Saturday, August 24, 2002

Article : Encourage Your Employees to Play - Simulations Provide Opportunities to Learn About Making Complex Decisions : By Jack C. Green, Ph.D. - "The VP for marketing is making plans for a big advertising blitz in the third quarter to introduce a "new and improved" camera in time for the Christmas sales season when she is reminded by the VP for production that they won't actually have the new product until January. They did not begin funding the research and development process early enough to have a new product actually in production before then. When she protests to the CEO that the competition is going to take away their market share, he acknowledges that this is a problem, but reminds her that they were in difficult financial situation in the first quarter and that the whole team had agreed to hold off on new investments. She can protest, but that is the situation … A meeting of the executive committee of a major corporation? Could be, but in this case it is a team engaged in a business strategy simulation. Simulations have become increasingly complex and realistic in the last few years. They have also become increasingly popular, both in universities and in corporate training settings. A study done in the late 1990's found that over 98% of the business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business used at least one simulation in their programs and over 60% of large businesses use them in their training programs. There is good reason for this. Research over the past twenty-five years has consistently shown that students have more positive attitudes toward learning from a business game than from other teaching approaches. (Faria, 2001). This is true of business people as well as students."
* Go to Encourage Your Employees to Play, published in the Summer 2002 edition of Graziadio Business Report
* Source: Originally encountered in the Simulation Articles – Forio Forum newsletter
e-Journal (New) : IT&Society :
"web-based scholarly journal devoted to the scientific analysis of the social impact of information technology on society, with special emphasis on quantitative survey analysis … The intended audience for this research quarterly includes the community of scholars interested in the social impact of new technologies, as well as policy makers, media analysts, computer professionals and interested members of the general public … Issues are made available free online, with the expectation that readers will contribute to the journal by offering constructive commentary, volunteering services, bringing the journal to the attention of those who don't know about it, making suggestions for improving research and increasing the volume of useful dialogue about the role of information technology on society."
* Issue 1, Volume 1 includes:
* I: Time-Diary Studies
- The Impact of Internet Use on Sociability: Time-Diary Findings Norman H. Nie, D. Sunshine Hillygus
- Information Technology and Social Time Displacement Meyer Kestnbaum, John P. Robinson, Alan Neustadtl, Anthony Alvarez
Social Activity and Internet Use in Dual-Earner Families: A Weekly Time-Diary Approach Yeu Qiu, Tetyana Pudrovska, Suzanne Bianchi
- The Internet and Time Displacement: A Canadian Perspective Gilles Pronovost
- Social Leisure and Home IT: A Time-Diary Approach Jonathan Gershuny
* II: Behavior Estimates
- Social Contact Differences among Internet Users and Nonusers in the General Social Survey Alan Neustadl, John P. Robinson
- Sex, Church and the Internet John P. Robinson, J. Merrill Shanks
- Internet Evolution and Social Impact Sara Kiesler, Robert Kraut, Jonathon Cummings, Bonka Boneva, Vicki Helgeson, Anne Crawford
- Emails That Matter: Changing Patterns of Internet Use Over a Year's Time John B. Horrigan, Lee Rainie
- The Networked Nature of Community Online and Offline Barry Wellman, Jeffrey Boase, Wenhong Chen
- Project Syntopia: Social Consequences of Internet Use James E. Katz, Ronald E. Rice
- The Internet, Social Networks and Loneliness Jean-Francois Coget, Yutaka Yamauchi, Michael Suman
- Internet Use and Sociability in the UCLA Data: A Simplified MCA Analysis Jeffrey Cole, John P. Robinson
- Internet Use and Sociability in Mainland China and Hong Kong Betty K. M. Lee, Jonathan J. H. Zhu
- Internet Use and Social Life/Attitudes in Urban Mainland China Guo Liang, Bu Wei
- Internet Use and Sociability in Japan Shunji Mikami
- Bounded Sociability, Relationship Costs and Intangible Resources in Complex Digital Networks Andreina Mandelli
- Internet And Society: A Preliminary Report Norman H. Nie, Lutz Erbring
* III: Social Attitudes
- The Online "Diversity Divide": Public Opinion Differences Among Internet Users and Nonusers John P. Robinson, Alan Neustadtl, Meyer Kestnbaum
- Online Deliberation and its Influence: The Electronic Dialogue Project in Campaign 2000 Vincent Price, Joseph N. Cappella
* Go to IT&Society
* Source: Originally encountered on the FOS News weblog
Forecasting : The GW Forecast - George Washington University Forecast of Technology and Strategy : "People everywhere sense the world is passing through a profound transformation, but they lack a convenient, reliable source of information to guide their understanding and to help them make decisions. The GW Forecast fills this need by bringing experts together online to forecast forthcoming breakthroughs and strategically plan for their impact. It can be thought of as a "virtual think-tank" that conducts its work electronically. The Forecast pools the collective knowledge of the world's best authorities, and then automatically distributes the most accurate possible forecasts based on this data to you -- anywhere in the world, on any prominent emerging technology or strategic issue, in real time."
