[E100 Alert] - KB Book-of-the-Month (13 July 2004) - INTERVIEW and REMINDER

Dear E100:

You've received the preliminary notice of the event featuring The Innovation SuperHighway as the inaugural Book-of-the-Month and scheduled for:

Date: July 13th, 2004
Time: 14:00 BST, 15:00 CET, 09:00 USA East Time.

You have also received the Study Guide in preparation for the event. And some of you are already familiar with three leading practitioners among us - Leif Edvinsson, Hubert Saint-Onge and Joachim Doering - who wrote the Collaborative Foreword - an innovation itself.

Note that a conversation has already begun based upon 10 interview questions I was provided (see below). If you want to partake in that dialogue, just enter KnowledgeBoard. Take a look...you may be a bit surprised at what you discover. Better - offer your own insights and queries to one another. I'm listening...

Debra M. Amidon: Ten Questions in preparation for the KnowledgeBoard Book-of-the-Month
1. Who are you?

You can read my bio but...

As a former college administrator, government official and industrial manager, one thing has been constant. I consider myself a managerial architect who believes in innovating our future through collaborative advantage.

2. What was the greatest challenge of your life?

The book opens with a quote from Robert Frost: "Two roads diverged in the wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." Writing a 'how-to' book on innovation strategy for the knowledge economy when most people had not yet realized a new approach was even essential. Equally difficult was following with a book that stretches the vision of the current progressive knowledge practice.

3. In which occasion did you learn something really essential?

Once my brother gave me a card citing: "Reaching the top of the mountain only provides an opportunity to see what new mountains to climb." There is hardly an interaction that has not provided me with alternative (or reinforced) perspectives that have had an impact. Whether it has been sitting with the aborigines in Desert Knowledge Australia, in the streets of Caracas with dedicated PDVSA managers wrestling with their country's illiteracy plight, on a plane from Bogotá, Colombia, invited to speak in Manizales about building a knowledge city when the coffee industry shifted to Asia, working with the US State Department on converting Russia to a Knowledge Economy, conversing with people from all countries and language not being their native language, addressing thousands in Kuala Lumpur representing 83 countries building Knowledge Societies, or receiving an unexpected query from a doctoral student seeking a thesis topic.

Most people do not realize that most of the real leaders in the field are actually practitioners with vision and motivation to openly share insights real-time. The leaders are learners and the learners are leaders. I admire most the executives of public and private institutions - nations included - who are embracing the concepts and putting them into action. It is their steps of progress upon which relies our future success.

4. What do you like in your profession?

Perhaps it is the quest - the promise in the eyes of people around the world - industrialized or developing nations - who realize that something fundamental is happening, and we are all playing a role in this evolution.

These are the men, women and children who are exploring, discovering, and finding new ways to build prosperity and purpose. They are innovators with values and vision for whom I provide visibility as the E100. The computer and communications technology provides us ways to connect and converse in unprecedented ways. Although there is no substitute for the face-to-face interactions, we have opportunities to leverage the competencies of one another in wonderful (albeit sometimes destructive when misused) ways. One person can, indeed, begin a wave that can impact millions. The base assumption of The Innovation SuperHighway is that the social - perhaps even more than the technical - networks are changing our management landscape real-time. Most important, our visions are being realized in substantive ways; and dimensions we initially never thought important (e.g. environment, culture and performing arts) are critical to how progress unfolds.

5. What is your biggest dream?

My adventure in the knowledge profession began explicitly a knowledge exchange staff (1986) and a roundtable on Management Knowledge Assets into the 21st Century (1987) where I wrote about intellectual capital.

It was admittedly a mandate of national competitive advantage. The agenda for most had profitability in mind and at the enterprise level with a delineation of knowledge industries and knowledge workers.

Now, it is one of international collaboration and applies to all levels of the economy; and we have hundreds of initiatives worldwide to build knowledge cities, knowledge regions and a knowledge world...all within about 15 short years.

My dream?

Simply stated, knowledge strategy is (and has always been) a platform for world peace - nothing less. The ultimate form of (unhealthy) competition is war. Given some of the modern principles, practices and policies of a Knowledge Economy, we should have within our grasp a more sustainable, equitable and humane world.

The closing section of the book outlines a role for our Knowledge Millennium Generation, a Blueprint for 21st Century Innovation and a vision of the World Trade of Ideas - a modern Bretton Woods.

6. What is the difference between a community and a network?

Discrepancies between the two have significantly decreased with some recent leadership work. One would say that the difference lies in a sense of responsibility - not only for ones own accountability but the welfare of others. Effective networks provide for this...and more. Perhaps a better question would be the difference between these and other associations, societies or gatherings. I suppose it lies in a sense of purpose, mutual trust and shared/aligned vision of what is to be accomplished.

7. How did you come to KnowledgeBoard?

KnowledgeBoard - in my estimation - has the potential to be the leading international (not just European) portal for knowledge and innovation practice. I discovered it shortly after its inception and found the dynamics of interaction worth pursuit.

8. The book you finished recently?

The book we will be discussing is entitled The Innovation SuperHighway. However, there are two other books: one entitled Knowledge Economics scheduled for release in September by Tartu University Press; and the second is a child's book for leadership executives entitled In Search of Innovation.

9. Who do you admire?

Of course, the spheres of admiration begin at home. My recent book is dedicated to the youth of the world - especially Clint (my husband) who keeps the child in me alive and Kendra (my daughter) who makes life worth living. The Innovation SuperHighway is dedicated to the late Dr. George Kozmetsky who - like my other mentors Dr. Tom Malone and Admiral Bobby Inman - motivate me to realize my vision. There are three practitioners - Leif Edvinsson (Sweden), Hubert Saint-Onge (Canada) and Joachim Doering (Germany) who have been my constant companions in the process.

There is the E100 from 52 countries on the Global Knowledge Leadership Map from whom I continuously learn and tens of thousands in the Network who constantly challenge and enrich my thinking. Basically, I admire those with values, vision and substance with the courage to make a difference.

10. How do you support knowledge sharing?

In the halls of Warsaw, Poland, I once saw the quote of a Polish philosopher, Staszic: "What good is knowledge if it is not put to the use of society."

Similarly, when I subtitled my previous book The Ken Awakening, I discovered in conversing with Dr. Peter Drucker that 'Ken' was a word that meant both knowledge and vision (i.e., a vision to put knowledge into action.' 'Ken' also translates into the Celtic languages, Chinese, Japanese, Africanz, Hebrew and even Sanskrit. All over the world, we are coming to this awakening of how to innovate our future...together.

See you on Tuesday...


"The Innovation SuperHighway is an invitation to us all to roll up our sleeves and co-build a new foundation for a world economy."
-Dr Charles Savage



Debra M. Amidon
Founder and CEO
ENTOVATION International Ltd.
2 Reading Avenue, Suite 300
Wilmington, MA 01887 USA
T: 978/988-7995
F: 978/863-0124
E-mail: debra@entovation.com
URL: http://www.entovation.com

"Innovating our future...together."

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