I love my social networks and am constantly amazed how much I can pick up in an hour of interactions on Twitter and Facebook in particular. Thinking in the shower this morning I also realised how much it makes sense of the way my mind works.
Take this morning for instance:
Dave Snowden on Cognitive Edge has this morning blogged about Theory U which I found via Twitter.
In it he explains in detail how he has read all the books and papers and illustrates how the precise wording and nuances either fit or do not fit with other theories.
In contrast I fell upon Theory U late last year by an image search on Google for business models. I skimmed available material and made up my own meaning from the concepts I thought it covered. My brain seems to lack the part that remembers detail, I can remember stories but everything else always seems to connect to something else I know, by way of ambiguous understanding and metaphor. I was so intrigued I built my own Pinterest board.
For a short while it became my world view of facilitating workshops so I used it as a controlling structure/overview for a recent workshop in Copenhagen, no thought for the inconsistencies, just that it seemed interesting and had useful connections and I love it’s concept of “leading from an emergent future”.
In a similar vein Dave ends with a concern about Ken Wilber’s spiral dynamics, which I thought was great principally because it explained why my interests and perspectives seemed to freeze at age 18 but unfroze at age 40 (ironically the year I first met Dave).
As a second example I found a tweet about a piece by Steve Denning (who coincidently also had a great influence on me at age 40) on “What went wrong at Boeing”
I though this was worth passing on to my pals who work in Aerospace innovation so I shared it as an email. As the email box opened up on my phone I realised I could not spell ‘Boeing’, I knew there was an ‘e’ somewhere but it kept looking like the sound of a spring. So I entitled the email ‘Boing’.
My colleague Brain immediately responded by email that it was called Boing “because it kept bouncing back” (I did not know this) and there were other good sources here which gives a better feel for the specifics and the management of innovation issues around the battery.
Also here is essential reading on the 787. His letter to the FAA (link at the wiki article) is very worthwhile.
So this is how I learn, I make loose connections, share them with my close contacts via Twitter & Facebook and they put me right by dampening the poor material and amplifying the useful. It sort of sits on my shoulder as an invisible conscience. I don’t always remember the detail but I adapt to the learning and move forward.