* Content is organized into the following sections: About GW Forecast, Expert’s Workshop (become an expert, enter estimates, expert panel, and submission), Knowledge Base (articles, briefings, latest results, related sites, and summary of results), Supporting Cast, Visitor’s Gallery (guestbook and talkback), and What’s New
* Go to The GW Forecast
* Source: Originally encountered on the Plausible Futures Newsletter
Primer (Copyright) : The © Primer :
"an introduction to issues concerning copyright ownership and use of information. The interactive tutorial overviews the underlying principles behind copyright in the United States, outlines the requirements for copyright protection as well as discusses the parameters of use and access of copyrighted material … The © Primer is intended to introduce both creators and users of information to the nuts and bolts of copyright law. Consisting of twenty-one questions and answers, the © Primer includes illustrative scenarios and resources for further information and study."
* Go to The © Primer, provided by the Center for Intellectual Property and Copyright in the Digital Environment
Tool : GoogleMail : "We've built an email interface to Google. Actually, the folks in Marketing built it, which says a lot about the simplicity of Web services. Just email and put the text of your query in the 'Subject' line. You'll receive your search results via email … It's not going to take the world by storm, but maybe it'll kick start some thought processes on the power of Web Services. It might be useful for PDAs, mobile phones, offline laptop users, and generally people who have infrequent, low quality access to the Internet. Some people may find it easier to use email rather than launch a browser, or maybe you could just use it to remind yourself to do something on the Internet..."
* Go to GoogleMail
* Source: Originally encountered on the LIS News weblog

Friday, August 23, 2002

Article : Making Change Stick :
By Thomas A Stewart; Published August 23, 2002 - "Most change-management efforts fail. But General Electric's was massively successful and still works. Here's what it can teach us … Repeat after me: The only constant is change. We live in an era of rapid, discontinuous change. We are navigating in permanent white water. These are turbulent times. Change or die … The occasion was the publication of a new book by Dave Ulrich (University of Michigan, human resources), Steve Kerr (Goldman Sachs, chief learning officer, proving that learning and Wall Street are not incompatible), and Ron Ashkenas (consultant, Robert H. Schaffer & Associates). The book, The GE Work-Out (plus an overlong subtitle), celebrates and teaches what is, arguably, the most successful large-scale organizational change effort in business history … Most change programs are about thinking outside the box. Work-Outs are about working outside the box. They are Work-Outs, not Think-Outs or Be-Ins or Sit-Ins or Teach-Ins. No shadow falls between the idea and the reality, between the motion and the act. It's easy to agree to change; we all manage to do so every New Year's Eve. But in a Work-Out, change -- and a deadline -- is built in."
