Mapping knowledge governance 2.0 - LO29615

From: Chris Macrae (
Date: 12/01/02

Replying to LO29452 --

Richard has very kindly put up a pdf file of transparency mapping
constructs at

I thought I would occasionally try and follow up this mail with different

Here is a draft I am trialing as a start to our book:

A Missing System of Corporate Governance

While Intangibles remain such a misleading word, it is likely that many
more CEOs will lose their company's fortune and their reputations. The
very sound of the word can prevent everyone in an organisation from seeing
the critical difference between the knowledge-age which many businesses
have already entered and the industrial age they are leaving.

We need to see that organisational governance must now manage two flows,
not cashflow's one. This presents the immediate challenge of paradoxes
that can arise when everyone at work needs to take care of two performance
drivers that will sometimes be in full tension with each other. Even more
controversially for some managers of the old school, the second flow
requires open governance because it is all about human relationships and
the trust-flow they depend on.

With hindsight we know that cashflow could be conveniently counted on as
precise, separable, static in the sense that one period's performance was
fully accountable for in its own time. In contrast, trust-flow is dynamic
because intangibles are humanly interconnected. The people rewarded over
the last 90 days, the knowledge-shared or not, the relationships built or
degraded are already having compound impacts over future periods. This
means that a lot of your future corporate valuation - up or down - is
already dramatically in motion before you start the next quarter.

Whether we use the words living system, trust-flow or transparency may not
excite shareholders. What will matter urgently to them, and every
stakeholder, is whether governance of this flow is in place. While trust's
unique knowledge is at risk of going missing, the dynamics of the business
model are such that the organisation which appeared to have billion dollar
substance yesterday may be worth nothing tomorrow. Any company that does
not openly govern trust-flow could be the next Andersen, or Barings, or
Captain Maxwell's Empire, or Dot-com flip, or Enron..

The reason for valuing open governance is not just financially rooted in
the dynamic connections of intangibles. Trust-flow involves organisational
integrity earned by making sure that conflict resolution is taking place
in every audit cycle, every business modelling, every quality decision.

Once we start mapping how to share knowledge on potential conflicts it
turns out that there are various areas to see and continuously resolve.
These include conflicts between stakeholders served by the company,
conflicts between the servers : eg which profession gets what share of the
budget and the people resources, conflicts between the organisation's own
current boundaries and those of its future vision or its partners. For
example, knowledge products, as we define them, are exquisite to business
model because they involve interfacing two types of value exchange - that
which a company may seek to own and that which it never can. This is
because a knowledge product is one the consumer buys largely to create
value. It is extraordinary how many brands of knowledge products do not
yet understand that being image-led is an insult to the consumer in a
knowledge-market. The interactive value stands or falls on what the
consumer is enabled to create in direct exchange with other consumers. In
turn, this calls for freer 2-way communications - with company learning
from consumer as well as consumer learning from the product - than ad
agencies used to commanding the masses with television spots can get their
minds round.

It is in the nature of conflicts that the best time to resolve them is at
their first sign of emergence and not after a conflict has been viciously
compounded over many quarters. We come to the killer logic as to why the
new governance system must be open flow for every employee to participate
in. It is often the front line employer in a knowledge or service market
who can first detect a change in customer or other market needs that will
become a conflict unless the organisation system adapts, and this means
that people at the top and all around most listen to each other. In other
words, the bad news for managers who prefer only to command and control is
that where trust-flow is concerned this attitude is becoming the very
worst practice. It can only cause huge value destruction. However, for the
many captains of industry who can turn this corner, there is a lot of good
news too. Conflict resolving - by turning weakness to strength and threat
to opportunity - identifies huge new value streams which are sustainable
because everyone wins. Such conflict resolving responsibilities are being
studied as today's greatest sources of innovation and strategizing. They
become emotionally satisfying to employees who can be self-confident that
what they are recommending whenever they are selling is truly doing
everyone they meet a relationship favour. Trust-flow governance can be
seen to be about relishing communion with your whole community of
stakeholders. And reciprocally all your stakeholders, if purposefully
selected, can be counted on to support you through the next great
challenge of leadership.

There are also socio-economic win-wins at stake of broader kinds such as
those between global and local society. Notably, the architectures of nets
and webs were first designed as the perfect tools for openness and
collaboration. A global brand can now lead collaborative platforms which
promote help-the-poor-world causes- making a difference in a way that
aligns a company far more humanly and productively than superficial
imagery on its own every could.

All this means that transparency governance is a priority not just for
corporate systems but all powerful organisational systems including
governments, NGOs, and grassroots consumer communities or activist
networks. Maps of transparency need open interfaces across these systems
of systems so that everyone can participate in the value flow as well as
the trust of each other. This is a breakthrough peoples, communities and
human cultures are demanding so that we can all enjoy the best of global
and local worlds. Such urgent concerns are evident, for example, at
European Union websites which are openly dedicated to debates exploring
how to progress knowledge society' s social and human capital.

"The Map that Changes Our World" is your fieldbook for mapping governance
systems needed first to survive and second to lead the greatest value
exchanges designed by humankind. It turns out that the geometry of
transparency governance and trust-flow can only have one simplest
mathematical standard. Through this we scope the top view linking across
all transparency governance systems but not the detailed contexts and
change processes that will also need to be selected and interfaced with
The Map.

However, it is through this shared topline approach that companies can
benchmark partial analogies such as very detailed needs of stakeholders in
different parts of a global marketplace and quickly take up advantageous
positions in the great race to plug value integrity gaps caused by
previously failing to systematically govern trust-flow. Today, across most
industries and the whole world, these gaps are far larger than those of
quality that emerged across the West in the mid 1980s. This is a time when
many new leaders will come to the fore as well as once powerful
organisations lose their place. This convergence matches the scenarios
that Drucker and other leading 20th century gurus having increasingly
voiced over the last two decades. We are on the verge of a once in a
century era of value shifts, through which it will be best to choose
network partners you can trust.

We chose not to write this as a measurement book for mathematicians
because we wanted to open source mapping democratically for anyone to
monitor governance by, as well as to use within corporate contexts to see
the open opportunities for one discipline to commune with another. The
stakes range from leading the most open practices of trust-worthy
governance to innovating the greatest value creations. However, if you
want a mathematician to crosscheck anything at a level of deep standards
logic, he is cordially invited to correspond with our mathematician
co-author Chris Macrae.

>From here on let's see how many disciplinary perspectives we can find home
territories for on The Map so that everyone has the confidence of
contextual roots as well as openness to whole system connections,
responsible behaviours and shared learning

sincerely chris macrae London 0208 540 5304 email Transparency Mapping Open Source Community Further Trust
references including theme bookmark to 2003 World Economic Forum at


"Chris Macrae" <>

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