Some definitions and observations to gain clarity in the world of distributed work, futures thinking and networked learning.


Addicted to learning: keep learning at any age.

Balance for extensive research + sharing your cross-pollination of ideas/sense-making. It is your contribution to the world.

C for seeing the periphery, scanning the horizon, seeing beyond, sharing insights and seeing who else sees what you see.

Use your diverse skills for collaboration, cooperation, and co-creation.

Read more.

“Don’t ask for feedback. Ask for advice. You ask for action steps to get better. In that way you create a partner. When you ask for feedback you create a critic.” — Daniel Pink

Balancing connectedness with ambiversion and solitude.

“As as extrovert, I’m finding hours of screen-based virtual meetings each day exhausting. I thought solitude was easier for introverts but it turns out I’m wrong. Lockdown is showing we need to rethink introvert vs. extrovert differences: Via @AdamMGrant” — @helenbevan

The ‘and’ could be expressed through being an ambivert as shared by Daniel Pink.

“art is a p(art) of every st(art)” — @johnmaeda

“Art is also found in the way we do our work. That might seem odd but if you really think about your work as a form of craft, it might just shift you from being a cog in a machine to a one-off with each call you handle, email you reply to and with each conversation you engage in.

Listening — in the above example — can be made more powerful, useful and impactful if you treat things more artfully than transactional. OK, maybe not the discussion on whether to allocate £400 or £4000 to a project or what to have for tea, but when people are confused, need some guidance, to learn something, grow in confidence or to diffuse tension. More artful listening might just make the difference in many complex and challenging situations.” — Perry Timms

“Async is the norm, so being in sync mode feels extra constraining and slow. Over time when you are working all-remote, you come to get used to communicating async and get the benefits of being able to manage multiple streams of communication. So being in sync mode can feel slow and cumbersome.

These detractions aside, sync space can be useful for getting on the same page because it’s a significant investment by everyone in being co-present. It’s the closest thing to a handshake in an all-distributed environment to just show up in the same sector of spacetime.” — @johnmaeda


“Through social media (usually Twitter), conference attendees can share their thoughts and ideas about the information being shared with others. It could be as simple as taking the notes I might normally compile for myself and sharing them with the world at large. What’s more exciting about this sharing is it extends beyond just notes from the presentation. Conference attendees share their own thoughts and experiences about the content. They share additional resources that add to those shared by the speakers. In short, through their sharing, they expand the content and become a part of the presentation.Even more powerful is that this sharing breaks through the walls of the session, sharing the content with anyone that is interested in reading it – even those that are not attending the session. It is this sharing and expansion of content during a live event that is referred to as ‘The Backchannel’.” – David Kelly

“Blogging isn’t just a way to organize your research — it’s a way to do research for a book or essay or story or speech you don’t even know you want to write yet. It’s a way to discover what your future books & essays & stories & speeches will be about.” — Cory Doctorow

“blog as a boundary object that can connect different knowledge domains and different social networks just because its author chooses to write on a range of themes from a variety of own roles and identities.” — @mathemagenic

“Driven by curiosity and a deep desire to learn, I entered a wondrous world. It was equivalent to an online library being personally curated for me by some of the best learning curators and designers. I found out who followed whom and started following some of the people. I didn’t know then that I was building my Personal Learning Network (PLN) and that it would change how I learned and thought forever. It’s no exaggeration to say that Twitter and my growing PLN contributed to what became transformative learning for me.”

“(…) Blogging took me to the next stage of the framework — Sensing. I started to analyze, assimilate and connect the disparate dots — things were beginning to make sense.”

“Blogging is one of the most critical and powerful personal learning and reflection tool.”

“(…) Since then, I have learned to curate, filter, aggregate, save and share. I consciously follow people who I trust and who become my curators.” – Sahana Chattopadhyay’s blog post 

Read more.

BYOE: Bring Your Own Everything.


Source: visual by Dennis Callahan,



I have been thinking and writing about developing skills in the flow of work but wondered recently watching ‘Tomorrow’s teams today: Building capabilities needed to transform’, from the McKinsey Academy, if my focus on skills is perhaps misplaced. Should I be talking about capability instead? The reason I had focused on skills is because I see them as an outcome of action and applied knowledge, which in turn depend on capability and capacity.”

After much mulling, I prefer to follow the McKinsey Academy’s lead and talk about capability. It suggests potential for action. Plus, capability is more encompassing. It applies to both individuals and organisations.”

