Welcome to the UN-world! (Let’s rewire it)

(And – for your pleasure or your disappointment – this is not about the United Nations, although  there is much to blog about the UN system too, on KM and other issues).

This is one post I meant to draft a long time ago, but my question is still here: why are we creating this UN-world?

Why so much UN-doing?

Rather than focusing on un-learning, let's re-think, dynamically and together (Credits: HNBD / FlickR)
Rather than focusing on un-learning, let’s re-think, dynamically and together (Credits: HNBD / FlickR)

We are living in a negative polaroid of our world: We don’t do conferences anymore, we do ‘un-conferences’; We don’t do learning now, we do ‘un-learning’; We don’t write books any longer, we write ‘un-books’. I guess with the criticism about social media getting us  connected by our disconnection to reality, some would probably even argue we live an un-life without realizing…

What is it really? The urge to come up with alternative and punchy marketing in our 2-second-attention-span world? The quest for immortality that drives us (sometimes) to reinvent the wheel?

The necessity to deconstruct what we have been doing so far to rediscover the true meaning?

Perhaps a mix of it all.

A few ideas emerge:

  • We have seen the limitations of ‘doing business as usual’: same old conferences, same old books, same old ideas.
  • We probably live indeed in the permanent beta state that Harold Jarche refers to.
  • We have long held assumptions and we therefore need to challenge these assumptions, much like an adolescent all of sudden realizes that the world is not the way his/her parents always portrayed it when s/he was a child;
  • Our society is interconnected in ways unimaginable before, which creates unequalled possibilities to reinvent and recreate endless combinations of ideas, activities and people;
  • But the point is not so much that books, learning or conferences are intrinsically bad – the way they are used is just (sometimes) not creative and pertinent enough… It’s now time to connect our creativity and unlock the power of the collective, the promise of symbiotic holism which combines and transcends all other knowledges (as seen on this presentation by Valerie Brown which I already introduced on this blog in the past).

What seems important for agile KM to be effective, given these considerations, is: to challenge everyone’s pre-conceptions (question your education and educate your questions, a tabula rasa), to think in dynamic and ever-changing terms rather than in the security and comfort of fixed plans and guarantees (which simply don’t work in the world of social change) and to actively work on connecting ourselves to others.

And rather than focus on what we are doing badly (which all these un-items react against), I would rather rewire the un-world and focus on what we are not doing enough of: re-consider, re-adapt, re-learn, re-think, re-connect…

The world ruled yesterday, the un-world runs today, the re-world might be tomorrow’s zeitgeist. Let’s open to the RE-(e)volution of our connected creativity…

Related blog posts:

Published by Ewen Le Borgne

Collaboration and change process optimist motivated by ‘Fun, focus and feedback’. Nearly 20 years of experience in group facilitation and collaboration, learning and Knowledge Management, communication, innovation and change in development cooperation. Be the change you want to see, help others be their own version of the same.

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