with the points both you and other’s who’ve left comments have made about seeing the natural growth of an unforeseen potential in a Web 2.0 environment. Sometimes it’s too easy for organisations to be precious about their original aims and objectives.

Great article – Paul

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By: Nicholas G http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/30/strategy-and-surfing-the-wave-of-serendipity/comment-page-1/#comment-6726 Nicholas G Mon, 04 Jan 2010 22:24:13 +0000 http://gov2.net.au/?p=1744#comment-6726 An interesting article Martin. It reminds me of a quote by David Snowden "Develop an agreed outcome, provide the tools and then trust that the outcome will be delivered". This simple knowledge management approach is unfortunately quite different to the business process mapping approach used to try and develop an "innovative" environment and workforce. We (both public and private sector) get lost in the process and forget the outcome. An interesting article Martin.

It reminds me of a quote by David Snowden “Develop an agreed outcome, provide the tools and then trust that the outcome will be delivered”.

This simple knowledge management approach is unfortunately quite different to the business process mapping approach used to try and develop an “innovative” environment and workforce. We (both public and private sector) get lost in the process and forget the outcome.

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By: Martin Stewart-Weeks http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/30/strategy-and-surfing-the-wave-of-serendipity/comment-page-1/#comment-6632 Martin Stewart-Weeks Sat, 02 Jan 2010 12:38:09 +0000 http://gov2.net.au/?p=1744#comment-6632 Addendum - Pink notes that the best combination of attributes to create real motivation, especially for tasks that are not simple, linear or straightforward, is a dose of AMP - autonomy, mastery and purpose. People want some measure of control over their work; they seek to become better and steadily more competent at a skill or capability that matters; and they want to feel art of an endeavour that is bigger than they are. These are precisely the attributes at play in the stories Nicholas has highlighted and in much of what you read about why people become involved in, and find such satisfaction from, the social networking world of web 2.0 Addendum – Pink notes that the best combination of attributes to create real motivation, especially for tasks that are not simple, linear or straightforward, is a dose of AMP – autonomy, mastery and purpose. People want some measure of control over their work; they seek to become better and steadily more competent at a skill or capability that matters; and they want to feel art of an endeavour that is bigger than they are.

These are precisely the attributes at play in the stories Nicholas has highlighted and in much of what you read about why people become involved in, and find such satisfaction from, the social networking world of web 2.0

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By: Martin Stewart-Weeks http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/30/strategy-and-surfing-the-wave-of-serendipity/comment-page-1/#comment-6631 Martin Stewart-Weeks Sat, 02 Jan 2010 12:29:28 +0000 http://gov2.net.au/?p=1744#comment-6631 Slightly tangential to the discussion, perhaps, but this TED talk by Daniel Pink caught my attention today (sent by a Cisco colleague)..http://tobiaslist.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/how-do-you-motivate-people-to-innovate/ It's a very nice 15 minute exposition of the gap that exists - perhaps a widening gap - between the increasingly incontrovertible evidence of the power of intrinsic motivation and the stubborn refusal of most organisations to reflect that evidence in their wrong-headed and often damaging regimes of usually money-based extrinsic rewards. Pink's passionate exhortation to the confected world of management to listen more closely to the evidence about motivation reminded me of Nicholas' concerns about the misalignment between the fluid, contingent and serendipitous world of Web 2.0 and the rigid, linear and over-planned world of management 1.0 (evidenced in this case by the way we set about 'strategy'). Slightly tangential to the discussion, perhaps, but this TED talk by Daniel Pink caught my attention today (sent by a Cisco colleague)..http://tobiaslist.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/how-do-you-motivate-people-to-innovate/

It’s a very nice 15 minute exposition of the gap that exists – perhaps a widening gap – between the increasingly incontrovertible evidence of the power of intrinsic motivation and the stubborn refusal of most organisations to reflect that evidence in their wrong-headed and often damaging regimes of usually money-based extrinsic rewards.

Pink’s passionate exhortation to the confected world of management to listen more closely to the evidence about motivation reminded me of Nicholas’ concerns about the misalignment between the fluid, contingent and serendipitous world of Web 2.0 and the rigid, linear and over-planned world of management 1.0 (evidenced in this case by the way we set about ’strategy’).

