Just received David Gurteen's latest Knowledge Lletter and was struck by his opener:
Some sound advice here from David Ogilivy. We send an email when we would do better to walk around to the person we wish to engage and have a conversation with them or failing that pick up the phone.
In reading this, I made a connection with a statement by Peter Block that struck me when I read it at the time.
Connection -- We must establish a personal connection with each other.
Connection before content. Without relatedness, no work can occur.
Credit: Civic Engagement and the Restoration of Community: Changing the Nature of the Conversation by Peter Block
I've had a number of conversations along the same lines recently. It's not enough to say that we live in a "knowledge" economy. Because the value of knowledge is very small unless it is put to work (then it can be infinite).
How do you put knowledge to work? It happens collaboratively.
Knowledge put to work is intangible capital. IC is a dynamic system including all the elements pictured above. It's impossible to talk about work today without talking about each of these elements, how they interact and how the system creates value. This concept of work as a dynamic collaborative system is very different from the linear processes that characterized work in the industrial era.
Connection before collaboration, before work is done? It makes a lot of sense. But it speaks to a very different view of the organization, one that demands new approaches to measurement, new approaches to management. one that truly values the intangibles held in human, relationship, structural and strategic capital. What to get work done? Start thinking differently.