Conversation with Harold Jarche: Sense-making in a networked world and personal knowledge mastery

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Harold Jarche and I have long known each other online. He started blogging in 2000 while I jumped in in 2002, so we were part of an initially small but burgeoning community exploring online connections before and as modern social media started to emerge.

We actually did meet face-to-face briefly some years ago when by an odd coincidence both of us had engagements in Toronto on the same day, but we have certainly shared and explored each others’ ideas and content at length over many years.

It was a delight to interview Harold for The Virtual Excellence Show, in the first proper voice conversation we’ve had.

Harold’s tagline “sensemaking in a networked world” is in fact one of the best descriptions I can imagine for my work. Networks have been a fundamental theme of my work and life since before I wrote Living Networks, and for me the role of futurist is precisely that of helping make sense of a confusing world in order to shape a better future.

One other deep connection between us is Harold’s focus on “personal knowledge mastery“. While I don’t think it has been very obvious in my work (so far), what I described as “individual information and knowledge skills” have been central to where I see value, and a key focus for my early work in knowledge management in the mid-90s. Expect to see me write a lot more about this in coming years.

Please enjoy Harold and my conversation on the show, and be sure to check out his awesome, insightful blog!

TRANSCRIPT
Ross:
Welcome to the Virtual Excellence Show where every week we have conversations with amazing people about being excellent in virtual worlds and share plenty of other content around how to do that well. Very special treat this week. We are speaking to Harold Jarche who I’ve long had conversations with, has been a deep and prominent thinker around connected world and how do we make sense of it as we’re all connected. So, I’ll cut to the chase and please welcome Harold Jarche.

Harold:
Thanks very much.

Ross:
Fantastic to have you on the show, Harold.

Harold:
It’s wonderful to be here. Wonderful to be in Australia without the travel.

Ross:
You’re not. In fact you’re not even in the usual four time zones of North America, you’re way off on the fringe.

Harold:
I’m in the fifth time zone. People say there’s only four time zones, but in Canada we actually have six. So I’m in the fifth, which is Atlantic time and beyond that is Newfoundland time, which is half an hour later.

Ross:
Oh, wow.

Harold:
Yeah. But we get ignored by our big American cousins.

Ross:
So I think it is wonderful that you are certainly geographically isolated yet you’re also very central to conversations and you and I have been interacting on line for a very long time, it seems.

Harold:
Definitely. Yeah. It’s amazing, the number of Australian bloggers that I connected with in the early days. Because I think you’ve been blogging a little bit longer than I have from the early two thousands. And there’s still a number of them that I’m connected to that have stuck with it. And I think perhaps the isolation aspect was part of what may have attracted us to the blogosphere as it was called at the time. In my case is that I live in a small town of 5,000 people. The nearest major city is a thousand kilometers away. Right. So it’s a long ways away. It’s either Montreal or Boston if I cross the border.

Ross:
Wow.

Harold:
And I think by virtue of being in the middle of nowhere is that I had to have a global perspective because I’m in a bit of a economically depressed area and so there really wasn’t a lot of work opportunities or job opportunities here. And so I think it was just, I just more naturally figured, well, I got the world and let’s see what the heck happens.

Ross:
Yeah. That’s really interesting. So Sydney is, I think since 2000, the Olympics, it is a global city, but it still feels very isolated and you’re right, I was trying to engage… I was going and doing round the world trips once a year to try to be connected to people. And it was such a boon when suddenly could get the blog of people who were attending conferences in San Francisco and so on and being able to connect to that. And that was this time of discovery of connection. And finding those early people who are engaged and finding each other and a bit of a tribe developing.

Harold:
Having had the advantage of starting this early is that it was small and there really was this openness, transparency, democratic sharing, open source everybody thinks of. There’s a fellow, I think he works at one of the universities in Australia, James Farmer. I don’t know if the name rings a bell, but James did tech support on my Drupal site for me. So this guy in Australia was supporting me as I was trying to figure out what the heck I was doing because I’m not very technologically savvy. So the early days of that, particularly of blogging there were few options, right. And this was before Twitter, before Facebook really, is that this medium form of writing was the way in which we conversed with each other and they were longer more thoughtful conversations than anything that you’d see on Twitter today.

