Emergent and BoysPosted: November 16, 2009
The two are not related except for what i am writing. Boys is because of the evening drinking Old Monk with boys and emergent is what i thought about the thoughts which came up along the evening. Let me write about the boys first. Having a few drinks with S and with M gave me the thought that boys, no matter where they come from, are more or less the same.
Coming now to the emergent part. Any of us who has had a few drinks with friends would know that when you start drinking the discussion is about something light, maybe football (cricket actually if you come from any part of the subcontinent) but you dont have an idea where the discussion will go over a period of time. It could be football or cricket or politics or philosophy or any of the many things boys like to discuss. Thing i am trying to say is that boys discussing things over a few drinks are like a system which is not really sure of where its going. Leave the drinks out and i think that most systems (whether they are about boys or girls is beside the point) are like this. They emerge. Or rather the discussion or if you are a KM professional the knowledge-sharing emerges as the discussion goes along. That its all in the form of storytelling is a different matter which mayb i would write about later but the fact is that it happens. And if you look at the way meetings are carried out in an organization and you see the topics which are discussed (try discussing a topic now and maybe six months later) you will see a similarity which is more than just a bit.
There are two aspects to this. One is that no matter where the boys come from they share some characteristics. Probably drinking and Mom’s cooking (could be somewhat similar things but you will find these more often). And the other is that discussions, more so when drunk than sober, though of course its difficult to say when it is more, move from topic to topic quite easily when they are not restricted. What i can derive from here is that if we look at a discussion as a system we see that if we keep the constraints fixed (as in office meetings) the discussions do stick to those constrains, but when we dont, the discussions range to a wide variety of topics and they are often more enriching than they would be when they are fixed to a specific topic. Maybe one of the reasons why unconferences work better than conferences? More about this some other time.