Voice of the ENTOVATION 100:
into a crusade in search of an ideal.
It can induce them to undo and redo
what they have done wittingly or unwittingly,
and to regain control over the whole
of what they are a part
and more importantly,
- Russell L. Ackoff
Redesigning the Future
It was August 2000, and the conference was designed as a Davos-like meeting of the minds, but for the leaders of Austria. This annual meeting of ALPBACH1 - co-sponsored by the Austria Research Centers, the Federation of Austria Industry and the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation was a weeklong activity dedicated to - “Knowledge as a Production Factor.” Hundreds were in attendance, with sessions ranging from Nobel Laureates to children (ages 8-18) whom participated in Junior ALPBACH.
Perhaps Albert Hochleitner, Director General, Siemens Österrich, Vienna, and President of the Board, Austrian Research Centers, delivered one of the most telling presentations. He suggested that the world barriers are transparent. Achievements of the past are losing value. Today, we buy, sell and use knowledge. Knowledge - and how to deal with it - is critical to surviving nations. There is a doubling of knowledge every 5 years. Size alone is no longer the yardstick for achievement. Along with suppliers, markets have grown - customers used to rely upon resource-based production; today, they can pick form many things. The focus on knowledge and the knowledge society is beyond the level of talk. Companies only use 40% of the knowledge of their staff2. This is reason for alarm.
He provided 3 examples of why knowledge as a production factor has not been understood.
When we are filled with fear in the new Millennium, knowledge will not be disseminated automatically. It must be managed - mined, managed and sold. He had several recommendations: Knowledge has to be identified; Knowledge must be distributed; and new knowledge must be acquired. He concluded, “Doubt may grow with the new knowledge economy; only those will survive who have an awareness of the enormous potential and harnessing it. It is not enough to know, we must apply knowledge - we must do!”
Part I: MetaViews of the E100
Overall, progressive knowledge leaders see a shift from the focus on limited resources – financial, human, and technological – that pervaded the industrial age. With a grant from Siemens AG, we asked Jan Wyllie, CEO of Trend Monitor International3, to provide an in depth analysis (below) of the fundamental trends synthesized from the source quotes of the E100 interviews. By determining key patterns, we have discovered the scope of collective findings among this diverse group of knowledge professionals. What follows are the five Meta Views that arise from his process of concept mapping. Their comments have also been categorized according to the ten dimensions of innovation strategy (later in this Chapter) and will soon serve as the foundation of an electronic dialogue on the topics individually and the methodology as a whole. The collective insights will be available in a new forthcoming intelligence service.
In the meantime, enjoy the identification of the trends below as a prospectus on the future we are innovating! At first blush, these identified trends make seem like they come from Pollyanna. On the other hand, if these are legitimate, relevant observations of the shifts in our society, perhaps they do point a direction that can be embraced by veteran and new knowledge managers alike.
It has been only one short year when we first invited a diagonal slice of the ENTOVATION network to participate in the Global Knowledge Leadership Map. They came from a variety of disciplines, a wide range of functional responsibilities and representing 50 nations. There are some recognized thought leaders (e.g., Edvinsson, Nonaka, Pasher, Sveiby, Saint-Onge, et al) as well as newcomers, some of whom just graduated from Ph.D. programs. Some are CEOs or senior managers; others are government officials or academic researchers. There are experts in performance measurement, competitive analysis, and alliance strategy as well as computer/ communications technology. They are all playing a role in shaping our new economy.
A detailed description of the respondents
and summary of their observations has been published in the ‘Global
Momentum of Knowledge Strategy’ now available in several languages. As a
reminder, the questions asked were:
What these individuals seem to share in common is a sense of values, a compelling vision and standards of operational excellence to emulate. This is the reason they have been featured. They are not ALL the experts; the experts have their own forums. They are not ALL the students; they have their internal academic networks. They DO represent a cross-section of expertise that promises to provide robust fodder as to the implications of the Knowledge Economy. In short, I believe they are a virtual community of collaborators working for the common good – a new economic world order based upon knowledge. This will result in profitable growth for the enterprise, the vitality of their respective national economies and the advancement of society – both industrialized and developing nations alike.
Overall, progressive knowledge leaders see a shift from the focus on limited resources – financial, human, and technological – that pervaded the industrial age. By determining key patterns, we have discovered the scope of collective findings among this diverse group of knowledge professionals. What follows are the five Meta Views that arise from his process of concept mapping. Their comments have also been categorized according to the ten dimensions of innovation strategy and will soon serve as the foundation of an electronic dialogue over the next ten months. The collective insights will be available in a new forthcoming intelligence service.
In the meantime, enjoy the identification of the trends below as a prospectus on the future we are innovating! At first blush, these identified trends make seem like they come from Pollyanna. On the other hand, if these are legitimate, relevant observations of the shifts in our society, perhaps they do point a direction that can be embraced by veteran and new knowledge.
Meta View #1: Economy to Holonomy
Synthesis: A multi-faceted conception of a world knowledge commonwealth replacing the world of nations is proposed, as a means of going beyond the one-dimensional, zero-sum game of economics and interest driven money. The knowledge commonwealth, which includes what we now classify as social and moral issues, could not be controlled, or even led, although it might be balanced. In this New Eden, the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life grow together "into one tree", as thinking about knowledge becomes less abstract and more conscious, more concerned with diversity and wisdom, than the struggle between right and wrong.
Comments: If the validity of both nations and companies is being questioned, the key drivers and supports for the Western consumer economy are likely to be rethought out of existence. A new much more holistic concept of wealth is implied in which the importance of money as the measure of all things necessarily becomes diminished. One of the original reasons for forming Nation-States was as a curb human greed and aggression. It would be ironic, but hardly surprising that this artifice has had the opposite effect.
Questions: Without the national state and corporate players as the main economic actors, who would the players be in a knowledge commonwealth?
Meta View #2: Control to Humility
(To continue reading Voice of the Entovation 100 please see the associated Word document.)
1 The detailed report of the
ALPBACH 2000 conference can be found: http://www.entovation.com/gkp/alpach.htm.
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