Ross:
Yes. Yes. So your interested in this thing, so virtual work is now de rigueur? You’ve been doing it for-

Harold:
17 years.

Ross:
… I’d be fair to say a long time.

Harold:
Yeah.

Ross:
What’s your experience been of being a virtual worker consultant, however you describe it, for so long now, way before everyone else?

Harold:
I think, well, it’s interesting. I think that what the pandemic has done is that when you talk about virtual work or remote work, is that everybody can understand it. I remember when I was working with things like Enterprise Social Networks before they were called Enterprise Social Networks, and when Facebook came along, suddenly I had a metaphor, a model, like I say, it’s like Facebook, but for business. And I think now with virtual work is that everybody knows what a Zoom conference call is like. Everybody knows what it’s like trying to be plug plugged in, which has pretty well been my reality for 17 years in that… I did travel before, but four trips a year was probably most of it. And a lot of my work was at a distance.

Harold:
I think in my case, Zoom is probably the 20th video conferencing application that I’ve used over the years. I’ve played with a lot of the different systems, worked with a lot of failed projects. Try this, see how that works. It didn’t work. Things fell apart and together. And I think that working virtually over time has made me more flexible and also at the same time more specific. When you work at a distance, you have to be very… The whole notion of working out loud is that you have to be explicit or at least have places where people can find things explicitly. Even with one of my clients right now, one of the ways that I communicate with them is through blog posts is they say, “Well, we’re interested in this idea, could you research it a little bit?” And I actually put it out on my blog because I can’t access their intranet. Then they can grab it and they can put it inside the intranet.

Harold:
But that notion of being explicit and also, I think, the other notion is being content with half baked ideas. And I think you’ve done that many times. You’ve put something out there. I say, “I’m not quite sure about this idea, but I’m putting it out there.” And I think that for people who work inside organizations, that’s a bit of a scary thing. You’re going to put something out there, you know that it’s not a hundred percent, it’s not presentation perfect, but you’re going to stick your neck out there anyway.

Ross:
Yeah. That’s really, really interesting. And that ability, I’ve tried to grapple with that a little bit in terms of saying, I found if I do things which look too finished then everyone just looks at it and says, “Oh that looks good.” As opposed to if you put out things that look less polished, they’re more able to participate and add to it.

Harold:
Yeah and that’s the whole thing with virtual work is that it is different and that we have to have different practices to elicit the kinds of things that… We’ve had millennia to read faces. Somebody looks at you in a certain way and it’s, “Oh, I think I did something wrong.” But online, even with video conferencing, you don’t get all of those cues and we have to figure ways to work around it or work digitally better.

Ross:
Just to ask, so you’ve got lots of experiences in virtual work and just from that bit, what advice do you have for individuals or for organizations on saying, all right, well, they’re suddenly thrust into it, so how should they be going about it?

Harold:
Well, first of all, is that the first thing is you’ve got to cut people slack. It takes time. And we think that people work an eight hour day, but there was some research done by Inc magazine about four years ago and they said the actual worker is productive for about three hours a day. I know that on a good day, if I do three hours of productivity, that’s all right. But it’s not very often I’m productive for eight hours in a single day. So you have to cut people slack on that. You have to also remove a lot of the barriers. One of the nice things about being a freelancer is that I don’t have to deal with a whole bunch of bureaucratic crap or anything like that. Before the pandemic, I used to be able to say is that, “I spend very little time in meetings.” But now that everybody’s gone virtual, I get invited to a lot more meetings than I did before.

Harold:
So I think that’s part of it. The other thing is, is that you need to find some way to make sense. That’s my business, is sense-making. Is that now that you’re not able to have those conversations in the office as much and get an understanding is that you have to be a bit more explicit. You and I, we still blog and we use the blog forums for that. Some people use Twitter, some might do other things. But even if it’s keeping a private journal, I think it’s really important to work through this yourself and come out with your own ways of really working in what is an unnatural way for humans. We’ve been doing it for 20 years, but I it’s only been around for about 25.

