Leif: please blog!
Well, dear reader, back from my sojourn in Hong Kong. A wonderful time: speaking at a KM conference with the glittering gems of the KM universe, Dave Snowden and Patrick Lambe; running tutorials for students at Hong Kong PolyU; and delivering a full-day public workshop on knowledge sharing techniques, followed by an evening public lecture. Phew!! You can read all about the conference proceedings on Dave Snowden’s blog. And speaking of Dave: aside from his truly wonderful conference session, I did think I’d come back home to find myself well and truly roasted by Dave for a slight mistake I made on the topic of his birthday. But since he hasn’t raised it, it’s a secret!
So onto the subject of today’s post – Leif Edvinsson. Unless you’ve been hiding on some remote island, you’d know that Leif was the director of Intellectual Capital at Skandia in Sweden; he’s a former Brain of the Year; he is a Professor of Intellectual Capital at the University of Lund, Sweden. And of course, author of this great book on Intellectual Capital. I was aware of Leif’s work for years but did not have the pleasure of meeting him until last year when I spoke at the 2008 KM Conference, held by the Hong Kong Knowledge Management Society. Leif said he was inspired by my conference talk (seriously kind man!) and I went on to set up a blog for him because I believe he has some very important things to say.
But….Leif is a busy man, whizzing around the globe and alas has had no time to blog. So when I caught up with him again at last week’s conference, I put the pressure on him. His conference session started off with ginger essence being sprayed around the room and he went on to talk about some amazing stuff he’s been involved with and some great illustrative photos:
- in the Skandia Future Centre – old technology (typewriter) is displayed as a conversation piece;
- a globe of space triggers discussion around what is the shape of space (I could literally spend hours thinking about this!)
- clocks showing different time zones (suggesting that you and your organisation may not be in synch).
- a large chair with a computer integrated within it so it’s like a cocoon allowing for personal reflection and isolation from disruptive noise.
He asked some great questions along the way:
- how do we reshape spaces for the flow of our thoughts?
- how do you shape space to add energy?
- how do we create healthy spaces that add oxygen?
- how do we create spaces that are about mind satisfaction and not mind control?
A question I keep asking myself (and Leif and I had a quick chat about this) – how can you take the concept of poché and carve space that facilitates knowledge flow? In architectural terms, poché refers to solid, dense structures that can be shaped into meaningful space. And even more interesting, is the concepts of positive/negative space (positive being solid structures and negative meaning areas around and behind the positive spaces) – how can they be combined and what is the result?
Leif’s session was so jam packed with goodies that I found it hard to take notes and not just drool over the photos he was showing or the seriously interesting questions he was asking. He talked about the Ice Hotel in Sweden (I find this fascinating) – it melts every summer and so has to be rebuilt. It is recycled into different shapes and rooms but lots of knowledge tools are embedded within this concept.
So…I found myself telling Leif “you must get your blog going” and I promised him it is a painless procedure. He doesn’t need to churn out long essays like I do. He can do a quick blog post of a few hundred words, once a week. As conversation starters, to whet the appetite, to disrupt normal patterns of thinking, to simply show how Leif thinks and asks such stunning questions.
And so here are the top posts I would like to see Leif blog on – I promised I’d send them to him but better yet, why not blog on it here on ThinkingShift and REALLY put the pressure on! So here Leif are the themes to kick-start your blog, in no particular order, but they are concepts or questions I think people will find truly intriguing:
- the concept of the knowledge cafe, the Vienna cafes and origins in the Muslim world
- trust as the bridge on which knowledge travels in between people
- the concept of “knowledge cities” – an overview
- Nordic Leadership program
- a number of posts about the shaping of space, for example, the design of a chair (without arm rests) and its impact on knowledge exchange; the colour green and its roots going back to 1490.
- specific examples of psycho-social landscapes – Dialogue House, Mind Lab, floating centre in Denmark
- a blog post about why the Swedes are so creative (your answer to that was about knowledge importation, which was extremely interesting)
- how do we nourish smell and sound?
- the notion of “contactivity”
- the health space terrace concept
- mind zone – how do we shape from an architectural perspective?
- the Ice Hotel and knowledge tools
- Japan and next generation of knowledge workers
- Intelligent regions
This will give Leif 14 posts to kick off with – once a week. And I’m sure you’d find what he has to say as fascinating as I do. Once he gets going, I’ll post a link to his blog. So Leif: please blog!