Curious Words

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Be a Solution.


manywhere: A product or service that's available virtually everywhere at once. Examples would be cloud web applications, coke a cola, and facebook. No matter where you are -- there it is. Or more graphically -- Where is it? Manywhere!

Refers to 'virtual views' or 'manifestations' of the same thing in several places at once. Manywhere describes manifestations of synchronicity where congruent events -- The same thing keeps happening in totally different contexts.

Your facebook page, a wikipedia page are 'manywhere' because the same page has renditions on my browser, my phone, on paper.

  • xx.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Be a Solution.


sensemaking: An on-going process individuals and groups use for interpreting and understanding situations and events unfolding around them.

Sensemaking is significant because action requires that you, or your group, are settled on the meaning or understanding of "What is the story here?" (Weick, 1995). Put another way, what happens if you are confused or conflicted in a situation? How does that affect your decisions and behaviours? The ordinary decision making process is to seek more information, or in cases of information overload to shed information; then to make sense of things ...

Karl Weick categorises sensemaking from enactment-selection-retention into more differentiated seven categories of sensemaking. These seven being captured by the acronym SIR COPE.(Weick, 1999).

  1. "Social context ... the actual, implied, or imagined presence of others. Sensible meanings tend to be those is a social support, consensual validation and shared relevance. To change meaning is to change social context. When social anchors disappear and one feels isolated from social reality of some sort, one's grasp of what is happening begins to loosen.
  2. "personal Identity ... a sense of who he or she is in a setting (or context); what threats to the sense of self the setting contains; an what is available to enhance, continue and render efficacious that sense of who one is all provide a center from which judgements of relevance and sense fan-out. When identity is threatened or diffused [identification], as when one loses a job without warning, one's grasp of what is happening begins to loosen.
  3. "Retrospective ... perceived work is actually a past world in the sense that things are visualised and seen before they are conceptualised. Even if the delay is measured in microseconds, people know what they have done only after they do it. Thus sensemaking is influenced by what people notice in elapsed events, how far back they look, and how well they remember what they were doing. When people put their faith in anticipation rather than resilience, the their acts of retrospect are shallow, misleading, and half-hearted, and their grasp of what is happening begins to loosen." [emphasis added]
  4. "salient Cues ... sensemaking is about the resourcefulness with with people elaborate tiny indicators into full-blown stories, typically in ways that selectively shore up an initial hunch. The prototype here is a self-fulfilling prophecy or an application of the documentary method. Both elaborate on an initial linkage between a particularly and a category into a confirming evidence. Thus, both individual preferences ofr certain cues as well as environmental conditions that make certain cues figural and salient affect one's sense of what is up. When cues become equivocal, contradictory, or unstable, wither because of individual preferences are changing or because situations are dynamic, people begin to lose their grasp on what's happening.
  5. "Ongoing projects ... experience is a continuous flow, and it becomes and event only when efforts are made to put boundaries around some portion of the flow, or when some interruption occurs. Thus, the experience of sensemaking is one in which people are thrown into the middle of things and forced to act without the benefit of a stable sense of what is happening. These handicaps are not attributable to personal shortcomings but rather to the stubborn, ongoing character of experience. When people lose their ability to bond ongoing events, to keep pace with them by means of continuous updating of actions and interpretations, or to focus on interrupting conditions, they begin to lose their grasp.
  6. "Plausibility ... to make sense is to ask the question: "What's the story here?" To answer this question, people usually aske a slightly different question:"What's a story here?" sensemaking is about coherence, how events hang together, certainty that is sufficient for present purposes, and credibility. Plausibility should not be mistaken for fantasy, however, because a sense that survives has been influenced by the other six properties. Thus plausible sense is constrained by agreements with others, consistency with one's own stake in events, the recent past, visible [or detected] cues, projects athe are demonstrably under way, scenarios that are familiar, and actions that have tangible effects. When one or more of these sources of grounding disappears, stories may strain credibility, leave to many cues un-addressed, or be impossible to compose, in which case people begin to lose their grasp.
  7. "Enactment ... means to gain some sense of what one is up against, as when one asks questions, tries a negotiating gambit, builds a prototype to evoke reactions, makes a declaration to see what response it pulls, or probes something to see how it reacts."

There's a bit more to sensemaking, than just making sense of things. I consider that sensemaking more or less lies behind what Lawrence & Nohria (2002) call the third drive (D3), to understand the world and find meaning. Thus could be fundemental to virtually all human activity.

