Dave Snowden – and the ideas of MATURE

I just stumbled across Dave Snowden’s presentation at KM Asia 2008 in Singapore, and it was really surprising to see his three key principles of Social Computing, which ressemble a lot my vision for the MATURE project:

  • Distributed cognition
  • the wisdom and foolishness of crowds
  • top down stimulation of bottom up interaction
  • network capacity, but managed

This is exactly what we intend to achieve by stimulating bottom-up activity and redefine guidance. Take our example of people-tagging: we use the tagging behavior for getting clues what are hot topic areas (and some indicators on who might know what). But we do not simply stay there, but rather apply the gardening metaphor: we need a manager who understands himself as a gardener, fostering growth, but also pruning, and cleaning up, seeding etc.

  • Disintermediation
  • connecting decision makers with raw data
  • enable understanding, allow action
  • empowerment & visibility

So far this has not been that explicit for me, but that’s actually the mission of the guidance-related part of an Organizational Learning and Maturing Environment as we envision it: giving managers the opportunity to see and explore what’s going on. This way you avoid to depend on the analysis of someone else, increase the chance of serendipitous discovery.