Mapping knowledge governance 2.0 - LO29452

From: Chris Macrae (
Date: 11/04/02

Richard has been very kind and put up a pdf file at

I need the 2 pictures in it as anchors to raising various system questions
I'd like to pose. I'm a bit nervous because I have many as I am writing a
book on these pictures, but let me try two questions plus a background
introduction to test the water of whether the subject interests you and
indeed whether my language is tuned in to yours

The story of the main map at the bottom of the file is simple really. I
have interviewed about 100 experts in the human connections of
organizational productivity systems (oddly also called intangibles).
Trying to compose all their connecting beliefs together, I believe that an
organization which does not open its knowledge up to the see the system
loops - of knowledge, action, learning, change - that can be drawn across
the 4 composition territories of The Map puts itself at increasing risk of
being pulled apart. Some people like the notion that The Map monitors how
trust-flow loops around any two coordinates of The Map; equally like an
engineer might check out an aeroplane's blueprint to regularly maintain
those spots most likely to break, an organization should be stewarding
areas where trust disconnects are most at risk of appearing and then
shredding its culture or system integrity. Stewarding increasingly means
everyone taking responsibility for co-workers and that needs a common map.

I think the central territory is now must well evidenced- if you have one
really rotten stakeholder relationship, it can destroy all your
stakeholder relationships/reputation because they do interconnect. In
effect, Society decided to pull the plug on Andersen's rotten
relationships with one or a few customers depending how you read the
story. Ten years ago, an early UK example of destruction was when
consumers pulled the plug on a nation-wide jeweler who had unwisely
boasted at a business conference that his products had a lesser shelf-life
than a prawn sandwich. So if you really break your promise to any
stakeholder, they may start acting against you, and their zero valuation
of you may zero every stakeholder's valuation of you. There are other
issues buried away in this central territory- eg I know of several cases
where what was billed as Shareholder Value Analysis was actually
speculator value analysis - the biggest loser being the shareholders who
invested in a pension. Short-term transactional value and longer-term
sustainable growth are not the same pattern dynamics, but numbers audits
often bury this agenda as well as the full value of learning organization
and the people in it.

However the system story isnt just confined to where we could visualise
stakeholders doing the valuing - clearly most of these breakdowns were the
results of an organizational system compounding viciously over many
quarters. It seems to me that the first way to detect that a system could
be turning vicious is in regularly auditing whether any conflicts exist
between stakeholder promises. This is the near right territory where we do
win-win and win-lose authentication. Equally if a conflict of interest is
spotted, then the whole organizational design/system on the left will need
process changing. This left hand side can also remind us of which
disciplines are openly sharing knowledge and which not - a potential
system breaking point in itself. Another is where different groups are so
unitised in performance terms that the whole is a lot less than its parts
even though these report excellent efficiencies. And this connects to how
open is all the learning about how stakeholders' demands may be changing.
This loops us to the far right - intended to remind us that beyond the
organisation's current boundaries, there are preferred futures to visions,
partners to open map with, activist movements who may target your
responsibility in something as being greater than you think, especially as
my tracking of activists on the net over the last 7 years show they are
often better networkers than people inside large organizations have been
rewarded to be.

The Map is only intended to be an awareness organiser to deep processes
that need to be plugged and played into, and governance knowledge that
needs both researching and auditing for connectivity. In any organisation,
the first job is to change the vocabulary of the 4 territories to be
nearest to the common language in use. For example, which discipline on
the left hand side would you write in an organization known to you as
having the most ability to help everyone connect all of this knowledge
governance. It is from The Map's starting point that we seek to facilitate
benchmarking around deep contexts; and electronic versions of The Map as
knowledge organiser can be developed, including a whitebox that syndicates
can share at low cost compared with other software businesses use.

Question 1 - Leaving aside areas where greater clarification of my
language is needed, is there anyone who thinks that they either know of a
system of organisational governance that truly has all of this system
connectivity or wishes to argue that such system connectivity does not
matter. ( I should say that The Map version shown is primarily looking at
a large corporate though one could be made for governments or NGO's with
similar territories)

Question 2 - I am sure there must be people in systems and LO who work
with maps; have ways of making a map really easy for people to walk onto
and start connecting with other people like we do with a roadmap. Equally
people who either use maps or some other frame to catalogue experiential
rules about connectivity across some of the territories I have been
describing - do any key references come to your mind?

Oh question 3 - if you have a different question you want to ask, please

chris macrae, London 0208 5405304
Open Source Community for Transparency Mapping
co-author Maps that Change Our World (Wiley 2003)
ps with thanks also to Andrew Campbell for his support


"Chris Macrae" <>

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