Strategic Learning LO20030
Sun, 29 Nov 1998 18:51:24 -0800

Replying to LO19792 --

Fred Nickols writes:
> What's interesting to me about this "conversation-oriented" view of
> strategy making is that it happens in meetings, via e-mail and telephone
> calls. Only rarely does it occur via memoranda and documents called
> "plans." Moreover, if the conversations are in fact occurring on a
> regular, productive basis, the need for formal documentation is minimal--a
> few pages at most.

This is an interesting topic for me, because I see a tension that may or
may not exist.

The conversation-oriented process is indeed effective at avoiding
"analysis paralysis" and the kind of artery-hardening that occurs when
trying to write a comprehensive plan or other document. Also, much of the
shared meaning is implicit, allowing the conversations to be short and to
the point.

I wonder, however, if relying solely on this kind of process loses
long-term "organizational memory", so that, for example, when facing a
situation similar to one that was last encountered a year or more ago, the
organization has to re-invent the response. Assuming this concern is
real, is there a way to maintain the immediacy of conversation-oriented
processes while effectively capturing the knowledge gained in a way that
supports longer-term adaptability and conscious reflection (in At's terms,
to raise the level of learning from tacit to formal)?


Don Dwiggins "Life is what happens SEI Information Technology while you're making other plans" -- John Lennon

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