* Go to Making Change Stick, published in Business 2.0
* Go to The GE Work-Out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indigo
Book (and Companion Web Site) : Making Markets - How Firms Can Design and Profit from Online Auctions and Exchanges : By Ajit Kambil and Eric Van Heck; Published June 2002 - "Central to all advanced economies, markets are transitioning from place to space. But as the recent failures of prominent B2B markets have shown, they don't always do so smoothly. Ajit Kambil and Eric van Heck, leading experts on electronic markets, show how firms can use electronic markets strategically and make them work … In Making Markets, Kambil and van Heck unveil the results of their ten-year study of nearly 100 markets-and argue that by decade's end, online auctions and exchanges will be an essential part of business. They explain why so many markets failed and show how to design and effectively use markets-in the supply chain, to connect with customers, to manage risks, and within global firms-to increase efficiency and find the best information … Through examples from eBay to British Petroleum, and from the Dutch flower auctions to Dow Chemical, the authors reveal how both on- and offline market makers are rewriting the rules of commerce, identify the new rules for market making, and show how companies can carry them out effectively … This practical guide will help strategists design and implement the ultimate market: one that captures the feel and trust of a physical community but leverages the power and efficiency of new technologies for the benefit of sellers and buyers. "
* Checkout the Companion web site – where you will find: Chapter 1 (downloadable); Frontiers and Research; Teaching; and more
* Read Accenture’s coverage of the book
* Go to this book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Poll (Global Environment) : Online Global Poll on the Environment : "Welcome to this first ever Online Global Poll on the issues of the environment and sustainable development … We all share the same earth and the same environment. We believe that everyone's voice should be heard in debating the policies and making the decisions that affect us all. The earth belongs to all of us … This first in the world, Online Global Poll is being conducted in conjunction with the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development being held in Johannesburg South Africa from August 25 to September 4, 2002 … Your participation in this global poll adds voice to the many thousands worldwide expressing how they feel about the environment, and what they feel their leaders should do to protect their environment. The results of this poll will be shared with worldwide leaders, political and corporate leaders who are gathering in Johannesburg with the intent of developing global programs to improve the environment … Your opinion is important so please take 5 to 7 minutes to answer the following questions …"
* Go to the Online Global Poll on the Environment
Report : Sustainability at the Speed of Light : "This report is a contribution from WWF [World Wildlife Federation] to the discussion about ICT [Information and Communication Technologies] in tomorrow's society. We have asked some of the best experts in the world to contribute with a chapter in which they describe the role of ICT for Sustainable Development in their respective fields … The report is an attempt to bridge the gap between the ICT experts and the policy makers in both politics and business. It is WWFs firm belief that these groups, together with the rest of society, need to talk more frequently and openly to each other if we want to create a sustainable framework for the ICT-development."
* Go to Sustainability at the Speed of Light, published July 2002
Tool (Internet Security Test for Windows) : Shields UP! : "Without your knowledge or explicit permission, the Windows networking technology which connects your computer to the Internet may be offering some or all of your computer's data to the entire world at this very moment! … Shields UP! quickly checks the security of your computer's connection to the Internet."
* Go to Shields UP!

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Article : 18 Ways to Take Charge – Fast : "There are few career moments as exciting -- and these days, as perilous -- as taking over the top job at a company, business unit, or department. But what exactly do you do once you're in charge? This online guide provides 18 tactics -- and case studies -- to help you take the reigns running. (his online guide is based on the September 2002 article, ‘Sudden Impact.’ But why stop at 18? Don't forget to share your own experiences and advice using our Sound Off! feature below.)"
* Tactics include:
