It’s time for my next set of adventures.

I’ve left Huron, although I expect to continue to work with them as a contractor. Our paths are diverging and this represents a way to continue to work together when it makes sense and not get in each other’s way when it doesn’t. They’re a great group of people and I look forward to continuing to interact with them.

I haven’t settled on exactly what to do next. I’m talking to a lot of people about the challenges of making organizations more effective and better places to work. I continue to be especially interested in how to make knowledge work more effective. Whether I work on that from inside one organization, with another consulting firm, or entirely on my own remains to be seen.

Over the last several years, I have been working primarily with knowledge intensive organizations. Although there is a rich set of thinking and research on how to address their problems, there is still a bias toward squeezing these problems into models and frameworks better suited to the industrial economy that drove progress in the 20th Century. There’s the classic observation from John Maynard Keynes:

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.”

I think today’s organizations need better ideas and better theories. And they need better ways to merge them into their daily practices. That is likely to remain my focus regardless of the particular organizational affiliations I maintain.

4 thoughts on “Transitions”

  1. Enjoy the transitions Jim – they seem to be happening with greater frequency in my life as work becomes more virtual, more placeless, and more diverse in terms of the number of projects I find myself participating in. As I told you when we saw each other in San Francisco a few weeks ago, “these days, my office is wherever I happen to be”.

    This “placeless work” phenomenon is a challenge to organization regardless of their discipline and execution in developing and maintaining a high-performance culture. My kids are so much better at the new fluidity than I am!

    I’ll wish you the best of luck knowing that you’re not particularly in need of it. I know you’ll do great things wherever the journey leads.

  2. Jim – I agree with you that companies are in desperate need for new ideas, new models, and in some cases new blood. It is amazing to see how many large-scale companies are struggling with those issues – just today I was talking to a fairly senior person at a major financial institution who told me that the biggest barrier to adoption of Enterprise 2.0 tools in his company is the threat of a flatter organization through the use of those tools. Mind boggling.

    The transition and figuring out what’s next sounds really exciting. Good luck with your new endeavors.

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