Lunch Roulette

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Social learning

I’ve written a couple of posts exploring the tension individuals and organizations experience as they balance wanting/needing to innovate, with the tendency to, well, not. We looked at some factors that support this ‘laziness’ - both at the individual and organizational level.

I’ve also shared some of the recent research from the burgeoning field of ‘social physics’.

In today’s thrilling installment, I’ll rationalize how these two sets of observations sit together, and do they fit together I hear you burble? Well, yes, they do (I think).

Turns out that engagement (as defined by the social physics ‘gang’) could be rationalised as the process through which an organization or individual is able to redistribute its energy from the ‘explore’ dimension (inclusive of the desired pattern of new behaviours), and use it to change their current state of behaviours (their pattern of exploitation...

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Exploit vs. Explore … Alpha

Just as an aside, before I start, please revisit the title and re-say it in your head this way. Cheers.

A couple of weeks ago, through this blog, I’d shared my talking points that supported a recent presentation I’d given on Exploitation vs. Exploration within a company. Do you rest on what you know, or do you explore uncharted New Worlds?

As I was looking for a file the other day, while bemoaning the inherent wickedness of knowledge management, I came across some of my earlier thoughts in a cryptically titled .docx file - ‘Some Thoughts’. Thought I would share with you all.

  1. An organization is structured around an idea, a product, or the delivery of a service
  2. The organization begins small
  3. As the organization becomes successful it grows
  4. As part of the process of growing, specialization occurs.
  5. As a result of specialization, interfaces are created. These represent barriers between...

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Social Physics

Despite having followed online education for awhile, I’d never actually taken a course before. So, last week, I was excited to take my first - ‘Big Data and Social Physics’ - offered through edX.

I’ll be honest, it really wasn’t what I was expecting at all - with it being quite a superficial introduction to the ideas and, throughout, an unashamed attempt to promote the book ‘Social Physics’. On the upside though, it did make me read the book earlier than planned and that, dear reader, is the subject of today’s post.

Let them eat cake!

In a fascinating section in the book on ‘Collective Intelligence’ Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, the books’ author, describes an experiment looking at face-to-face ‘engagement’ and it’s connection to productivity. To keep myself intellectually honest, you should know that ‘engagement’ has a very specific meaning in Prof. Pentlands’ book; and typically refers to...

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Exploit vs. Explore

Okay, fine. We’re late, we said we’d commit to one post per week, and then a whole bunch of things intruded and what fell off? That’s right. Contributing a post. Sorry about that …

What were you up to that prevented you from writing a thrilling and compelling blog post, I hear you murmur? I chaired, and presented, at iPharma 2014 in NYC

And what did you present, I hear you dribble?

Well, funny you should mention that - it’s the subject of this post. I spent some time describing the natural tension that exists, at both the individual and organizational levels - regarding how we work. I explored this (pun intended) as a dichotomy: Exploit vs. Explore. Slides can be found here in this snazzy embed, with 10 sexy talking points following below.

What does this all have to Lunch Roulette? Well, I’d have thought that was obvious – Lunch Roulette is a web-based process, that enables the...

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In which the authors share what they might, um, share in the future

As you may know, Lunch Roulette is a super simple web-based process for fostering serendipity in the workplace. Over lunch.

The idea for Lunch Roulette is so deceptively simple that it almost appears dumb. Except it really isn’t. And it’s that gap that we’re going to explore over the coming weeks, through words - maybe some video, on this blog.

Initially, posts will either come from myself (David Thompson, @dcthmpsn) or Christopher Tan (@christopherjtan). We’ll most likely talk about serendipity (engineered or otherwise), technology, this thing we call ‘work’, gaming, or sports. We’ll commit to posting at least once a week.


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