1. Begin your transition before you start the job
2. Travel widely within your organization, listen carefully, and look for patterns in everything you see and hear
3. As you ask questions, look for the rising stars whom you want as part of your team
4. Identify the kind of people who will flourish in the environment you want to establish
5. After you've identified the ideal individual, identify the ideal group
6. Acknowledge what you don't know. Identify those around you are the experts and don't be afraid to lean on them
7. Don't be afraid to listen to people who disagree
8. But clean house if you have to
9. Establish a way to communicate with -- and listen to -- your entire team
10. Don't trash your predecessor, but don't be shy about promoting your own agenda
11. Settle on a few major priorities. You can't fix everything at once
12. Meet the customers. Balance the big picture vision with-front line views
13. Target a few early wins. Momentum counts, and nothing succeeds like success
14. Keep an eye on the clock. Faster is almost always better
15. Don't be afraid to make mistakes but be sure to fix them faster than you make them
16. Be wary of reckless re-engineering
17. Don't be afraid to look for ideas in unusual places
18. Finally, ask yourself who do you really want to prevail, you or your organization?
* Applicable to Project Managers too
* Go to 18 Ways to Take Charge – Fast, published in the August edition of FastCompany
Article : Mixed Messages : By Don Blohowiak - "Call it ‘corporate dissonance’ - the stark contradictions between management proclamations and the reality employees experience … It's when bosses commit the organizational equivalent of having one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake: Talking like a leader and acting like a counterweight that stalls initiative and holds down morale Subscribe to the Leader’s Letter and other Resources
* Checkout the daily additions to The Leader’s Briefing (a k-log or weblog)
* Go to Mixed Messages, published by the Lead Well Institute
e-Book (and Author’s Web Site) : Capturing Your Next Conference - Getting Maximum Value From Attending A Conference : By Daniel Tobin; Published July 2002 - "Daniel Tobin has written extensively on corporate learning strategies and has worked in the field for more than 25 years. Why is it, he wondered once at a major conference, that so few people who attend conferences learn what they could learn if they applied some basic tools and principles? ‘Capturing Your Next Conference’ covers why people attend conferences, the costs-benefits of doing so, and how an attendee can actually prepare a ‘Conference Learning Agenda.’ The e-Doc includes many checklists and suggestions, along with prep and note-taking pages at the end. Tobin is also the author of four books, including The Knowledge-Enabled Organization. This e-Doc is published by BrownHerron Publishing, with permission. BH SmartDocs offer global immediacy, delivering new ideas about managing and leading faster and more economically than any other form of publishing; they are sold exclusively by"
* Go to Capturing Your Next Conference
* You may also find material of interest at Corporate Learning Strategies – Daniel Tobin’s web site (Consulting Services, Publications, Seminars and Workshops)
Report : Bowling Together - Online Public Engagement in Policy Deliberation : By Stephen Coleman and John Gøtze - "Two convergent developments are likely to have a profound effect upon the future shape of democracy … Firstly, there is a growing recognition on the part of many within the developed democracies that new relationships between citizens and institutions of governance must emerge if a crisis of democratic legitimacy and accountability is to be averted. As citizens have become less deferential and dependent, and more consumerist and volatile, old styles of representation have come under pressure to change. There is a pervasive contemporary estrangement between representatives and those they represent, manifested in almost every western country by falling voter turnout; lower levels of public participation in civic life; public cynicism towards political institutions and parties; and a collapse in once-strong political loyalties and attachments … The US political scientist, Robert Putnam, in his famous book, Bowling Alone (from which this report derives its more positive title), argues that a decline in membership of civic networks has resulted in a precipitous drop in political engagement … The second reshaper of democracy has been the rise of digital information and communication technologies (ICTs.) These offer a possibility of a new environment for public communication which is interactive, relatively cheap to enter, unconstrained by time or distance, and inclusive. Just as ICTs have had profound effects upon ways that people work, shop, bank, find news and communicate with friends and families, so they will establish new channels to connect citizens to hitherto remote institutions of governance … Methods of public engagement can be described as deliberative when they encourage citizens to scrutinise, discuss and weigh up competing values and policy options. Such methods encourage preference formation rather than simple preference assertion. Public deliberation at its best is characterised by: balanced information; an open agenda; time to consider issues expansively; freedom from manipulation or coercion; a rule-based framework for discussion; participation by an inclusive sample of citizen; scope for free interaction between participants; recognition of differences between participants, but rejection of status-based prejudice … Finally, so as to root this study in the real world, rather than a speculative universe of futuristic schemes for the democratic use of ICTs, we have included brief accounts of some recent international attempts to engage the public online in a deliberative fashion. These are not presented as examples of best (or worst) practice, but in order to show that some (although very few) initiatives are taking place and that these are still experimental, learning experiences rather than evolved models."
* Read on-line or download (48-page, 2.5 MB PDF file)
* Go to Bowling Together
Teamwork : Teamworks – Skills for Collaborative Work : "Teamworks, the Virtual Team Assistant, is a web site developed to provide support for group communication processes, and especially for design teams in engineering and other practical arts and sciences … Teamworks consists of nine informational modules, each of which contains background information, instruments for self-assessment, lessons to develop team work skills, and links to helpful resources. An overall view of the site can be obtained at the Teamworks Site Map. Help using Teamworks is available through the Teamworks Help Page. A search engine will be available to help locate specific information or concepts. Information about the project is provided in our proposal and technical reports. Links to internet resources on Teamworks topics are provided in the Teamworks WWWebliography."
* NOTE: “We are currently moving to a new server, and many of our interactive features are not yet working. Once the move is completed, you will be able to create your own personal Teamworks Tracker that will provide you with a summary of the lessons you have completed and the scores you have earned on Teamworks assessments.”
