King Lear is not Shakespeare's best play - but it is his greatest. The truth of this, which I recall one of my Shakespeare professors claiming, grows more apparent to me as I grow older. And especially as our world lurches forward in unexpected ways then those of us who are older, and have settled into our routines, feel more and more affinity with the aging Lear. So perhaps at different times King Lear grows even more emblematic of our predicament. Of course, this is a little disconcerting when we recall that King Lear loses his marbles. In the scene... Read more →

As a bit of a perverse hobby, I have been studying "Management". I have been doing so for many years and, for reasons I struggle to explain to myself, I continue to do so. Fortunately, this hobby provides moments of merriment. As one example, I have come across multiple studies and even some books that explore, or more correctly serenade, the exemplary management practices displayed by the managers of the City of Ottawa (Canada's capital). The merriment comes from being able to contrast these glowing representations to the stark reality of the City of Ottawa's grotesque mismanagement of many large... Read more →

For our purposes, SALSA is not a specialized form of dance or a delicious side dish. That said, it is true that allusions to these other senses are frequently hard to resist. For our purposes, SALSA is a way for a group of people to see, and I mean really see, the situation they are in and to see a path forward that they all want to explore. It is a way for different people to come together to make some magic and for different ingredients to come together in an impactful, even delicious, way. It seems that the allusions... Read more →

My candidate for word of the year, or perhaps decade, is FAAAY. It echoes the word "fey" which means slightly touched and vaguely otherworldly. It connects, at least in my mind, to fairy "a class of supernatural beings of diminutive size" (OED). It also typifies an all-too-common disposition where people's motivations start, and end, with feeling good about themselves. I will be brief. As will be observed, I have not been applying any effort to my blog of late. And as this will be slightly provocative, I will post and run. Basically, FAAAY is a name that I now apply... Read more →

This will be a brief diversion from my usual focus on the topic of "content" although it will, in due course, discuss concepts of no small relevance when we talk about the business of content. This will be a brief exploration of two ideas: Governance and Management. It has long been my contention that these are two distinct concepts and that keeping them distinct is quite important. And I thought I would explore the two concepts, and their proper interaction, by recounting an experience from many years ago (30 years ago actually). This story is set at Canadian Forces Base... Read more →

Content Strategy has many faces. Some of them have become quite popular of late. And that is all for the good. As usual, I tend to zero in on aspects that are less popular at least in part because they lie beneath the surface. Let's start with the familiar parts. We hear a good deal about how a sound content strategy helps to make your product something people can find when they are looking for something and that can help these people to learn about your product so that, at the end of the day, it is the one they... Read more →

Some recent inquiries, which I had initially seen as separate, have been converging at several points. These inquiries have included projects delving deeply into the application of Lean Manufacturing principles to business functions historically unaccustomed to this level of rigour (or perhaps any level of rigour). These inquiries have also included professional development excursions into the deployment of Agile Scrum software development practices. And these inquiries have included the digging up and re-reading some of older papers marking out the emergence of a loose collection of ideas that travels under the banner of Knowledge Management (KM). The point of convergence... Read more →

It was early March 2012 and I was making my way to Austin Texas for South by Southwest (SXSW). This particular event is such a large draw that there were literally no flights into Austin to be had at any price. So this meant that I would be flying into a nearby city, in this case Houston, and driving to my conference hotel. Not ideal but not the end of the world either. Arriving in the evening, I collected my rental car for the journey and punched my destination into the navigation system. I naively thought that this would yield... Read more →

It is the natural tendency of all systems to outgrow themselves and to become unsustainable. This is a tendency I have described previously as barnaclization (see The Barnaclization of Systems and Institutional Dissociation). There can be no question that many aspects of the global economy exhibit various forms of barnaclization, sometimes in its early forms and sometimes in the later stages of encrustation. The global financial system pretty fairly falls into the latter category. In taking a step back, almost anyone can see that there will be a sustainability problem with a system that establishes an unbounded hierarchy of incentives... Read more →

Sometimes things happen that seem to conspire together in order to emphasize a point. These occurrences stand out because more commonly events flow by with an expected lack of discernable meaning. Over the last couple of months I have chanced upon a string of events that all seem to speak to a common topic and to do so in a common way. The topic in question is that of artistic mastery, although it may well suit a different, and broader, label. It is a topic that in fact extends outward in all directions and I can see how it applies... Read more →