I’ve verbally relayed high points from presentations that I heard in the IBM Technology Leadership Exchange last March, about the Cell processor. This is an 8-way processor that has the computing power of a mid-range IBM server. It’s also the key component in Sony PlayStation 3, which is famous for its short supply this past Christmas.
I was reminded of this when I was in the basement, and my son Noah asked what the WEP key on our wireless router is. He was lent a PlayStation Portable by his friend, and it supports wireless Internet access.
I really wish that I had the time to join this course … but I’m trying to stay focused on completing my dissertation over the next few years!
At the Sonoma 2006 meeting of the ISSS in July, Len Troncale, Lynn Rasmussen and Todd Bowers had a workshop describing the study of 80 systems processes. They’re now maintaining a blog with a report of their experiences from fall 2006, and have announced of a new session beginning January 2, 2007.
In my work with the ISSS, one of my concerns is that the systems movement needs to advance and continue to move forward. A lot of people in business come to systems thinking through writers like Russell Ackoff, but I claim that the last significant influential systems writing in management was published by Eric Trist in 1981, for the Ontario Quality of Working Life Centre. (When was the last time you heard about Quality of Work Life?)
The problem that I have with systems theory is that a lot of it is really modernist, and most continuing research streams acknowledge postmodernism, if postmodernism isn’t already a central philosophical foundation. Having systems theory stagnate in the 1980s helps no one, and it’s arrogant to believe that 1980s researchers knew everything.
When David Hawk encouraged me to continue doctoral studies at the Helsinki University of Technology, he said that I really should complete the degree, but the way to do that was to continue to study my natural interests.… Read more (in a new tab)
I’m a big fan of Disclosing New Worlds by Charles Spinosa, Fernando Flores and Hubert Dreyfus. Its practice perspective, rooted in Dreyfus’ reading of Heidegger, is complementary to the social theory of Pierre Bourdieu, who provides a foundation for the research into communities of practice by Etienne Wenger and John Seely Brown.
Thus, I was thrilled to read an article by Peter J. Denning and Robert Dunham on “Innovation as Language Action” in Communications of the ACM. (To make the social network link, Dunham was at BDA with Flores). This article appeared in a special issue on “Two Decades of the Language-Action Perspective“.
Working from the conclusion to the article, Denning & Dunham make the main claims that:
- Innovation occurs when a group or community adopts a new practice.
- Invention and innovation are two different skill sets.
- The language-action perspective helped identify seven practices that constitute the innovation skill set.
- Anyone can learn the innovation skill by mastering the seven personal practices. [p. 52]
I like the first three claims, but have some reservations on the fourth!
Denning & Dunham are helpful to clarifying innovation research by making the distinction between theoretical, empirical and generative frameworks:
The spam filters into IBM seem pretty good, so I don’t get nearly as much spam as on my private e-mail IDs. Today, I opened a message in my inbox that I thought might be spam. It generated a return receipt, and since I unfortunately wasn’t in “island” mode, a message got returned to the spammer that I had opened the note.
I’m relatively savvy on spam deterrence. I maintain multiple e-mail addresses as personas. (I learned this from my sons. These are ways of maintaining gradients of intimacy). Some e-mail addresses are redirection IDs, so at least I know where I’m getting spam generated from. Thus, I annoyed myself on contributing to increasing my own spam.
I found a solution on Rocky Oliver’s “Lotus Geek” blog. In the mid-1990s, I was working around Lotus Notes a lot, and got training to the level of a Notes 4 developer. (This was certainly a benefit of having some amount of corporate training!) I haven’t kept up my Notes coding skills, but the instructions to modify an Inbox template using Domino Designer took me less than 5 minutes to implement.
I think that return receipt notification â€” at least on external e-mail messages â€” something that is instituted as a standard on corporate e-mail!
In the first week of September, I was in Finland to launch the Master’s Degree in International Service Business Management at Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia. Here’s what the instructor’s view looks like.
The classes for this one-year program run on Thursday and Fridays, with all of the lectures front-loaded into the fall. Since I don’t live in Finland, I installed Drupal as a content management system, and have been communicating with the students at a distance.
Should a blog reflect more than one persona?
Last week, I had practically written an obituary for this website, and was planning on integrating my personas on the blog at daviding.com. Reversing myself (as I’ve done before), I’ve decided that it makes more sense to maintain a professional persona (of interest to business thinkers) in addition to my non-work persona. There’s two motivations for this.