Ross:
You mentioned this idea of sense-making and I was just looking through your website, and this phrase, sense-making-

Harold:
You were stalking me weren’t you? Cyber-stalking me.

Ross:
Well, as many people do, Harold. And so this phrase sense-making, it networked well and I said, “You’re describing yourself but you’re also describing me.” But that is the challenge and the opportunity where we’re an incredibly networked world. So many signals, lots of connections between the signals and you are a structured thinker, you’re well known, famed for your frameworks and ways of thinking. Let’s start to unpack that idea since [inaudible 00:10:58] in a network world. I suppose particularly today where it’s a few other layers of complexity overlaid on that.

Harold:
Yeah. Well, I think what becomes really important is that we have to be a bit more aware of our social networks. And as well, this whole notion of communities of practice. Right now I’m a member of about four communities of practice. One of them is Change Agents Worldwide. I know that you spoke with Simon Terry recently. So I’m a member of that. I actually run one myself and it’s called The Perpetual Beta Coffee Club. And that’s focused on workplace learning. And then I’m active in a couple of other ones. And knowing the difference between communities and networks becomes really important as we work virtually. So a network is this very loose, open thing. Could be you’re on Twitter, or if you’re blogging and who knows, anybody can come by and make a comment and things like that, but you don’t know who these people are.

Harold:
And I know that, Ross, you talked about this before this whole notion of enhanced serendipity. And because you’re connected to this diverse multinational network is that there’s really good chances of serendipity. There’s also really good chances of being attacked by trolls or bots or being flamed or gaslit and all the other bad things that we see about social media. Because social media, particularly consumer social media is like the wild west, really exciting place, but you don’t want to raise your kids there. It’s, “Yeah, we’re going to move back here a little bit.” So finding communities becomes really important. Where is a place that I can go and I can connect with other people who are going to support me? We may argue, but that argument is going to stay within the community.

Harold:
So where is a safe space where I can push my professional wisdom a little bit, where I can connect with others? So one community I belong to has a number of different people with different expertise. Like Valdis Krebs who is an expert in social network analysis. So if I have questions about social network analysis, I just go into that community and I say, Hey, Valdis, what do I do if I’m interested in this kind of stuff.” And he’ll say, “Oh, you should read this first and check this out and do that and ignore that.” And sometimes we’ll even have arguments, but the thing is, the argument stays there. Whereas on a social network like Twitter, for example, several years ago I tweeted something and it was picked up by Nicholas Taleb and he within second said, “This is the biggest load of NBA, academic crap I’ve ever seen.” Ended up when about 150 other people jumped on top of that and said, “Yeah, yeah, who’s this idiot. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. What’s he talking about?”

Harold:
I use that as a teaching example. So this is the difference between a network and a community. In a network, it’s this drive by shooting can happen. Whereas in a community we’re all looking after each other. It doesn’t have to be all, nice and friendly and say, “We love you,” all the time, but you also know that people are going to listen to you and they’re going to respect you. And I found that even I’ve met some people over the years that I’ve known through Twitter. And sometimes I say, “Let’s do a Zoom session for half an hour and just talk.” And once you’ve spoken to that person, you treat them very different online.

Harold:
But we’re humans, it’s all about building trust. And so I think that as we start seeing our work is going virtual, but we can’t get all the knowledge, information and growth from our work teams, so we have to be out there in the wide open world and what connects them in my opinion, are these communities. So I can find some neat, interesting stuff online. Maybe I can formulate an idea. Maybe I’ll share it with my community before I even blog it and say, “Hey, does anybody know anything about this?” So I’m constantly moving between these spaces. And it’s exactly the process that Jony I’ve, the designer of the iPhone, head of design at Apple said that he was doing this, this constant move between curiosity and learning and then the resolve to solve problems.

Harold:
And he says, “You’ll do this five, six, 10 times a day going, Oh, a butterfly, interesting. And then, oh, oh, we better get back to work and do this. But you’re not interested. That thing, the butterfly, maybe will inform me on something that I’ll be doing with my work.” So it’s, how do you constantly bounce between those? We’ve got one brain, but virtually we can exist and be involved in a number of different planes. From open networks to more closed networks, to communities that are open, closed, or inside the company, and then to our work teams and the departments that we work with. And so that whole notion of curiosity, but still getting stuff done.

