Looking Back at Looking Forward

sharing knowledge about organisational foresight

The Thought Leader Interview

Interviewed by Lawrence Fisher in strategy+business, Alvin Toffler shared some insights on the emerging forms of wealth that lie outside of the monetary system. It’s about creating value, whether online – producing, disseminating and consuming content – or in non-paid work.

A key element in non-monetary value creation is knowledge – knowledge shared is not diminished. Sharing knowledge creates new knowledge – similar to a network effect if you like. This phenomenon lies at the heart of the innovative power of the internet. It lies at the heart of dialogue. We live in the Knowledge Age. The trend is for new and faster ways to access, distribute and store information that is constant, a constant state of flux and change. Institutions that are insular (inward looking and not externally networked) are more likely to be slow to change – less resilient and adaptive.

Being resilient and adaptive means learning how to cope with uncertainty. Uncertainty is hard to deal with. Most people prefet to react once that have had actual experience of something new. According to Toffler, long periods of uncertainty changes body chemistry. Institutions do not have sensory experiences or chemistry – there is no organic or hard-wired way for institutions to change that easily. The only way is for organisations to learn is for its people to share their experiences widely to understand what is going on and to then develop a plan of action in response. That is very hard to do. So what is on the horizon, institutionally speaking?


December 8, 2006 - Posted by | foresight, knowledge networks | , , , ,

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