Earlier this year, I reviewedYour Inner CEO, by Allan Cox. In the course of that, I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting Allan and getting to know him. I think it was Ross Mayfield of SocialText who introduced us. Allan is an existence proof that nice guys can be very successful.
One of the things I’ve been helping Allan with is understanding how new technology tools can help him get his ideas out there. One thing we’ve come up with is to make use of the great social media tools at Ning to support a community of those interested in the ideas in the book and in Allan’s work. To wit, here’s an announcement from Allan of an online book group for the book.
A few people in the Your Inner CEO Community (yes, there is one) have been lobbying for the launch of an online study group for the book itself: Your Inner CEO. In the beginning I wondered about the practicality and
Once again Lee and Sachi LeFever have produced one of their excellent video introductions to new web technology. This time their topic is twitter. By the way, if you want to follow my updates on twitter, I’m @jmcgee.
This 2.5 minute video is a result of feedback from our fans. We’ve received a number of requests from people who want their friends to use the micro-blogging service Twitter, but can’t seem to explain it well. We hope this video helps.
My old friend and former colleague, Vaughan Merlyn, started blogging a few months back, which I discovered by way of other old friend and former colleague Espen Andersen. Vaughan’s blog is IT Organization Circa 2017. It’s an excellent source of insight into the particular challenges that face CIOs trying to make an impact on their organizations.
The wonders of Internet serendipity. Scott Hanselman provides an excellent review of ooVoo, the video chat software that Allan Cox will be using next week. (See my earlier post on that tonight.) My ooVoo name is “jimmcgee”
I’m not sure of the relationship between ooVoo and the others, but I can tell you that ooVoo is like Skype PLUS multi-person chat. Wow. It’s fantastic. It’ll do 6 people. I tested it with four as you can see above. The video is better than the audio, but we had folks in 4 states (1 in Hawaii) so I’m not sure everyone had the best connection.
If you’ve got 30 minutes next week and are interested in ways you might become more effective, consider this invitation. It’s a chance to participate in an intimate video conference/chat with Allan Cox. Allan is the author of eight books on management and leadership including his most recent effort, Your Inner CEO: Unleash the Executive Within. I’ll have a review of it here shortly, once I finish my second pass through it.
I’ve had a chance to get to know Allan over the last several months, all courtesy of the interactions enabled by social media. Although Allan and I both live in the Chicago area, we were first introduced by Ross Mayfield of SocialText. (I’m still waiting to meet Ross face-to-face, even though we’ve been interacting virtually for several years.)
Allan is an executive coach who works with senior level executives and boards to make organizations more human places. It’s been a real treat getting to know someone with such grounded insight into people and organizations. This is a chance for you to gain the benefit of his perspective for a little bit of your time. I’m signed up.
So, Let’s Get Together . . .
I d love an opportunity to chat with you. Yes, YOU. Face to face.
I m participating in an event called “My ooVoo Day With…” in which you can sign up to video chat with me. During this time, we can talk about questions you might have about my book, about your career and leadership challenges, or anything you d like. If you don t have a webcam, don t worry you can be audio-only and still take part.
There are only a limited number of seats I m doing 30-minute sessions on Feb. 11, 12, 13 and 14 so sign up now. Head over to www.myoovooday.com to download the software and sign up. I look forward to seeing you online.
It’s time to have a little fun. A popular website is HotorNot.com, where visitors get to rate pictures of men and women on a scale of 1-10, corresponding to how “hot” or “not hot” they are. I’ve decided to adapt this idea to mind mapping software, to get a feel for what features and capabilities you think are “hot” and which ones are “not.”
Courtesy of Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools blog. Someday, I’d love to get time to go back and learn the physics and math that I once knew.
Motion Mountain Inspiring physics textbook
This is not your father’s physics textbook. It is the self-published 1,500-page (!!), still-unfinished physics textbook written and designed by your polymath genius uncle who dwells on a mountain with the spirits of departed philosophers (whom he quotes, in German). It’s what a physics textbook would be like if a poet wrote it and made no mistakes. The book is massively visual. There is minimal math. It’s a textbook with soul.
The guiding metaphor of Motion Mountain, and thus its name, is to frame physics as varieties of motion and change. When it gets to quantum mechanics it considers this in almost Taoist terms, as the “smallest change.”
This textbook is a work of art. Unlike standard texts, it is an enthusiastically personal masterpiece, yet still has exercise problems for students to practice. It sprawls across topics you won’t find in any other physics textbook: semantics, lying, color theory, the physics of pleasure. In many ways it reminds me of Godel, Escher, Bach in its witty brilliance, stupendous range, and self-designed idiosyncrasies. Motion Mountain is an amazing portrait of the physical world as flux. It has the power to equip you with the intellectual tools to work with, and love, this flux. Studying it is an adventure in understanding.
Best of all, it is a free PDF book. A PDF means that it is hyperlinked to footnotes and intensely cross-referenced. And it is easily searchable. Every student — anywhere — can download a copy.
