Re: Emergent Learning LO2168

David W Blake (
20 Jul 95 18:28:35 GMT+2

Replying to LO2156 --

> Date: Wed, 19 Jul 1995 09:03:31 -0500
> From:
> Bernard writes:
> >Could we imagine an organization that would be a knowledgenet?
> >Could that organization be called a learning org?
> It seems that 'knowledgenet' would refer more to how the
> organization -stores- and makes available what it already
> has rather than how it acquires additional knowledge, or
> how it achieves new learning.


It's strange how insights come to a person, but that surely is the
beauty of this conversation. Your comment started a fruitful train of
thought for me.

This network (or Bernard's 'knowledgenet') is what I consider the
living, breathing organism in an organisation. As the tacit know-how
buzzes around the organisation, in the course of the non-hierarchical
connections that are made, this know-how grows (and morphs?) into
something more valuable with each connection.

I would say that we _are_ dependent on the network to a large degree,
and, yes, if it stops at a person, then we do have a bottleneck. I
cannot offer any solutions, but this inherent value is a holy grail
for me. BTW have you read the article in "Fortune", October 3 1994,
entitled Intellectual Capital? This acknowledges the dependence

There is another not-too-recent article that refers to studies on
loose versus hierarchical organisations. The conclusion was that the
companies that had considerably more, but less predictable,
connections were more competitive than the hierarchical ones. This
may seem an obvious conclusion, but it was illustrated with 'network
diagrams'. Essentially, if your organisation's network of daily
communications looked like spaghetti, you were on the right road. If I
can find it I will provide the reference. (It could have referred to
hp; can you help Joe?)

I am sure that if we take up Barry Mallis's pro forma on the "Organ
Story" (LO2060) we will be pleasantly surprised by what is created as
thoughts bump into each other on this fertlie conversation.


David Blake
David W Blake
Chief Engineer
Technology Strategy Division
P O Box 1091
South Africa

"David W Blake"  <>