* Go to Teamworks, a project of the Team Engineering Collaboratory

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Article : Dispatches From the Office Wars : By Thomas A. Stewart, Published August 21, 2002 - "My last column
(Office Behavior: Why Can't We All Just Get Along? - July 30, 2002), touched a nerve. With all the evidence that collaboration is the essence of being human, I asked, why don't people share knowledge at work? … A lot of you wrote back and inspired new ideas …"
* Go to Dispatches From the Office Wars
Article : Instilling a Culture of Corporate Candor : By Warren Bennis; Published August 18, 2002 - "There's only one solution to the crisis of confidence in American business … executives and boards that insist on honesty, openness and tolerance of dissent … A brilliant CEO I know has a plaque prominently displayed on his desk that reads: ‘In every business there is always someone who knows exactly what is going on. That person should be fired.’ … The plaque would be funny if this were not the age of WorldCom, Enron and Arthur Andersen, an era in which a worrisome number of leaders seems more concerned with punishing whistle-blowers than cleaning up their acts … It isn't easy to create a culture of candor within an organization, but it is possible … The leader who pays attention and welcomes information, bad as well as good, has taken the vital first step in creating a candid, honest organization—the only kind that can restore confidence in our leaders and institutions."
* Go to Instilling a Culture of Corporate Candor, published in CIO Insight
Growth (Business) : The Growth Crisis – and How to Beat It : "Few companies have a convincing five-year plan for future growth to offer investors. Traditional sources of growth are running out of steam. What will replace them? … The answer lies in leveraging your hidden assets to meet next-generation customer needs.
- The eighteen types of hidden assets. Most large companies have developed a trove of underutilized resources with a potential value of billions of dollars. We call them hidden assets.
- How to anticipate customers' next-generation needs. Businesses and consumers have just about all of the products they want. Now they need your help using them effectively.
- What won't work. International expansion, M&A, and product innovation can no longer deliver the sustained revenue growth your company needs.
- Examples of real companies. Learn how GE Medical, GM OnStar, John Deere, Cardinal Health, and others have tapped into their hidden asset base to deliver real growth.
- Hidden liabilities. New growth initiatives can be undermined by by the existing processes and practices of a large organization.
- Growth diagnostic. Wondering how your company stacks up? Use our diagnostic to find out."
* A synopsis is available for download (4-page, 535 KB PDF)
* Go to The Growth Crisis, published by Mercer Management Consulting
Interview : Interview with Michael Useem by Jerry M. Bodman : Michael Useem is the author of Leading Up : How to Lead Your Boss So You Both Win? – "which argues that if that if the top people in an organization create a culture in which people below can bring their ideas up, everybody will help to lead the organization and everybody will win." caught up with Author and Professor Michael Useem, on a spring afternoon - the interview taking place via telephone. We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did. Our thanks to Michael Useem for his insight and for sharing his thoughts on leadership."
* Interview questions include:
- Dr. Useem, how has your Leadership style been influenced by your research?
- What relationship do you feel volunteerism has to leadership - if any?
- Who has had the greatest impact on your leadership style and abilities and why?
- Who do you consider to be a great leader today and why?
- If you were giving the state of the union on leadership studies, what would you say? In other words, is there anything new in leadership or do you think the well is pretty much dry on new ideas?
- Speaking of military - in your opinion, is a leader with military experience better?
- What impact do you see sports playing in leadership?
- What do you recommend for someone who wants to develop leadership skills?
- What do you look for in a person to help you determine that person has leadership potential?
- What, in your opinion, is the best way to encourage leadership in youth?
- How much do you rely on intuition or gut instinct?
- You have done a fair amount of research on leaders and situations that involve leadership - what leaders did you find to be the most engaging and why? What characteristics do you find to be the most common among these leaders?
- When you think of your own characteristics as a leader, what would you describe as the skills you have gained and what would you consider as traits you have always possessed?
- If you had time with a ‘Leader of Tomorrow’ and you could tell him/her the highlights of your lessons in leadership, what would they be? And, what is the most important lesson of all?
- and more
* Checkout Michael Useem’s Biography (and coordinates)
* Go to the Interview with Michael Useem, published by
Technology : Web Services : "What are Web services? - They're software components that use open standard communication protocols to interact with other applications over the Internet. An application can use these standards to: easily review a list of available Web services published on the Internet; find relevant services at point-of-need, and invoke the service to complete a task … All of this can be programmed to happen on an ad-hoc basis. The end-promise of Web services is to make it possible for applications to talk and transact automatically, without human intervention. // What is the business impact of Web services…today and tomorrow? - Over the next few years, simple applications of Web services will add value to integration efforts while helping businesses position for the future. For example, Web services standards can be used to make supply chain data visible to trading partners and thus minimize the lag time between order and fulfillment. Or to share information along the design chain, where many organizations are designing parts for a single product. The ability of Web services to act dynamically and transact automatically is already enabling enterprises to streamline certain business transactions, dramatically altering the cost structure of these transactions and enabling services to be delivered in real-time, at the point of need. For example, a company could use a customized Web service to fulfill a specific task in a complex business process, such as performing a credit check with a third party during a customer transaction."
