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

March 11, 1999                                                                       03 00050 61 99031102

Mr. R. Max Wideman
Wideman, R. Max
2216 West 21st Avenue
Vancouver, BC  V6L 1J5

Subject:  Knowledge for Communication

Dear Max,

I came across a reference to your paper...

Defining PM Knowledge as
a Basis for Global Communication,
Learning and Professionalism

... at the PM Forum site, under "Featured Papers," but was unable to open it because acrobat or something is not rigged correctly. Could you send me the paper, so I can take a look.




Rod Welch

P.S. Did you notice Miller's explanation of recoding as an information process to enhance remembering, seems to be the cause of meaning drift? This is the classic Faustian bargain, trading efficient use of mental power for short term memory, but, over time, causing original meaning to "drift away." It was likely a good bargain for foragers where what was said and done last year, last month or even last week, was not critical to dealing with immediate problems of survival. The rate of meaning drift was so slow that it took a long time to cause harm.

Today, the amount of stuff, or "chunks," to remember about connections of cause and effect is overwhelming, creating management by guess and gossip. This expands meaning drift, leading to entropy in information processes. What was said and done last year, last month, last week, impacts current decisions about future actions.

In this modern environment, a strength becomes a weakness. Since, as Miller points out, there are severe limits on span of attention, the cause of mistakes is not evident to managers who contribute unwittingly, while working hard to "expedite."

Willingness to accept hard work as a core value, rather than insist on "intelligent" work, leads to crisis management under "Murphy's Law."

I think this results in management being a process of continual bumbling, a "comedy of errors," or, as Kissinger describes an Alice in Wonderland environment, and so gives rise to a need for an "intelligence" effort to maintain alignment that the mind is constantly changing in processing information by "recoding," as noted by Miller.