Now What? Beyond Networks

These are my notes from the Learn Trends: Networked and Social Learning online mini-conference. This isn’t my usual comprehensive live blogging, just snippets of things that caught my interest. I wanted to actually participate in the chat and watch Twitter too, and I couldn’t juggle all of it at the same time. This is post 3 of 3.

Now What? Beyond Networks

George Siemens

Benefits of personal network (brainstorm from the group)

  • inspiration
  • context
  • community of practice
  • reality check
  • different views
  • support
  • facts
  • trends
  • stories
  • job leads, referrals
  • wonder
  • therapy
  • lots more…

Knowing how you’re connected to others is a foundational element. It is the beginning point, not the end value in itself. “Network analysis is a starting point for change.”

George says he is less likely to use Google now b/c he’s more connected to other people. But is that really a realistic goal for average people–to have a network big enough to answer all questions? Can every teacher in a classroom be expected to spend enough time cultivating a Twitter network or whatever to get answers to everything Google has? Isn’t it more efficient to use search for a lot of this?

Chat discussion on different types of searches–this makes sense to me

Dag: Which movie to see -> your network;   When does the movie start -> google

“Systems retain their shape long after the context that gave rise to them has changed.”

Changing contexts mean organizations need to be more able to change

A company that is more aware of its own information flow and network is more able to change

Network analysis can show the structure, maybe process–but what do we do with the analysis

In the past, understanding supply chain –> improving inventory methods –> rethinking inventory methods

We are at a similar point with networks & information. Right now we’re just getting a basic picture of how people interact in an organization.

Networks should:

  • increase capacity to adapt
  • embrace opportunities
  • meet challenges/solve problems

Jason Green: “Education is slower to adapt because many view preservation of the model as part of the raison d’être.”

How can we create a system that changes as context changes?

With our formal training, most of the time the goal is known. Much of the time now in business, the goal is not known; we don’t know what shape things will take or which methods will look. How do we deal with a system in flux? System can be changing faster than training can be developed.

What do we need to move beyond networks to?

  • honest signals
  • information & message shaping
  • new tools/visualization

Honest signals looks at who is contributing what and looks at improving value. Looked at who got what they wanted just by looking at tone. Intent was to show that we communicate our goals through things other than verbal. How does that impact online communication? How do you build trust through online communication?

We need better tools and metrics if we want to get better outcomes

Need to know

  • Which nodes add value
  • Which nodes detract value
  • How do nodes add value?
  • Balance systematization & innovation

Our notion of organizations isn’t fluid, but it may need to change–organizations may come to look more like networks, more fluid, more adaptable.

Like Wirearchy

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