Unfreezing the Corporate Mind
John Seely Brown
If you want to change a corporation, you need to change the conversations happening within it. That was the recommendation from John Seely Brown in his address to Real Time participants.
In a good conversation, the whole is more important than the parts, Brown said. A focused conversation is a self-scaffolding structure that has a dynamic aspect to it . Therefore, if you change the conversations of a corporation, you change the corporation.
“All learning starts with focused conversations,” Brown says. “The only kind of learning you want to think about is collaborative learning. But how do you structure conversations to become self-scaffolding conversations?”
Expertise lies as much in the social mind as in the individual mind, Brown said. Knowledge is distributed across people and across artifacts. So the ability to interpret each other — read what is really happening — is tacit knowledge possessed by the group as a whole. That knowledge is brought together when groups share tasks over a substantial period of time, he said.
This of course is from the author of The Social Life of Information interesting to discover that he wrote that key article (see below) in the first issue of The Fast Company back in 1995.