Also, in my opinion because sensemaking is social, it is vunerable to the influnce of political and media forces. Your compliance with a group's sensemaking will depend on how your sensemaking matches the group consensus and the force of social, political or coersion applied.

Sensemaking isn't truth, or even complete. As Weick points out above, it only needs to be plausible and 'agreed' to be a working proposition. Even a working proposition can get you killed, or save your life -- When you get the right one. Which is why sensemaking is probably one of the deepest ingrained survival skills we brought from the savanna. I wasn't there, so I can't prove that.

  • Lawrence, P.R. & Nohria, N. (2002) DRIVEN: How Human Nature Shapes Our Choices, Edn, Boston, MA, Jossey-Bass.
  • Weick, Karl E. (1995) Sensemaking in Organizations, SAGE.
  • Weick, Karl E. (1999) Sensemaking as an organizational dimension of global change. In WEICK, K.E. (Ed.) Making Sense of the Organization. Oxford, UK, Blackwell Publishers.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Be a Solution.


better-than-best: This is a construct to encompass the notion of achieving beyond your top past performance.

There are at least two ways to take this concept forward. One is teamwork. You'd never expect a single player to out perform his/her team. A second parallels what happens in training, or education. You can practice new skills. You can run some extra laps and develop your potential beyond the current level. What other strategies are there for you to shine!

Consider ... Your "best" is still only your best so far. Even if you have already climbed Everest, there are 100-s of things yet to do.

As well it is possible to put those added skills and abilities together with others who resonate with your values and objectives. Best of all is the magic that can happen when a group shares and alignment with purpose.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Be a Solution.


purpose: The reason for being, the thing we are doing <whatever it is> for.

The purpose of a bee, is it to collect nectar and pollen? To return to the hive and feed the queen.

The bee also through her actions pollinates the flowers. Further the beautiful flowers are coloured to attract the bees and other insects. The bee has at least two further purposes. Encourage beauty in the world with colours in flowers. To pollinate flowers and fertilise plants, creatine new seed and ultimately new plants.

Our lesson, could be that we are not always aware of all the effects we have in this world. By ensuring we are most aligned with our own purpose -- We can know we are working in the natural order of stuff; to be fitting with the natural ebb, flow and cycles of existance.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Be a Solution.

kindness (8 x words)

kindness: ... Some actions are always going to be subjective. Almost all displays of kindness will be judgment calls.

'Kindness' is also a matter of degree. There is an old proverb: teach a man to fish he can feed himself for a lifetime. Simply giving him a fish only feeds him for a day. Giving of a fish is as much a kindness as showing our friend how to fish.

In general, I prefer giving over a fish, and asking when my friend would like to learn about fishing.? Does it show respect to launch into teaching without agreement?

Why is being kind a value judgment? Well, what if my new friend doesn't like fish -- That fish will still keep my friend alive. Unfortunately some others can feel that it would be 'kind' for me to support or enable limitations or addictions. I don't do that and that position can hurt too. While that may not be kind to me, it hurts more to contribute to the problem.

Be a Solution.
That is the origin for the notion that the biggest kindness on offer is to be a solution. Fishing lessons, when the student is ready.

8 x words: manners, integrity, kindness, honour,
relationship, humour, and courage.

~ "Eight Words to Live By", Rosemary Herceg & Tim Flattery
(BRW, 17-Dec-1999, p.120)

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Be a Solution.


Wholistic Of or relating to a whole. Where a thing is considered as a single unit perhaps made-up of parts. The parts work together making the whole. You might be a whole, if we consider you as a system of mind, body, spirit, your indigenous bacteria, your social context, etc.

The opposite is reductionism where we logically split off an interesting part from the whole to understand how that part works. Considering the human example of you as a system, clearly there is a need to limit consideration unless the objective is to go crazy.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Be a Solution.


affluence: Is a great word! A dictionary will show you that it means plenty. An abundance of resources.

It can include the notion of a flow of these resources. The attraction and generosity of resources, flowing towards and from a point, a nexus. This is an important point. Through making yourself such a nexus, you engage in the flow.

In comparison, an abundance could be thought of the current score. Affluence is the whole game! The to-and-fro, the system and intra-dependences that makes your game fun to watch, and more fun to participate in.

In that context, "abundance" is at best a photo in the newspaper, or the "shot of the day" video clip. Is not the whole game so much better than the video?!