Why Are They Always So Much The Same ?

.. and why are they


1) always highlighting the same responses and answers, and


2) why do attendees keep seeking answers and / or pointers to the same problems, over and over again ?


“TheY” refers to conferences about things organizational … effectiveness, productivity, heightened performance .. yes, those elusive things we are always promised and are always seeking.

Here’s a recent example that I noticed while borowsing.  I noticed it because I was reading the session description quickly and it struck me that it could be any one of hundreds or thousands of similar descriptions of similar sessions over the past decade or so.  Only a few words here and there need to be changed, and you’ve got

1) what is always on promise, and

2) what people always say they are seeking and will buy.

Why, then, are many areas of work and organizational effectiveness not necessarily improving, or why do things in a given system keep breaking down, or why is innovation only a rare and unforeseeable response, etc. ?  If solutions are always on offer and people in organizations who work on such things are always buying the solutions on offer … could it be that the current models and methods aren’t effective for an increasingly networked environment ?


Keynote – Human Resources Meets Enterprise 2.0 and the Cloud #e2conf(Location: B5)


( ___________) Human Capital Management is rapidly evolving and broadening its focus.

Today’s mission revolves not only around helping ( ____) shape culture, and ( ______)managing compensation and benefits, but on acquiring, developing and retaining key talent, aligning employee performance with business results, and supporting organizational innovation and change.

In support of this evolving mandate, companies are leveraging a variety of (____________) social and collaboration  technologies combined with Cloud architectures that are delivering bottom line results.

This panel of senior business and IT executives will examine how they are applying and realizing value from the use of modern technologies to solve specific HCM and related problems.


You can replace the bold italicized words up above with any of a range of other issues or descriptors, and you have the basic template for what is …


1) always on offer, and

2) always being sought


… in the world of professional advice, coaching and consulting.  It never changes, and it probably never will.


I think we are seeing a proliferaton of case studies and stories about early progress regarding collaboration and social computing that is effective for a given purpose and in a given context.  I’m sure we’ll see many more.  I don’t think that are many cases where comprehensive and systemic collaboration and social computing have been so widely adopted that the formal bases for work design and organizational performance are measured in, by or from networks, but I am

1) willing to be surprised and

2) certain that integrated, and integrative, case studies and stores will continue to appear.

It seems clear that we are witnessing the birth and early adaptive days of a new and real paradigm shift now grindingly underway.

I and many others have been expecting this for some time, and have commented here and there in the past as the more formal (and bigger) consulting firms and vendors have begun to develop and advertise their presence and capabilities.

We may be witnessing the real and tangible coming-into-being of the long-ballyhooed learning organization, wherein continual (and often self-directed and informal) learning becomes the core means for ongoing adaptation to rolling change.  It’s been predicted for a long time.

Now that social computing / networking, collaboration and social learning are the new black, I guess we will all spend the next decade learning what are the best practices / examples, how to navigate and thrive in complexity, how to be a brand of one in a mass market of niches, how to be an unstressed and happy life-long always-on learner, and how each of us can drive bottom-line results, each and every day.


As the always-astute Dr. Anne-Marie McEwan recentley stated on a mutual friend’s blog …


” .. I find myself linking back to Karl Weick’s “Social Psychology of Organising”. Again paraphrasing, he says that adopting a minimalist approach to understanding social dynamics reveals enormous complexity.

So connecting back to Mandelbrot, it seems to me that like the coastline, the closer you get to dynamic, social human behaviour, the more complex it appears. So much easier for the business schools and experts to talk in terms of frameworks and methods.

We have all worked somewhere and know from experience that the quality of our relationships is what fundamentally matters. We know it and choose to ignore it. Too difficult?

Oh and then re-invent. Enterprise 2.0, anyone?”






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