Sunday, June 26, 2005

'KWorx Roving Reporter' live from Melbourne, Australia

From a very chilly Melbourne (!), David Simmonds writes:

"The inaugural conference of the Australian Centre for research in Employment and Work (ACREW) was launched in great style by a thought-provoking keynote address by Prof. Scott Snell from Cornell University.
His talk ranged across vast horizons including strategic HRM, the development of HR strategy, and HR configurations. Of particular interest to those of us working in KM, however, were his views on Organisational Learning (OL). He developed the argument that we can no longer focus simply on managing talent by exploring the human capital architecture of knowledge pools. Nor can we even restrict our attention to an examination of relational exchanges and the social capital archetypes of knowledge flows. Increasingly, we must concentrate on OL as seen in know;edge integration terms.

Scott Snell went on to juxtapose two different views of learning prevalent today. Firstly, there is the exploitative model of continuous improvement, which depends on creativity, combinations, links, and generalised trust. On the other hand, the second entrepreneurial model is built on notions of exploration and innovation, with foundations in absorption, spaces and specific trust. Too much exploration, he said, kills efficiency, and too much exploitation kills adaptation.

Afterwards, I [David] was able to discuss these models with Scott Snell further, and to explore with him the essentially cyclical nature of them both. Whereas the one view tends to favour OL, I suggested, the other reflects a preference towards the Learning Organisation (LO). He then proposed a new model, combining both of these and I suggested to Scott that an organic, dynamic, moving integration of both of these cycles might look like a - double helix!"
Could this be the DNA of the organisation of the future? We at KWorx certainly think so....


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