* Offerings include:
- Point of View: Web services
(202 KB PDF)
- Web Service Prototypes
- Feature Articles (How Web Services Will Redefine the Service Economy / Personal Web Services - Anytime, Anywhere)
* Go to Web Services, presented by Accenture

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Article : Building Communities - Strategies for Collaborative Learning : By Soren Kaplan - "In a recent survey by the Masie Center, nearly 2000 learning professionals ranked online communities as one of the top three most important components of e-learning portals. But the term community remains ambiguous, and CLOs are unsure how to start building and integrating them into their organizations. Here's a model that describes a number of practical applications for including community as part of a learning plan and specific strategies for building learning-focused communities."
* Go to Building Communities, published in Learning Circuits
Ideas : Contagion - The Science of Infectious Ideas : "contagion research shows that for an idea to be infectious, that is, to spread by contact, it should not only be 'beddable and spread-able' (attractive and communicable), but should also resolve ambiguity or uncertainty … In today's accelerated and overloaded culture, infectious ideas are those that tend to play on our emotional hot buttons - our deepest fears and wildest hopes, and our cognitive cold buttons - mental short-cuts we use to make sense of an increasingly meaningless world."
* Go to Contagion - The Science of Infectious Ideas
* Source: Originally encountered on the CommonMe weblog
Article : Venture Capital Experiment :
By Stephan Herrera - "Larry Bock is a master at turning lab science into lucrative startups … Larry Bock is one of the most insightful innovators you've never heard of. The 42-year-old venture capitalist rarely speaks at biotechnology conferences. He does not court the media and he does not hype his startups--even though he had founded or cofounded 13 at last count: 12 biotechnology firms and 1, his most recent, a nanotech outfit. (Larry Bock was selected as one of the Top Ten Innovators 2002)"
* Go to Venture Capital Experiment, published in the August 2002 edition of Red Herring
Tool (Problem Personalities) : Difficult Dozen Help Zone : * Advice on dealing with 12 "tricky" types:
- Control Freak
- Gossip
- Ho-hummer
- Hothead
- Know-it-all
- Limelight Hog
- Minimizer
- Pessimist
- Schemer
- Staller
- Stickler
- Whiner
* Select a ‘tough-to-handle’ type, enter your e-mail address, and send – “you'll receive about 325 words of guidance
(4-7 strategies)”
* Go to Difficult Dozen Help Zone, provide by
Technology : Infranet : "An increasing number of countries and companies routinely block or monitor access to parts of the Internet. To counteract these measures, we propose Infranet, a system that enables clients to surreptitiously retrieve sensitive content via cooperating Web servers distributed across the global Internet. These Infranet servers provide clients access to censored sites while continuing to host normal uncensored content. Infranet uses a tunnel protocol that provides a covert communication channel between its clients and servers, modulated over standard HTTP transactions that resemble innocuous Web browsing. In the upstream direction, Infranet clients send covert messages to Infranet servers by associating meaning to the sequence of HTTP requests being made. In the downstream direction, Infranet servers return content by hiding censored data in uncensored images using steganographic techniques. We describe the design, a prototype implementation, security properties, and performance of Infranet. Our security analysis shows that Infranet can successfully circumvent several sophisticated censoring techniques."
* Go to Infranet, a project of the M. I. T. Laboratory for Computer Science

Monday, August 19, 2002

Article : Internet2 - Time to Shed Dot Vertigo : "Managers who believe the Internet is dead and gone do so at their own peril, says HBS professor Richard L. Nolan, who's studied computer use in organizations for many years. Watch out for a new kind of Internet, he says: Internet2."
* Go to Internet2, published on HBS Working Knowledge
Article : The Critical Mind is A Questioning Mind - Learning How to Ask Powerful, Probing Questions : "The key to powerful thinking is powerful questioning. When we ask the right questions, we succeed as a thinker, for questions are the force that powers our thinking. Thinking, at any point in time, can go off in thousands of different directions, some of which, by the way, are dead-ends. Questions define the agenda of our thinking. They determine what information we seek. They lead us in one direction rather than another. They are, therefore, a crucial part of our thinking."
