440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700

Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 15:46:43 -0700

03 00050 61 04062001

Mr. John Maloney
KM Cluster
1329 Taylor Street #12
San Francisco, CA 94108
Subject:   Knowledge Leadership Oxymoron - June 25, 2004

Dear John,

Glad to hear in your notice today, shown below, that you will be gathering top minds in New York city later this month to discuss knowledge management. These events take a lot of work, and we all applaud your stellar efforts. At the same time, I object to the negative tone of the announcement that spends a lot of time saying what will not be presented, and prescious little in the way of saying what will be presented. I further object to the opprobrium directed toward "mechanistic" solutions for implementing hard won knowledge from experience over the past two (2) millennia that guides the practice of management to empower people with command and control of the work, as explained in POIMS.
It was disappointing when your group met on 991217 with professionals from around the world saying they did not understand the meaning of "knowledge," and hoped to find an answer by attending your KM event.
It was again, sad to hear three (3) years later in your letter on 020608 that Knowledge Management remains a mystery, i.e., a failure, to prominent thought leaders, which is simply glossed over by substituting "knowledge" for "information" in professional papers, events and product specifications.
Now, two (2) years hence, rather than educate to enlighten, professional events are still dimming the lights. The current fashion seems to be following the path of SAT for college entrance, by dumbing down the meaning of "knowledge," evident from the complete loss of direction in the announcement, shown below, for a professional event in New York city on knowlege management. Peter Drucker notes, from decades of experience, that people have given up on improving communication, because the task is complex, reviewed on 931130...
For retreat to now be presented and advocated as a "new solution" in the greatest city on earth, signals that the entire culture has lost its way, sailing without rudder nor compass.
Perhaps this explains how a few guys with box cutters defeated the entire "intelligence" apparatus of a great power to bring down the World Trade Center and strike at the heart of western defense in Washington DC on 010911.
Sprinkling in a few truths, e.g., that reengineering was largely misapplied in the 90s, and that improvement requires temporarily setting aside disbelief in order to test and possibly form new, more useful beliefs, by experimenting to acquire new experience, cannot, however, overcome the disconnect between the KM event notice below, and any reasonable notion of "knowledge," as a process that continually refines accuracy of understanding, i.e., mentally associating, and remembering, cause and effect, based on experience and history of people taking action. This seems to be the opposite of what is proposed for the event in New York, as shown below (e.g., "mechanism" typically implies process, efficiency and productivity by saving time, money and lives, but is used throughout the event notice as an odious epithet), and so underscores research on 020812 indicating that people, who claim to advocate advance from information to a culture of knowledge, in fact, cling to the old ways of relying on talk to avoid accountability, as observed by Andy Grove, reviewed on 980307...

...and noted earlier by Plato in 400 BC, commenting on tensions, still evident today in your announcement advocating reliance on conversation to build the job, and avering the mechanics of literacy, much less advancing to knowledge tools that strengthen accuracy by an order of magnitude, reviewed on 991209...

Accordingly, there is no basis to eschew people, process and time aided and applied through technology, since that is the mechanism that drives civilization by making people superhuman, observed by Doug Lenat, reviewed on 010622....
There are many well meaning and talented people working along side you in knowledge management, as there are in medicine, engineering, government, education, et al. Hopefully, some will come to New York and help adjust course toward integrating management science, computer science and cognitive science, generally called out by Drucker in his article published in the Atlantic Monthly to solve the core problem he identified earlier, reviewed on 991025...

...and supported by luminaries like Engelbart, Conklin, Gelernter, Landauer, and others.

Since there is no lack of good ideas, please focus on making good use of them in future events. Don't tell us what you're not doing -- tell us how KM can help people ask the right questions to innovate and improve objectives, requirements and commitments for getting things done correctly, on time and within budget to save lives, time and money.
Tell us how KM can add intelligence to information that grows knowledge for solving gridlock in transportation, technology, leadership, health care, national security. This is a big, important, urgent agenda. Let's get to work.

Good luck with your event.


