Posts Tagged ‘Wilber’

Q27- Combining Megatrends #1 and #2: the Next Societal Innovations?

May 18, 2009

I introduced trans-societal Megatrend #1 in an earlier blog (“Q14- Naming Trans-Societal Megatrend #1: towards Yin?”). I summarized Megatrend #1 (see blog “KM and trans-societal megatrend #1”) as:

megatrend-1

Trans-societal Megatrend #2 (introduced in blog Q26- Information: another Force for Democratization) can be summarized as:

Megatrend #2

If we combine these two megatrends and again use Ken Wilber’s framework, we have a new way of characterizing major societal innovations and anticipating where the next major societal innovations would be emerging:

Combining 2 megatrends

Do you agree with the following observations?

  1. The combined trend is towards the lower left or indigo-colored Quadrant 4 in the figure above. Using simplistic language, the trend is towards the democratization of religions (Quadrant 1 to 4) and the spiritualization of democracy, free markets and science (Quadrant 3 to 4).
  2. There is a mega-tension between Quadrants 1 and 3 which can be seen in the conflict between Western democratic values versus Islamic fundamentalism and theocracy (which underlies the events in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorist attacks in Europe and North America, and tension between European cultures and cultures of Muslim immigrants in Europe), the conflict between scientific empiricism and religious faith (seen in Matthew Fox’s creation spirituality versus traditional Catholic doctrines, Darwinian evolution versus creationism from Genesis), and the conflict between laissez faire capitalism and various economic models that emphasize the humanistic, psychological and spiritual dimensions (such as “Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered” by Schumacher, Bhutan King Jigme Singye Wangchuck’s “Gross National Happiness”).
  3. Regressive forces are represented by those groups which aim to maintain or go back to communism, dictatorship, theocracy, monopolistic control of national economies, etc.
  4. New practices are emerging in Quadrant 4, which I call “indigo practices.” I will write about this in another blog. The interactive practice in double-loop learning that I am proposing in the last blog (An Invitation to Interactive Practice of Double-Loop Learning) is an indigo practice.
  5. A most interesting convergence between Quadrants 1 and 3 is happening between Tibetan Buddhism and modern science: the Mind and Life Institute. Tibetan Buddhism comes from centuries of learning, experiential studies and applying consensual corroboration in the inner worlds; while modern sciences comes from centuries of learning, empirical studies and applying consensual corroboration in the outer worlds.

interesting convergence

I introduced the ideas in this blog in an earlier paper on “Information Technology and Security in the 21st Century” which I read at the Asia-Pacific Security Forum Conference in Taipei, Taiwan in December 1999.

Please tell us what you think about these.

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Tacit-Group Processes in KM

March 14, 2009

Tacit-group processes and factors in the lower left quadrant in the expanded KM framework (see diagram below reproduced from the previous blog post) are often the weaknesses in KM initiatives.

Expanded KM framework at the planetary level

Expanded KM framework at the planetary level

The following are examples:

  • An e-group for knowledge sharing is set up, but knowledge sharing hardly occurs because the intended users hardly know and trust each other and do not share similar goals.
  • A knowledge fair organized by a vice president is hardly attended by staff under another vice president because of factionalism between the two vice presidents.
  • A know-it-all CEO shoots down new ideas, generating an organizational culture of anti-suggestion and anti-innovation.
  • Communication and productivity of a team suffered after an egotistical new member started to ruin the working relationships among the team members.
  • An organization-wide KM program was not fully accepted by all senior managers and started to falter; a mid-course evaluation by an outside consultant diagnosed the problem as lack of change management that should have accompanied the processes of design and roll-out of the KM program.

The lower-left quadrant is about TACIT-GROUP processes and factors: trust, shared goal or mutual agreement, unity (or factionalism), shared vision (e.g. Gaia consciousness), organizational culture, teamwork, mutual understanding of a group work process, general acceptance, etc. “Ba” of Ikujiro Nonaka belongs to this quadrant.

According to philosopher Ken Wilber’s integral framework, there are four types of knowledge. There are “Four Faces of Truth.”

Ken Wilber's "Four Faces of Truth"

Compare Ken Wilber’s integral framework with the expanded KM framework. The two frameworks are consistent (I wrote about this in a paper to be published by EADI/IKM).

Now, back to the importance of tacit-group processes. Without Gaia consciousness among earth’s inhabitants, I doubt how they can solve common problems such as the global environmental crisis. Ken Wilber said that resolution of this crisis lies in tacit-group processes:

    “Before we can even attempt an ecological healing, we must first reach a mutual understanding and mutual agreement among ourselves as to the best way to collectively proceed. In other words, the healing impulse comes from championing not functional fit but mutual understanding and interior qualitative distinctions. Anything short of that, no matter what the motives, perpetuates the fracture.”

Peter Senge summarized his best-seller book “The Fifth Discipline: the Art and Practice of the Learning Organization” by affirming the fundamental importance of tacit-group processes:

    “The central message of The Fifth Discipline is… that our organizations work the way they work, ultimately, because of how we think and how we interact.”

With apologies to Peter Senge, what is the message when we replace the word “organization” with “planetary society”?

    The central message of The Fifth Discipline is… that our planetary society works the way it works, ultimately, because of how we think and how we interact.

Is ours a “learning planetary society”? If not, are we getting there?

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