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The KDP is a topographic map for generative conversations

When a system acts, it enacts a space in the world that it touches.

The climate system does this at a very physical and tangible level, as well as having some more mysterious, less overt effects. At the tangible level, landscapes are formed. Flooding rains form gullies when flowing, pond in depressions, or silt out into massive plains. Ice causes flaking, or in massive flows carves paths through mountains. Desertification creates oceans of heaving sand.

All this evidence of the climate system’s action on the earth terrain becomes important to us if we want to negotiate that terrain intentionally. Topographic maps that show us not only the course of the rivers but the angles of the ridges are the most foundational resource for interacting humans with the terrain in ways that can be anticipated (“We’ll need to take two days water for that stretch”), negotiated (“Do you want to go around or over.? Over’s quicker but the team will have to be fitter”), resourced (“You’ll need to either take a boat or build a raft to cross the headwaters”), scheduled (“All those ice floes will slow our pace to 5km a day”).

The KDP graphic is like that. It is a topographic map of the human conversation system for knowledge development.

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Heuristics are visual models that help us to look at new topics and see the archetypal [patterns in them . Heuristics greatly speed and clarify our communications. A conventional visual shorthand enables us to stride across topics that would otherwise take a thousand words. These next few pages describe the core visual conventions used in the KDP heuristic.

Each of these spaces represent a different skill set, true. But this in turns marks a more fundamental underlying set of transitions in thought, each representing a different emotioning:

• We think from the standpoint of desire, of possibility

• We think from the standpoint of innovation

• We think from the standpoint of action

• We think from the standpoint of performance

• We think from the standpoint of learning.

The imagery of the narrowing deltas is intended to convey purposeful iterative dialog rather than linear, stepwise process.

• Any single transformation or series of transformations can be iterated as often as is necessary for a quality outcome.

• Parallel work is assumed

(This useful imagery of dialog converging on an outcome was invented by Golsby-Smith & Associates ca 1994)

In a world of work that is accustomed to documents that blur together, and meeting conversations that are indistinguishable in style, it is hard to grasp how differently our milestone documents can be. One way to get a handle on the distinctive character of the dialogs and depots at each stage is to view them as transformations in intent

directions to take the kdp

Understanding and trusting the archetypal character of the Knowledge Development Pathway ® (kdp) opens up many options for thinking about and working with systems. One is the capacity to rapidly model out a system using the heuristic framework of the kdp.

For example, I wanted to check the set of conversations we were having in and around the professional development of the staff where I work. I didn’t have to be exhaustive – but I was able to be confident I was covering the territory necessary to thinking about whether we had a viable system.

The Knowledge Development Pathway ® and logo are registered trademarks of Just Knowledge Australia P/L

A KDP has a “fractal” architecture

The Knowledge Development Pathway has a repeated pattern that works whether we zoom in or zoom out to look at different scales of human enterprise systems.

Fractals are found throughout natural systems as the fundamental architecture for self replication and economically amplifying effect

Features of the Knowledge Development Pathway model

Heuristics are visual models that help us to look at new topics and see the archetypal [patterns in them . Heuristics greatly speed and
clarify our communications. A conventional visual shorthand enables us to
stride across topics that would otherwise take a thousand words. These next few
pages describe the core visual conventions used in the KDP heuristic.

Each of these spaces represent a different skill set, true.
But this in turns marks a more fundamental underlying set of transitions in
thought, each representing a different emotioning:

<![if !supportLists]>• We think from the standpoint of desire, of possibility

• We think from the standpoint of innovation

• We think from the standpoint of action

• We think from the standpoint of performance

• We think from the standpoint of learning.

The imagery of the narrowing deltas is intended to convey purposeful iterative dialog rather than linear, stepwise process.

• Any single transformation or series of transformations can be iterated as often as is necessary for a quality outcome.

• Parallel work is assumed

This useful imagery of dialog converging on an outcome was invented by Golsby-Smith & Associates ca 1994

A KDP emerges from two core propositions

The big picture

Proposition #1

For sustainable systems, what we need is the requisite set of human thinking processes to be properly and proportionately used

The little picture

Proposition #2

For lean systems, all we need is the key “depots” and “dialogs” to be sustained

The system is governed by the capacity to continuously LEARN

The common saying is “live and learn” But in fact the opposite is true for human enterprise systems: “Learn and Live”. Systems without feedback die. That is the stark lesson from biological systems.

Learning comes last in our time bound sequence of knowledge development: we can’t learn until there is something to learn ‘against’. Tragically, last has also become least. Learning is seen as an optional extra, a bolt on, a dispensable afterthought. This is not a mistake biological systems can afford to make. Leprosy & AIDS are just two of the legendary collapses we see in human biology when key feedback systems fail. Enterprises suffer all the time from their own forms of living death. The systemic learning conversations in the fabric of the KDP redress this tragedy.

The Learning loops are where we think ahead in our system design to understand what constitutes success. We set our measures to frame and energise our learning
It is also really important to imagine what might constitute failure.
One of the chronic problems besetting management thinking built on Build and Use thinking styles is that it has not stop buttons! Sure we aggregate and disaggregate (downsize), re-engineer (rearrange the building blocks) and refine – but we rarely know when to say NO!

Because it is in the nature of systems to produce both the ends we set out to achieve AND unwanted side effects, are we clear about when we would be paying too high a price for this system to continue? This is very much about our values – which are in a way the “measures” of our intent that arise in the Scoping process.
The key component to each transformation is the way we work together. For any KDP to remain world class, the owners will and continuously reviewing and designing the quality of these social processes as new best practice knowledge emerges (eg from the social sciences) .

Learning is the adaptation of a system to its environment, a process which almost always entails the generation of new knowledge.