Fear is the mind-killer

March 17, 2011

The programme is out for KM UK June 21-22. I’m giving the opening keynote, the chair is Victoria Ward and I am followed by Nick Milton so some old friends to meet, although I will probably miss Chris and Ron on day two. It’s flattering to be installed as an annual event, not only here but at KM World and KM Asia. However the need to do something different every year means you have to be more creative. I’ve gone overboard this year with the title Learning from the Bene Gesserit; always my favorite characters from Dune.

I hasten to add that I am not recommending that knowledge managers become deeply manipulative courtesans (although come to think of it that might have something going for it). It is certainly true that many go through the Spice Agony, but regrettably few see wisdom in consequence.

I’m going to have some fun with this one, and of course we have the quote from the abomination, St Alia-of-the-knife:

The Reverend Mother must combine the seductive wiles of a courtesan with the untouchable majesty of a virgin goddess, holding these attributes in tension so long as the powers of her youth endure. For when youth and beauty have gone, she will find that the place-between, once occupied by tension, has become a wellspring of cunning and resourcefulness.

A good metaphor for knowledge management, or am I getting carried away?

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The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

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