Motion Mountain: An Adventure in Physics By Christoph Schiller 2007, 1498 pages Free Available at Motion Mountain
In debates and hisotherwriting on the subject Tom s been making three broad points: that Enterprise 2.0 is really not anything new, that it s not going to be successfully taken up by most companies, and that even when it is in place it s not going to make much of a difference in things that pragmatic business leaders care about. To which I reply well, tune in and see for yourself.
I ve been obsessively watching the video of our previous encounter, and have noticed that Tom drops his left when he s getting ready to throw a hook, and that he doesn t move as well to his left. Come watch as I exploit these weaknesses.
This should be a fun and illuminating interchange this Friday, the 11th. Both Andy and Tom have been paying attention to the realities of how enterprises do and don’t make effective use of new technologies for a long time.
I’ve agreed to moderate their discussion, which will likely consist of throwing in a new question or two if things slow down. I’m also looking forward to continuing the discussion in Orlando at the FASTforward ’08 Conference. Follow the link below to get a special blogger’s discount if you plan to attend yourself.
We re excited to announce we ll be hosting a free webinar discussion next Friday (January 11th) from 11:00-12:00 AM EST between two academics with much to say about Enterprise 2.0: Andrew McAfee of Harvard Business School and Tom Davenport of Babson College.
Join us at 11 AM EST for a point/counterpoint debate about the viability and speed of adoption of Enterprise 2.0 tools within the enterprise. If you re familiar with their writing and thinking, which has been much discussed here on this blog and elsewhere, you know this should make for a spirited and fun joust between two great minds with strong opinions on the matter.
Among the topics that ll be touched upon:
Are the barriers to adoption human, cultural and political in nature too large to overcome?
Is there enough ongoing momentum to ensure broad-based adoption in certain industries?
What processes are most likely to benefit from Enterprise 2.0 tools?
How will success be measured?
Join the discussion by registering for the webinar here. We ll be taking questions from the audience at the end of their discussion or feel free to leave questions in the comments of this post.
Andrew and Tom (as well as all of the contributors to this blog) will also be joining us at FASTforward 08 in Orlando. The theme of this year s conference, which runs from February 18-20: The User Revolution. Among the other notable speakers: John Hagel, Don Tapscott, David Weinberger, Clare Hart, and Safa Rashtchy.
Find out more at the conference s website and if you register be sure to do so through that link for a special discount for readers of this blog.
There are a variety of articles and papers that I continue to draw insight from and find myself recommending to others on a regular basis. I decided it would be a useful exercise to assemble them into one set of pointers, add a little bit of commentary, and make it available.
I limited myself to materials that were easily available on the web, which eliminated some more obscure, academic, materials that you probably wouldn’t want to read anyway. I ended up with a dozen items that fall into two categories. The first group represents useful thinking about individual knowledge workers; the second about design principles relevant at the organizational and strategic level.
Design space for individual knowledge work
“As We May Think” – Vannevar Bush. Peter Drucker coined the term “knowledge worker” in 1959. Bush set the framework for a knowledge worker’s day in 1945.
“Structured procrastination” – John Perry. A somewhat different, but nonetheless useful take on how to best leverage a multi-tasking, multi-demand world.
“You and Your Research” – Richard Hamming. Underlying strategies for how to set and follow a strategy for tackling worthwhile and rewarding problems. Although focused on research, the advice is readily applicable to all kinds of knowledge work.
“Personal Dynamic Media” (PDF file) – Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg. Along with Engelbart’s paper, Kay and Goldberg’s imagines much of the personal computing revolution and how we might best make use of technology in doing knowledge work.
Strategic and Organizational Design Principles
“The nature of the firm” (PDF file) – Coase. Coase ultimately own a Nobel prize in economics for this work, which examines the conditions that differentiate between activities best organized by markets vs. those best organized by organizations.
Cluetrain manifesto – Searls, Weinberger, Locke, Levine. The first, and still best, thinking about the ways that the internet affects markets and marketing
“End to end arguments in system design” (PDF file) – Saltzer, Reed, & Clark. These guys were key designers of the underlying protocols that drive the internet. This paper lays out the reasons why centralized command and control is a bad idea in networks; regardless of how appealing it tends to be to the powers-that-be.
“Rise of the stupid network – Isenberg. From a former phone industry software engineer, this paper provides an interesting examination of the interaction between technology change and organizational/strategic inertia.
The long tail“– Anderson . The article that led to the book. Both offer insight into the opportunities to design products and services that take advantage of how the net offers alternatives to mass markets.
“Places to intervene in a system” – Meadows. The changes we need to make to take full advantage of the opportunities that technology presents us depend on thinking and operating at a systems level. This is the best short overview of the leverage points that can be found and used to make this level of change happen.
“Wicked problems and social complexity” (PDF file) – Conklin. As a counterbalance to Meadows, Conklin enriches the discussion of systems change by laying out the notion of “wicked problems.” These are the kinds problems whose solutions arise from the interaction between competing interest groups and change the definition of the problem as they are implemented.