A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Best Practices, Business Models, and Strategies   © SCUP 2003
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Best Practices in Changing Times



Chapter 6

Best Practices, Business Models, and Strategies

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During changing times, we experience the past, present, and future, all at the same time. How can we engage the different visions, sights, and sounds? And how can we each understand, in terms meaningful to our individual frames of reference and experience, what the future for e-knowledge may hold? The future is not a message to be conveyed from the prescient to everyone else; it is visions and experiences to be engaged in an evocative manner by everybody.

In this new world, the search for simplicity is tantamount to coming to the core understanding of how something is. I find the old cliché, ‘You don’t really understand something until you can say it in a simple way,’ to be incredibly true and unbelievably useful. And I think today, in the era where the economy of attention reigns supreme, the ability to get to the very essence of what’s going on very rapidly also provides tremendous leverage.

The power of saying simply makes all the difference in the world. The key to me is learning how to craft evocative objects: they could be metaphors, sayings, or experiences which rapidly help the other person rapidly construct their own understanding. Again, not provocative as much as evocative, so that it evokes the right kind of ideas in the listener. Great learners are, of course, great listeners, and if you learn how to listen to and through an evocative object, you learn how to leverage your emotional side as well as your cognitive side.

John Seely Brown


The future is conditional, not deterministic. It depends on what we do, as well as major trends, external forces, and developments. We have the power to derail the future as well as enable it. Over the next several years, advances in the tradecraft of e-knowledge will enable significant reinvention in e-learning and knowledge management, but only among those enterprises and practitioners who have the means, the vision, and the will to make it so.

The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future.

Eric Hoffer

Over the next few years, we will witness the existence of past, present, and future versions of “best practices,” all existing concurrently in different settings and often in the same setting. Most enterprises will hedge their bets as they migrate their initiatives toward the e-knowledge paradigm without fully abandoning the existing paradigm. Under such conditions, the term “best practice” becomes especially problematic.

The future is called ‘perhaps,’ which is the only possible thing to call the future. And the important thing is not to allow that to scare you.

Tennessee Williams

The simple fact is that even highly innovative enterprises maintain a portfolio of initiatives ranging from “improvement” to “incremental innovation” to “radical innovation.” Under such conditions, their notion of “best practice” is highly situational. Our challenge is to identify the emerging best practices, business models, and strategies that are likely to emerge as the e-knowledge paradigm matures and tradecraft develops.


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  Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.
Winston Churchill