Ross:
I think that’s a wonderful distinction and a great clarification of that. The open networks and the communities of helping each other, which I think that brings us to the next question, as I say, in sense-making and the difference between individual sense-making and collective sense-making. And I suppose if he’s talking collective sense-making then, I suppose you start to talk about collective intelligence as well. Let’s pause on that, let’s wait on that one. This idea of individual sense-making, got the signals together, try to make sense of the world myself. So let’s say we’ve got a community and we are collectively trying to make sense of the world. So what are the mechanisms? What are the ways in which we can get a community to be good at collective sense-making?

Harold:
Yeah. Because the thing is, if you look at collective sense-making, individual sense-making, you can’t have collective sense-making without individual sense-making and you can’t have individual sense-making without being informed socially. Because everything that’s happening around us actually affects us. The good thing is now, 20 years into this, is that there are some really good practices in terms of how to run a network, how to run a community. And we understand that community management is actually a skill. People have to be able to do that. But I see a lot of it from moving from the spectrum of implicit knowledge. The stuff I’ve got and explicit knowledge. So implicit knowledge would be a chef’s knowledge on how to make a meal and the explicit part would be the recipe.

Harold:
If you gave a chef a recipe and me the same recipe, and you got two meals out of the deal, I wouldn’t go with the one that I gave you, because I lack all of that implicit knowledge. And I think that in collective sense-making, it’s one of the types of processes we can have in place to make things more explicit in terms of, what about stories? That’s a way of taking something that’s in here, making that more explicit. What about working out loud? What about having threads? That’s the whole roots of knowledge management is making these knowledge bases and in some cases our knowledge base could be helpful, though usually knowledge is only important when you need it and when you have to actually say, “Oh, I know how to do that,” and click, the brain goes in and you can do that. Or “I need to re-read the manual before I start fixing things.” So it’s, what am I accessing and how am I accessing at the point of need?

Harold:
But I think collectively there’s two things. There’s the flow, us having a conversation is the flow, and then there’s the stock or the result, and that would be this recording. You and I can have three or four conversations, this recording, it was a point in time, but it’s not the same as you and I sitting down having a coffee and just waxing philosophically for an hour.

Ross:
Yes, yes. And so some of the frameworks you have built, I suppose there’s only helping to explain the nature of these networks and communities. So are there any of the models that you have built or shared or are building which you think are particularly relevant today in terms of helping people understand the real structure I suppose, of how we’re working today?

Harold:
I developed this framework called Personal Knowledge Mastery. I’ll tell you the story about it. Here I am, when I started working for myself, I was actually fired from my job. And blogging was one of the ways I figured out I could try to… It was cheap and I could connect to the world. And I was reading lots of things. I didn’t have money to go to conferences or travel or anything like that. So it was, “Okay, how do I use the web to maintain my professional credibility?” And I came across the work of several people, but most particularly it was Lily [inaudible 00:20:26] who was working on her doctoral thesis at the time. So Lily was living in the Netherlands where she still is. And she talked about this term called personal knowledge management, that a few others were talking about at the time.

Harold:
And that what was interesting because what it was is that she was researching how a number of bloggers who were doing knowledge sharing between them. They’re all interested in the same phenomenon and they were writing blogs and they were using that as a way to communicate with each other and to grow their collective knowledge. So I just started writing about it. And then I started saying, “Okay, well, what the heck do I do?” And I started writing a series of blog posts over a few years about, “This is what I’m using now and, Oh, look, I found social bookmarks. And that’s one thing I can plug into my PKM framework.” And I changed it to personal knowledge mastery. One of the main reason I did that was to get away from the KM world, because there’s stuff in the KM world that was happening, that I thought, no…

Harold:
PKM is an individual discipline. There’s no recipe book for it. It’s a framework and there’s big capital P. It’s personal. And then it would have been about four or five years after I started writing about it, I got contacted by Domino’s Pizza, their head of leadership development. And he says, “I like this PKM thing. Can we put it into our leadership program?” And I didn’t even think this was a business. This was just a thing I was writing about. And I said, “Okay, cool, cool.” And then since that time, over the years it’s been used in a large number of universities. I think it’s featured in about 20 different PhD theses that I’ve come across anyway. And then also using it and variations of it, because it’s a very loose structure. It’s based upon three things, seek, sense, share. How do you seek knowledge? How do you make sense of it and how, when, where, and why do you share it? And then how you then develop your own personal practices to do that.

