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What is important to me now?

When things change rapidly, people who are the current “in crowd” are the last to realize what happened – largely due to lack of fair assessment of what the changes mean.

I say this because I’ve noticed a change in how I determine the type of people I like to dialogue with and learn from. Previously, power/position was an important determinant of the worth of a person. If they were very knowledgeable, intelligent, well-known, etc, I appraised their opinion as being somewhat more important. That was before the Internet…and the information overload. That was a time where “what you knew” is what made you valuable. How things have changed!

Now, it’s about working and thinking together. No one can know everything about anything…the new model is about connected specialization. The pipe (connections we make) is more important than what’s in the pipe (what we know now). The previous “in crowd” doesn’t get this yet. When knowledge is scarce and controllable, the gate keepers are the most critical. When knowledge is abundant, the ones who share the most are the most important.

All of this self-indulgent rambling is really to make two points about how I now attach personal importance to people I meet: 1. Their willingness to listen to new ideas, 2. Their willingness to engage in dialogue. I hope educators catch this concept soon…I’m afraid it’s not yet making a significant impact in most traditional institutions.

Working alone, toiling away in isolation, and expecting to be applauded for your sacrifices when you emerge doesn’t work. Do it with me…or I may not be interested when you’re done.


  1. Denham wrote:

    Hi George,

    Interesting post. Have come to much the same conculsion – it’s the connection (pipe) that counts not the content, it is the exchange and the emergence that bings value not the static store.

    Here is my take:

    Collaboration before content

    Friday, April 25, 2003 at 9:23 pm | Permalink
  2. gsiemens wrote:

    Hi Denham…

    Followed the link you provided, love your statement: “The most valuable knowledge related asset any individual has, is their relationships for it is those relationships that determine knowledge flow, exposure and awareness to new ideas, potential for collaboration, social capital and trust.”

    (Generalization coming up!): I wonder why it seems to be so difficult for traditional organizations (I’m thinking in particular – the education field) to understand this…well, ok, in all fairness, they probably do understand it already…but the understanding has not yet translated into significant change to the “tower” structure of knowledge flow in higher education….

    Saturday, April 26, 2003 at 9:43 am | Permalink