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By: Martin Stewart-Weeks http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/30/strategy-and-surfing-the-wave-of-serendipity/comment-page-1/#comment-6602 Martin Stewart-Weeks Fri, 01 Jan 2010 13:07:06 +0000 http://gov2.net.au/?p=1744#comment-6602 This is a great post and draws out one dimension of the subversive potential of Web 2.0. The subversion in this case is at two levels. The first is that, if the true ethic of Web 2.0 is the serendipitous discovery of meaning and value, whose outcomes cannot be determined to any great extent before you start, the often thin veneer of plausibility with which traditional notions of management and control are cloaked pretty much evaporates altogether. If the only way you know how to 'direct' and 'control' (ie to 'manage') is what we might call the 1.0 way, then the 2.0 invitation to play and see where you end up is going to come across as professionally and personally very confronting. And it's not an unreasonable bet to suggest that many of those kinds of managers are in various levels of the public service here and around the world. The second dimension of the subversive potential of Web2.0 is closely related, and it concerns the need to invent new forms of accountability and new ways to make the playful serendipity, which we have to accept as a critical part of the way in which these new tools unlock value, more visible, transparent and accountable. The obvious question, of course, is how? Right now, I get the sense (and this is as much personal as it is a generalised reflection) that we are stuck in an unsettling twilight zone between the fading and generally unhelpful certainties of the 1.0 world - which were perhaps never quite as certain as they appeared - and the as yet pretty much unformed and very uncertain propositions about managing and being accountable that have yet to replace them. For government especially, with the added burden of political exposure and control freakery thrown in, the ability to move out of the twilight zone into something at least a shade more reliable and reassuring will be critical in determining whether and, if so, how the public sector adopts a relatively warm and robust embrace of the possibilities of this new connected, contingent and confusing world. This is a great post and draws out one dimension of the subversive potential of Web 2.0.

The subversion in this case is at two levels. The first is that, if the true ethic of Web 2.0 is the serendipitous discovery of meaning and value, whose outcomes cannot be determined to any great extent before you start, the often thin veneer of plausibility with which traditional notions of management and control are cloaked pretty much evaporates altogether. If the only way you know how to ‘direct’ and ‘control’ (ie to ‘manage’) is what we might call the 1.0 way, then the 2.0 invitation to play and see where you end up is going to come across as professionally and personally very confronting. And it’s not an unreasonable bet to suggest that many of those kinds of managers are in various levels of the public service here and around the world.

The second dimension of the subversive potential of Web2.0 is closely related, and it concerns the need to invent new forms of accountability and new ways to make the playful serendipity, which we have to accept as a critical part of the way in which these new tools unlock value, more visible, transparent and accountable. The obvious question, of course, is how?

Right now, I get the sense (and this is as much personal as it is a generalised reflection) that we are stuck in an unsettling twilight zone between the fading and generally unhelpful certainties of the 1.0 world – which were perhaps never quite as certain as they appeared – and the as yet pretty much unformed and very uncertain propositions about managing and being accountable that have yet to replace them.

For government especially, with the added burden of political exposure and control freakery thrown in, the ability to move out of the twilight zone into something at least a shade more reliable and reassuring will be critical in determining whether and, if so, how the public sector adopts a relatively warm and robust embrace of the possibilities of this new connected, contingent and confusing world.

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By: Main Articles: ‘Share. Collaborate. Innovate. Building an Organisational Approach to Web 2.0′, Ariadne Issue 61 « http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/30/strategy-and-surfing-the-wave-of-serendipity/comment-page-1/#comment-6534 Main Articles: ‘Share. Collaborate. Innovate. Building an Organisational Approach to Web 2.0′, Ariadne Issue 61 « Wed, 30 Dec 2009 18:26:58 +0000 http://gov2.net.au/?p=1744#comment-6534 [...] us up to date on thinks in Australia, as they worked on their Government 2.0 Task Force, has pointed out an excellent piece from the Welsh National Library on how they are using the web. Here is the [...] [...] us up to date on thinks in Australia, as they worked on their Government 2.0 Task Force, has pointed out an excellent piece from the Welsh National Library on how they are using the web. Here is the [...]

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