* Checkout other publications in the Center for Critical Learning Library
* Go to The Critical Mind is A Questioning Mind, published by the Critical Thinking Consortium
Report : Average Worker's Tech Skills Not Keeping Pace : By Virginia Dudek; Published August 19, 2002 - "Although unemployment continues to make headlines, the glut in information technology workers is only temporary, experts say. Once the economy improves, demand for IT skills will rise again. But will the workforce be ready? Already employers are finding a persistent lack of qualified applicants trained in programs such as Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) and PeopleSoft (Nasdaq: PSFT). The shortages seem most critical in these high-end areas, but a report by the National Policy Association said that the average worker will not be able to compete in a job market in which industries increasingly require technology-savvy workers at all levels. ‘Rather than a worker gap, there is a skills gap,’ said James Auerbach, senior vice president at the nonprofit research organization. ‘When the recovery starts, we will have the same shortage we did two to three years ago.’ … The report, ‘Building a Digital Workforce: Confronting the Crisis,’ was released by the Digital Economic Opportunity Committee. The committee was established by the association last year to address the skills shortage in the information age economy. The committee is working with business, labor, education, government and nonprofits to develop ongoing training programs to help the average worker -- not just the most technical."
* Go to Average Worker's Tech Skills Not Keeping Pace, published by NewsFactor Network
* NOTE: The Report referred to above (‘Building a Digital Workforce: Confronting the Crisis’), is available at the Building a Digital Workforce web site (bottom of the page) – which was report by SynapShots on June 26, 2002
Speech : Free Culture - Lawrence Lessig Keynote from OSCON 2002 : Presented July 24, 2002; Published August 15, 2002 - "Editor's Note: In his address before a packed house at the Open Source Convention, Lawrence Lessig challenges the audience to get more involved in the political process. Lawrence, a tireless advocate for open source, is a professor of law at Stanford Law School and the founder of the school's Center for Internet and Society. He is also the author of the best-selling book Code, and Other Laws of Cyberspace
Lawrence Lessig’s focus: It has four parts: 1. Creativity and innovation always builds on the past.
2. The past always tries to control the creativity that builds upon it.
3. Free societies enable the future by limiting this power of the past.
4. Ours is less and less a free society."
* Related Resources include: Lawrence Lessig Home Page--Includes links to books (The Future of Ideas and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace), articles, projects, and news. / An MP3 version of this presentation (20.2MB). / A flash version of Lessig's presentation, including audio and other source files. / Creative Commons--A nonprofit organization founded on the notion that some people would prefer to share their creative works (and the power to copy, modify, and distribute their works) instead of exercising all of the restrictions of copyright law. / The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) / O'Reilly Network Policy DevCenter / O'Reilly Open Source Convention Coverage
* Go to Free Culture
Statement : Preserving the Memory of the World in Perpetuity - A Joint Statement on the Archiving and Preserving of Digital Information : Adopted by the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) / IPA (International Publishers Association) Steering Group, meeting in Paris, 27th June 2002; Published August 12, 2002 - "Preserving digital information is becoming an increasingly urgent challenge for both libraries and publishers of books and journals, as the amount of digital information is growing quickly and preservation policies and techniques for this format of material remain unsettled. While many electronic publications are produced in both print and digital formats, although not always at the same time or in identical versions, more and more material is produced as "born digital", that is, it has no print equivalent. It is estimated that much of this type of material has already been lost, as some producers have deleted their electronic publications without recognising the importance of planning for a long-term archiving process. The need is pressing. While the costs of long-term archiving are high, the cost of doing nothing would be disastrous … Libraries have traditionally taken care of the publications they have acquired, and have saved the physical artifact to safeguard the information contained in it. With digital information the safeguarding of the content becomes more of a shared responsibility between the producer and the collector of the information. While both publishers and libraries are committed to maintaining digital files, efforts to date are inconsistent, fragmented and underfunded."