Harold:
And then since then, I’m currently doing it with a global bank where we’re actually looking at running it out across the entire spectrum as basically a generic skill for all workers. And also informed leadership development at Carlsberg and ING Bank, a number of other organizations that have used it. And what I found is that with the pandemic and with the lockdown is a light switch has gone on with people. Now, whether it’s PKM or whether it’s something else is that, “I’ve got to make sense of what the heck is going on around me.”

Harold:
I use PKM, my own practice, to make sense of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. What does each one mean? And as the pandemic came along, I started using my network to connect with other people who were doing that, building feeds and then realizing that things like, oh, epidemiologists and public health people aren’t in the same bucket and they actually disagree with each other.” Okay. “Oh, and data scientists let’s not put them in there, but actually you have to be getting good sense-making from all of them and it’s about stuff that I don’t understand. I’ve never even taken a course in biology, but I have to make decisions for my life perhaps on how to… And luckily there have been some really good people, such as Trish Greenhalgh, who is at Oxford University, who’s become the unofficial expert for COVID in the UK and Nicolas Granatino who has a company called Cronycle.

Harold:
And it’s actually, it’s interesting because I’ve met Nicolas and the platform is pretty well based on PKM principles, but it’s a mix of AI plus human sense-making and heuristics. Putting that together to find out where the best sources of information are based upon reference from peers. And who’s the trusted peer in the network and who are people referring to and then feeding that through. So what started out for me as a, “How the heck do I make sense of the web?” And now because I articulated it has become a tool for a lot of people to start thinking about, “What do I do now that everything is virtual?” Because that’s pretty well where we are at is that… And I know you’ve said that, in a connected world, if your skills aren’t world-class, you’re a commodity. Ross Dawson, I know he said that. Suddenly that shifts the framework a lot is that, “Oh, now I’m competing with people all over the world? Yeah.”

Ross:
Yeah, yeah. It’s one of our, again, our deep intersections back in the nineties, as I initially encountered knowledge management, I was making the distinction between individual information knowledge skills, and organizational information knowledge skills. I’ve always thought that individual knowledge skills have been vastly under taught, certainly. And you run a workshop, an ongoing workshop?

Harold:
Yes. I run a 60 day public workshop. Anybody can sign up for that. And then I run custom workshops for organizations if they need them and if they want to do it all in house and again, it’s not a recipe and it’s there’s no certificate or anything like that, but really what it is, is looking at, okay, here are the core principles and here’s a whole bunch of different things to think about like critical thinking, media analysis. What are the effects of Twitter on conversations. Then some people have never thought about those aspects. So it has 18 different activities that we do through it. And at the end of it, the objective is, is that people are ready to start their own practice.

Harold:
Because like my measure for PKM is that you know that PKM works if it works for you. So because you have to make something internal and you have to make sense of it. But I’d like to go back to the international, the competitiveness in a connected world. That’s one of the things that you wrote a number of years ago, and it’s pretty stuck with knowing that. And I think that it happened, in the last few months. I was referred through Twitter to an article by somebody who was a marketer, a pretty leading marketer, from what I could tell. I know nothing of marketing and I don’t read marketing material, but this guy was telling this story.

Harold:
And he was telling the story about being locked down and so he was fine working from home. He was a pretty well a virtual worker, but his wife, one of the things that she really liked doing was yoga. And she had a yoga instructor come to the house once a week. Gary was his name and Gary would spend an hour and go through it and it was a good point in her week. She goes, “Good I’ve got my yoga instructor, individual instruction. I get to be better at yoga.” And then when the lockdown happened, Gary, like a whole bunch of other people went to Zoom and it was okay and it went quite well. Now for Gary, it was a really good thing because Gary didn’t have to jump in his truck and drive, and this is a pretty remote area, to see his 10 or 20 clients that he had. Instead, he could do everything from Zoom.

