Working with Victoria and Suzanne creating our C21org blog is a joy. The conversation during our meetings to plot next steps is always rich including great stories. Friday it was the unbelievable tale of the cow on the University of Virginia rotunda, confirmed by a report in the university paper
A horrific story for this farm girl who recalls the only time cows willingly leave the herd is when ill or giving birth. (Steve Borgatti tells me cow-licking networks have even been the subject of social network analysis.) Clearly the UVA cow did not adapt well to it's unexpected strange environment. It died.
How appropriate then that Rob Cross is toiling in the shadow of the same Jeffersonian rotunda to give organizations tools to better understand and manage highly connected, networked, global, complex, fast moving organizations with diverse, mobile, increasingly knowledgeable employees? www.networkroundtable.org
The new mindsets needed for 21st century business emerged during the February 20-March 2, 2006 AOK STAR discussion with Verna Allee The following snippet short changes a wonderfully rich dialogue but in an exchange with Jack Ring who had written:
"The next icon seems to be the 'earthrise' image from orbiting astronauts which moved 'me' to 'us'"
"I love the "earthrise" image. Someone once asked me what catastrophic event would have to happen for managers to fully grasp the new principles and practices we have all been talking about. My belief is that the pivotal event actually happened years ago - when we saw the earth from space. We got it down to our toes as a species that we are all connected and interdependent not only with each other but with the earth herself. What we are now struggling with (in KM and other disciplines) is trying to reconcile our business and economic models with that new understanding. To relate to the identity question, earthrise awakened a new sense of identity for many that transcended locality beyond my neighborhood, my community, city even nation state. It really ushered a new era of global citizenship that is still awakening but our species is learning to flex its muscles through networking and collective action. Very interesting times."
"Interesting times" indeed. Hopefully the evolution of tools (including organizational network analysis, Verna Allee's value network analysis, complexity thinking, story telling, conversation techniques, organizations as ecosystems), and an "earthrise mindset" will make organizations more successful doing business in a C21 world than did the poor cow unexpectedly alone on the Jeffersonian rotunda unprepared for it's new view of the world.
One has to wonder how much better the cow would have fared having studied bovine folklore about the cow that jumped over the moon?
~ Jenny Ambrozek