* 7 Principles and Recommendations are listed
* Go to Preserving the Memory of the World in Perpetuity
* Source: Originally encountered on the FOS News weblog

Sunday, August 18, 2002

Book (and Companion Web Site) : Leadership Challenge (3rd Edition) :
By Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner; Published August 2002 - "Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner–two of the country’s premier leadership experts–have completely updated their classic leadership book to meet the challenge of today’s uncertain business environment. Grounded in extensive research and based on hundreds of interviews, The Leadership Challenge captures the continuing interest in leadership in government, corporations, religious groups, and throughout all society … With engaging stories and keen insights, the authors delve into the fundamental aspects of leadership and address the topics that are as current as today’s headlines–speed, the changing workforce, and team-oriented work relationships. Throughout this revised classic, Kouzes and Posner show that not only is leadership everybody’s business but it is a relationship–one of personal self-development and the development of those being led. The book has been reorganized to be a handy "workshop in a book" and contains a wealth of compelling new examples and stories of real leaders that underscore the authors’ basic premise."
* Offerings include:
- A Guide to the Research
- About Kouzes and Posner
- Assessment Instruments
- Jim Kouzes’ ASTD 2002 Presentation Slides (355 KB PDF file)
- The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership
- Tips and FAQs
* Go to Leadership Challenge
Book : Trust and the Health of Organizations : By John G. Bruhn; Published August 2002 - "Leaders are usually held responsible for the trust, health and success of an organization, but it is the culture of organizations that provides the true foundation for these important factors. The leader's personality and skills influence how a trustful environment and working relationship is created, but the organization has a culture, tradition and experience of its own which influences the leader's success. The level of trust in an organization's culture will ultimately determine whether or not it is trustful, healthy and successful. Based on the interview of current and former chief executive officers from profit and non profit organizations to record their experiences in creating trust in their environment and their perceptions of the health of their organizations. The collected data reveals: + The qualities of a ‘trusted’ leader; + How they created trust or; + How trust was destroyed in organizations; + How leaders worked in distrustful environments; + How to create a more healthy organization. This timely work will be of interest to organizations and occupational sociologists, human resource workers, social psychologists, and students of management courses.
* Table of Contents - 1. The Decline of Trust / 2. Trust in Persons / 3. Trust in Organizations / 4. Trust and the Lifecycle of Organizations / 5. How Trust and Distrust Work in Organizations / 6. Challenges to Trust During Change and Crises / 7. The Culture That Wouldn't Budge: A Case Study / 8. The Health of Organizations / 9. The Ethical Organization"
* Go to this book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Conference (Report) : Evaluating the Impact of Knowledge Projects : A report from ‘Measuring Knowledge Value’; Held July 24-25, 2002; By Markus Perkmann - "The speakers approached the issue of 'knowledge value' from two main perspectives:
- The macro view: quantify the intangible assets of an organisation by using tools such as the Balanced Scorecard, score boards, indexes and 'navigators'. According to Karl-Erik Sveiby, the concept of intangible assets attempts to capture the value of human capital, competencies, customer relationships, employee collaboration or diversity in an organisation. On the basis of these concepts, tools such as the Skandia navigator have been created to serve as strategic and monitoring device.
- The micro view: How can the impact of single knowledge projects be assessed and quantified? Example of such knowledge projects mentioned by the speakers included the roll-out of knowledge bases and idea generation systems as well as 'soft' interventions such as communities of practice."
* Go to Evaluating the Impact of Knowledge Projects, published August 16, 2002 in the Knowledge Management Magazine
Interview (Conversation) : What do KM and Cricket Have in Common? : P. Kochikar, KM Head, Education & Research Department, Infosys Technologies is interviewed by Madanmohan Rao
Interview questions include:
- What is your view of what KM can offer a company like Infosys, and how have you approached the issue conceptually?
- How did your KM initiative today evolve from its earlier stages, and how did it fit organically into your company's growth?
- Can you describe some of the KM processes you have implemented for employees?
- How is the KM practice being marketed and evangelized within your company and outside?
- How else are you improving visibility of your KM portal?
- What are some of the content- and people-based KM resources you have designed?
- What are some concerns that can arise here with confidentiality of proprietary client information?
- What kind of organisational support drives your KM initiative?
- How are you incentivising the use of your KM system? A: We have mechanisms to highlight and reward the more notable contributions, and also track utilization of this Body of Knowledge (BoK).
- What mechanisms have you implemented to monitor and track the KM practice?
- What kinds of impact are you observing as a result of your KM system?
- Were there any cultural issues with adopting KM culture across your international offices, due to differences in national/linguistic/regional cultures?
* Go to What do KM and Cricket Have in Common?, published August 16, 2002 in the Knowledge Management Magazine