Harold:
And then when the lockdown was lifted, Gary told his clients, I’m not doing face-to-face anymore. I’m not doing it through personal, I’m doing it on Zoom. Made sense for Gary, costs a lot less money and everything like that. This fellow’s wife was looking at it and said, Gary’s pretty good, but if I’m doing this by Zoom, how do I see if I can find somebody who’s better? So Gary just killed his only advantage, which was, he was the only guy in this area who gave face-to-face yoga lessons. And when he went online, suddenly he’s the same as everybody else online. And I think that’s where a whole bunch of people have suddenly found themselves.

Ross:
Yes. And so right now, for those who have the similar analog stories to Gary, it’s deep challenge and massive opportunity.

Harold:
Well, It was the same with you and I. We do public speaking as well. And one of the things I noticed is when the lockdown started is that the people that I would consider the A-list speakers, the ones getting 50,000 bucks a pop and traveling all over the place, were starting to do virtual conferences for free. Well, what does that do to me? It’s, “Well, the only way to compete with free is free or don’t do it.” And so I think the whole conference speaking… Like what you’re doing here, this is the show, the podcast, is that everybody’s gone on that. And in some ways we are competing with the big names and stuff like that. So we have to really understand. I think as you mentioned, is that in that world where everyone’s connected and having world-class skills is that there’s a whole bunch of niches. And like for me, PKM has become a very personal niche that not many people are involved in.

Ross:
Yes. Yes. So I think in the speaking thing I see that personally as a massive opportunity in the medium to longer term, because I used to literally fly 24 hours to be somewhere for an hour. Maybe sleep and then fly 24 hours back again. It’s all unraveling and re-raveling together, but I think that’s a great possibility for me. I’m just geographically isolated from most parts of the world.

Harold:
I think that there’s an opportunity of growth opportunity and small focused on-site invitation-only types of sessions. I think that we’re going to see that happen, it’s, “Okay, I’m not going to travel 20 times a year, but I can do one or two, but it’s going to have to be a deep experience of, okay, there’s 20 people here that I want to talk with. We’re there for a week. We have time, we can do it. I can block it off.” And so I think that high end, wouldn’t really call it luxury, but that high end more expensive type of event and much smaller, 50 people or less, I think there’s going to be a growth in that area and not in the 10,000 people at a conference.

Ross:
Yes. Yes. Which takes us back to the sense-making.

Harold:
Yeah.

Ross:
Yeah, we could talk for forever, but I was suppose to round out, want to come back to organizations. Organizations ask you, “Harold, tell us, what should we do? How should we enhance our ability to create value?” I believe the answer is different for every organization, but where we are today, what are your reflections? What are the things that you think organizations and leaders need to be focusing on to be ready for the world today and what it’s likely to be moving forward?

Harold:
Yeah, well, starting with leaders. Those in leadership positions in organizations is the term that I prefer. You’re not a leader. You just happened to be in the leadership position. And I like to say that leadership is helping make your network smarter. So what are you doing to help the people in your network make decisions based on better information, maybe make them faster, more complete, and without you having to be engaged in that? And one of the best examples of that, that I’ve seen was the chairman of Nokia, Risto Siilasmaa. And Risto, it was about two or three years ago and one of the areas that Nokia wanted to focus on, or it was their focus was machine learning and Risto was getting really perturbed that nobody could truly give him a succinct presentation explanation of what is machine learning and why is it important to Nokia?

Harold:
And finally, he whacked himself on the side of the head and said, “That’s nobody’s job, that’s my job.” And so what he did is he actually, he went back to school, he took some programming courses in AI and machine learning. He attended some sessions. He went to some conferences. He talked to different people and at the end of six months, and you can search for this online it’s on YouTube, is that he did a one hour presentation to everybody at Nokia on, what is machine learning and why is it important for our business? Doesn’t matter whether you’re a clerk or whether you’re a programmer. And he’s not the best presenter in the world, but it’s a good presentation. It actually made sense of machine learning for me. And then he wound up, he actually gave a similar presentation to the cabinet of the Finnish government.