Rod Welch
Copy to:
  1. Armstrong-IBM, Ross"
  2. Conklin, Jeff"
  3. DeHart, Bill"
  4. Engelbart, Douglas C."
  5. Eyken, Henry van"
  6. Fernhout, Paul"
  7. Haselkorn, Mark"
  8. Henmi, Denis"
  9. Johnson, Garold L."
  10. Jones, Peter"
  11. Joslyn, Cliff"
  12. Kapur, Gopal"
  13. Laundauer, Ph.D., Tom"
  14. Lincoln, Patrick"
  15. Maloney, John"
  16. Maloney, John T."
  17. Nord, Jerry"
  18. Park, SRI, Jack"
  19. Pinker, Steven"
  20. Poremba, Michael"
  21. Rideout, Marsha"
  22. Snowden, Dave"
  23. SooHoo, Leonard"
  24. Utzurrum, Patty"
  25. Welch, Amy"
  26. Welch, James"
  27. Welch, Mike"
  28. Wetzel, Wayne"
  29. White, Tom"
  30. Winograd, PhD., Terry"
  31. Yuen, Jason"

KMCluster -- NYC wrote:

New York City

New York City KM Cluster+® :: Knowledge Leadership :: June 25, 2004 ::
This Week!

Building Knowledge-based Organizations and Developing the

Knowledge Leaders of the Future

The silent killers of effective knowledge leadership are the pervasive 20th-century traditions of linear, mechanical and reductionist thinking paired with their obsolete managerial behaviours of control, dominance and technocracy.
Much of the orthodoxy of 19th-century Newtonian thinking is unsuitable for 21st-century knowledge leadership. A recent example of this organizational pathology is the reengineering fiasco of the 90s. This mechanistic, cost-reduction management fad destroyed capabilities, competencies, trust and value. Even today some managers still use machine metaphors to describe their knowledge leadership efforts!
In the future, how we think about opportunities and how we approach them will often be far more important than the actions taken.

New leaders often try and speak of a knowledge ecosystem. They then attempt narrow control of ecosystem elements as separate, self-contained applications, tools, processes or content. People are often cogs in the machine. These prescribed efforts and rigid, artificial boundaries account for most all the failures of knowledge-based initiatives.
Knowledge ecosystems are fundamentally interrelated, interdependent and irreducible. The knowledge leaders of the future embrace holism and identify with the primacy of the total system. They nurture the complementary dynamics of knowledge. Knowledge leaders strive to expand relationships, enhance conductivity and amplify the intrinsic social orientation of all knowledge-based organizations, ecosystems and economies.
Top knowledge leaders routinely 'suspend their disbelief' to unlearn their harmful industrial-era habits and models. They learn from the emerging future through authentic conversation. 21st-century knowledge leaders actively pursue external interactions and continuously use genuine action/research networks to their strategic and collaborative advantage.
"Tomorrow is our permanent address." - Marshall McLuhan


New York City KM Cluster+® Summer 2004 :: Knowledge Leadership

This message is your personal invitation to join the Knowledge Leadership conversation.
The KM Cluster is a worldwide community action/research network for the knowledge economy. This leadership event is part of the Next Practices™ Series.

Special note: This gathering very popular. You are encouraged to register by Wednesday, June 23, 2004, due to building security requirements.
Register with Mollyguard / Conventional Registration

Knowledge Leadership: Building Knowledge-based Organizations and Developing the Knowledge Leaders of the Future
Fri, June 25, 2004, 9:00am - 5:00pm (this week!)

New York Main Theater Room Americas Tower, 35th floor 1177 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10036 T: 212-403-7800 Agenda:

Agenda Highlights...

Bill Ives and Adriaan Jooste of Deloitte will lead a conversation on four specific knowledge leadership practices:
. Organizational connectors and connection places . Preventing knowledge from walking out the door . Supporting the idea practitioners . Staying out of the innovation engine room

They will draw on case examples to illustrate Next Practices in these four areas. Complementary relationships with work by Davenport & Prusak and Senge, Scharmer, Jaworski & Flowers will be discussed.
The others sessions include:

Robin Athey, Deloitte Research, on Emergent Ideas in Leadership

Michael Burtha, Applied Collaborative Strategies, on Enterprise Knowledge Leadership
Curt Linberg, Plexus Institute, on Knowledge Stories and Complexity

David Hawthorne and Richard Azzarello, on Talent Visualization Systems
Registration is open now, but will close Wednesday due to building security requirments.
You are welcome and encouraged to circulate this invitation in your professional orbit and to have your colleagues register and join. All are welcome. This is an exciting event and will fundamentally advance a major barrier to more effective knowledge-based practices. Secure on-line registration in advance Before Wed, June 23, 2004, is obligatory.
Mollyguard (PayPal):


We hope to see you there!

New York City KM Cluster+® Summer 2004

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