Snowden: Putting it All Together


Dave Snowden, Cognitive Edge, started with, “System design is not a linear process” and today requires a co-evolutionary approach.

Key concepts: everything is fragmented, pattern based decisions (associated with the concept of mess), complexity & constraint, distributed cognition (from fail safe to safe fail experimentaiton), natural numbers (5, 15, 150) (some of which Dave covered in last year’s keynote, it’s podcast is available.)

Existing methods: narrative based requirements, cross silo self-forming teams, managing emergence

Emergent methods: crews, coherence mapping

Project design — Cynefin, see Harvard Business Review article Nov 07 (which won an Academy of Management’s Award for the best article by practitioners — and article which Dave wrote with Mary Boone)

Dave recorded his talk today and will post a podcast on his site.

Tom’s Taxonomy Technology Tips


Tom Reamy is, to many of us, one of the authorities on taxonomies. He’s talking right now about the varieties of taxonomy/text analystics software available now, and how to choose which is best for your application & organization. All the vendors are adding more text analytics. So…step number one is: how are you going to use the technology? Text mining? business inteligence? cusomter intelligence? tfor facted navigation? keyword indexing? to browse the front end of the portal?

Evaluating Taxonomy Software:

new, copy, rename, delee, merge scop notes spell check search names & identifiers versioning ease of use user documentation visualiztion — how does it show things? automatic taxonomy/node generation — Tom says it’s nonsense but can be used at different stages, especially to get suggestions within a node or for entity extraction entity extraction auto-catgorization (training sets, terms, rules, advanced – saved search queries) “near” sentence” “paragraph” boolean search that allows you to search for x near y, and “not” advanced features — sentiment analysis (for customer service to see what people are saying about them); facts, ontologies, semantic web, etc…..

Phew! If you want taxonomy management only, you are probably in a small company with a specialized taxonomy – and the good news is that this type of software is quite affordable. But do check the upgrade path for this type of tool, just in case you need to grow the application.Advanced application platforms, sich as Attensity’s or Inxight’s, are for those appls that need to integrate search and

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Taxonomies: not dead, not dying, but definitely maturing


A few months agoTheresa Regli of CMS Watch wrote a blogpost on whether taxonomies are dead or dying, or just hitting their stride. I thought this was a great question to address at the beginning of the Taxonomy BootCamp, and Theresa very kindly agreed to speak to the topic at 8:00 a.m. — & the audience was full. Wow. The upshot is that Theresa feels taxonomies aren’t dying, but they are definitely being augmented by technologies, and, in some cases, aren’t necessary. As Theresa said, we need to have the confidence to admit when taxonomies aren’t required. And that is part of a process’ and a function’s maturation.

Theresa’s wit and fantastic speaking ability took this topic to new levels. She built on Seth Earley’s comment that taxonomies have a few mullets to deal with – or, preferably get rid of (mullets should definitely be eliminated!) Bob Boiko told Theresa that enterprise taxonomies are mullets that need to go; taxonomies with too great a scope are too difficult to manage & not useful —- taxonomies need to be targetted and focused. Seth says the mullets are site maps, really deep hierarchies & huge manual tagging projects. Theresa’s mullet is the notion that one classification fits all.

So what’s the new lifeblood of taxonomies?

Application integration breaking huge corpuses of content into manageable pieces linguisitcs, context, purpose metadata for dynamic navigation & filtered searches taxonomists who say “technology is our friend”

Stay tuned — lots more to come…..

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NASAsphere: Social Networking for Business


Just posted on the KMWorldblog about a session I listened to at KMWorld & Intranets 2008 describing NASA’s experiment with social networking. Cool.

So what happens when the organization structures don’t match the collaborative practices?


I’m delighted I’ve finally been able to hear and meet Jon Husband of Jon is one of the few, very few, people working with organizations to help them evolve their organization structures to support the collaborative technologies and resulting work behaviours. In most organizations there is this horrible disconnect between the hoopla about “working collaboratively” with “social networking tools” and the management practices, reporting relationships and performance expectations. As Husband says, the fundamentals about how we design work (& I add here, how organizations design themselves) hasn’t changed in 50 years. 50 years. Shesh. Organizations can talk the talk about “collaboration”, but to effectively implement collaborative tools and work behaviours they have to walk the walk of new organization structures, management practices and employment expectations and compensation.The hierarchical structure has been based on the belief that knowledge is arranged vertically. But this is no longer the case — now knowledge flows horizontally and chaotically (he didn’t use that term, but I think that’s an apt term — chaos isn’t necessarily a bad thing, after all — out of chaos can come new thinking.)

Ok, so what does this mean for organizations? Well, it means that they will work “ok” for the time being, but until this issue is really addressed, the true benefits of all these technologies and people working collaboratively will not be realized. Husband says he’s bored with this. Me too. He also says that this issue will be addressed during the next ten years. I agree.

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John Kao opened KMWorld & Intranets 2008 in San Jose this morning and drew lots of blog attention at the new KMWorldblog. Also check out comments from other bloggers at the conference.

I loved John’s definition of innovation: a set of capabilities that allows continuous realization of a desired future. Some of his quotes: “Innovation drives, and is an enabler of, transformation, giving it a goal or desired direction.” “Innovation blossoms in diverse settings.” “Innovation comes through conversations in different disciplines.” Scientists, designers, and many others are “actors in a value chain for innovation.” It’s the “business processes that take innovation from the lab into the business.” And I really look forward to his Harvard Business Review article coming out early in the new year on new business models using systems integrators — the systems integrator model for building new businesses — a “born global strategy” where parts of the organization are decentralized all over the world. “Units of action are decentralized from a global array of resources.” It will be a “fundamental transformation in the way ventures are formed.”

Fall Already


Thanks Google for reminding me that today is the first day of autumn, although here in California at KMWorld & Intranets 2008 it doesn’t really look like fall. The workshops at the conference are now underway, Dave Snowden will lead a networking event this evening and our first keynote speaker, John Kao, will open the event in the morning. To follow what’s happening at the conference join us at our new blog.

KMWorld & Intranets 2008


Looking for speakers for KMWorld & Intranets 2008, San Jose, September 23-25. Conference theme: Driving Enterprise Innovation & Achievement: User-Focused Tools & Practices

Proposals can be submitted online here.