Harold:
And then he had given it to a number of other European organizations that he traveled around to. But that for me is like one of the best examples of helping make your network smarter. Help your network make better decisions. So if leaders, those in leadership positions are doing that, we talk about organizational learning, well, if the boss is showing how to learn, is seeking, sensing and sharing. If the boss is doing that… When people talk about organizational change or learning and development, getting a seat at the table. And I say, “You don’t don’t need a seat at the table if you can convince the CEO to do this stuff.” Because then the CEO is going to say, “How come you’re not doing this?” And very quickly change happens around on that. So anyway, from the leadership side, I think that’s the core thing and I don’t think enough people in leadership positions are doing that.

Ross:
That’s awesome. The implicit that has risen through all my conversations on the show is learning by doing. And that’s just a beautiful example of that and I suppose, how that flows into the organization and the network.

Harold:
I think we’re going to see a seismic shift in education and training as we stay remote, locked down, because it exposes the weaknesses in the content delivery system. And the example I refer to is that the first indigenous psychiatrist in Canada, his name was Dr [inaudible 00:00:35:40], and he wrote about indigenous ways of knowing. And one of the things he talked about, he said was that the Europeans brought over basically an educational mental model of a shaping, is that you say what the behavior is and that as the child or the person has better approximations to it, you reinforce them. Say, “Yeah, do that, do that.” Then you reinforce it and then you already have predetermined what they’re going to do. And that’s what most training programs are, you’re shaping behavior.

Harold:
But the traditional indigenous way, and this in a lot of indigenous cultures, I’m not too sure how it is in Australia was modeling. And modeling was, is that the only thing you can do is be a better you. So you be the better human to your child. You’re the model to that child. And the child learns through your example. You don’t tell the child what to do. And they use the example of toilet training. So the European model of toilet training is, daddy or mommy shows the child what to do. Maybe they get pull-up diapers, they get reinforced with, “Good boy, good boy, you did your job.” And whereas the indigenous way was that the parents go to the bathroom as they do it and at some point in time, the child says, “I want to do it like you.” And it takes about a day as opposed to all the frustrations I know that parents have had with things like toilet training. Now, for things like teaching calculus, might not work as well. I’m not sure.

Ross:
So how do people find out more about your work, Harold?

Harold:
Well, my website, so that’s the best one. So just J-A-R-C-H-E.com. And that’s where pretty well everything is. I’m active on Twitter. I’m on LinkedIn, but I still haven’t figured out what the heck I’m doing there. Other than saying what I’ve been doing on Twitter or what I’ve been doing on the blog. The blog is the best one. I have an ebook for sale. The whole notion of perpetual beta, I think you say beta, but perpetual change. After blogging for 10 years, I took the best of my blogs and I wrote an ebook on that. And then I wrote a series of them on different things. One on leadership, one on personal knowledge mastery, another one on models and frameworks.

Harold:
And then since 2018, I’ve been trying to put one out about every 18 months where I edit like crazy, see what new stuff there is. And again, it’s perpetual beta, so it’s constantly upgrading and moving it. So right now it’s a 160 page book, and it covers everything you wanted to know about anything that… That covers things from democracy to entanglement, to personal knowledge mastery, to communities of practice networks, quite a broad range of things that interest me.

Ross:
Fantastic. Great to have those resources out there. Thank you so much, Harold. I think we might have to, sometime in the future do a follow up session, because we’ve only scratched the surface.

Harold:
Yeah, definitely, I’d like to do that. It would be great, thanks Ross.

Ross:
Thank you so much, Harold. Have a wonderful day.

Ross:
That was Harold Jarche, amazing insights, wonderful conversations. There from the beginning of connected world, sharing his insights. So if you have liked this, please like the video and subscribe to our channel, which will helps us to do more of this moving forward. Thank you and have a wonderful day.