“(…) Capacity

If capability is about potential for action, capacity is about the conditions that enable potential to be realised. People need capacity – personal and organisational – to be able to build capability. That means time, space and place, energy, opportunity, freedom, plus access to social networks, resources, technologies, and performance support systems.” — Anne Marie Rattray

Co-creation is a form of collaborative innovation: Ideas are shared and improved together rather than kept to oneself. People are inherently creative and want to shape their own experiences. Throughout time, humanity has used collaboration and cooperation; in times of crisis, co-creation becomes vital.” — @AcornOakTribe

“A community is a group of people with shared values, behaviours, and artefacts.” – The Community Roundtable

“Communities of practice are groups of people who share a passion for something that they know how to do and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better.” — Etienne Wenger

“Communities are, at their core, the way people have always come together to learn. They provide the space, relationships, collisions, and trust necessary to create shared meaning, to iterate on emergent ideas, and to norm new patterns and behaviors.” — @rhappe

“Communities are not committees or project teams. People want to join them. Members feel affinity for communities which are centred on learning & improving as a professional. Communities of practice are becoming an essential component of getting work done.” — @hjarche

“Communities that can create such safe spaces for everyone to show up authentically in all their uniqueness intact create the conditions for a multiplicity of voices and viewpoints to intertwine, synergize, and integrate. Such communities create the conditions for belonging characterized by invitation, inclusion, inspiration, insight, and interconnection. Only when people fully belong can they participate and contribute from their deepest and integral selves.” — Sahana Chattopadhyay

“Informal communities is where it is at. It is where knowledge is discovered and shared, and where new knowledge is co-created and applied.” — @dr_rattray

“Communities are complex and ever- changing. In the real world, they are challenging to see in aggregate and, therefore, almost impossible to measure. Online, however, we can see how communities form, change, fragment, divide, and dissipate. That allows us to communicate community dynamics, value, and impact.” — The Community Roundtable

“Fundamentally, all community management is about connecting dots (people and information) so the community, group, or organization can be more efficient. #cmgr #KM #ESN” — @rhappe

rotana ty community management networks community roundtable

The foundation of community: people feeling seen, being heard and rewarded for who they are. Because when people feel valued, they share. And when people share, they become more connected and valued.” — @rhappe

“The biggest mistake I see people – including #cmgr – make when starting a new community is not building one-on-one relationships with early members. They see it as not scalable (it is not) but it IS the only way to scale effectively” — @rhappe

Anne Marie Rattray shared with me in a conversation her thoughts on convergence and divergence:

“I think divergence is as important as convergence. I remember hearing the British scientist [Baroness Susan Greenfield] talking about how new insight is created. She says new insight begins with challenge and then ‘seeing something in terms of something else’ for example applying parallel insight from another source outside a specific knowledge discipline. The next step is to have an aha-moment.

So convergence of knowledge disciplines, or across past and present, leads to divergent insight that challenges the status quo and moves a body of knowledge forwards.”

Read more.

“There are four types of conversations that are broadly applicable to any situation, and that are especially necessary for harnessing a group’s thinking during adaptive challenges:

1) conversations for relationship-building,

2) conversations for mutual understanding,

3) conversations for possibilities,

and 4) conversations for action.

We are using the term “conversation” to mean, the interaction that occurs when each person is actively working to understand the meaning the other is trying to convey.” — Nancy Dixon

“Conversation is made up of the specific components of Listening, Validation, Understanding and Care. Each of these is rife with personal and cultural constructs which then need to be extended in the interpersonal construct which represents the shared space of the conversation.

Simplify all this in the plainest English possible and you start off with the personal need to improve your condition which activates your motivation. This is then expressed through the higher level interaction of social interactivity which elicits cooperation, understanding, empathy and trust.

All of these represent distinct, complementary and overlapping neurochemical states that are accompanied by biochemical changes. Conversations, in short, can change our minds, rewire our brains, alter our perspective and redefine our perception of how we see the world and ourselves in it. Whether in-person or remote via our technology the effect is virtually the same. This has deep implications in marketing and branding as well as in our personal lives.

And it all begins with a simple “Let’s Talk.” — David Amerland

“Working cooperatively requires a different mindset than merely collaborating on a defined project. Being cooperative means being open to others outside your group. It also requires the casting-off of business metaphors based on military models (target markets, chain of command, strategic plans, line & staff). Cooperation is how we will find a vaccine for Covid-19.” — Harold Jarche

1. “Hyper-collaborative organisations need people with hyper-cooperative behaviours… Image: @gapingvoid” — @simbeckhampson

rotana ty organizational development collaboration culture future gapinvoid

“Creativity is a mindset, an attitude, a way of life. It could also be seen as a set of habits. If you want to bring your creativity to the fore, then explore ways of bringing it into your life in myriad small acts” — Meredith Lewis

“Creativity, Leski tells us, is a path with no beginning or end; it is ongoing. This revelatory view of the creative process will be an essential guide for anyone engaged in creative discovery.” — MIT Press, The Storm of Creativity by Kyna Leski with a foreword by John Maeda

“The four pillars of creativity:

• Inspiration = read books, seek interesting conversations, learn from others and nature
• Ideation = generate and discuss ideas
• Introspection = reflect on your progress, feelings, challenges and opportunities
• Idleness = rest, relax, recharge” — @anthilemoon

“Creativity is more about taking the facts, fictions, and feelings we store away and finding new ways to connect them.” — @TharpTwyla, The Creative Habit

“What does stands in the way of creative breakthroughs — I’m increasingly convinced — is lack of time spent walking quietly with your thoughts, working and re-working your understanding of a concept in search of new layers of meaning.

(…) Gathering inputs is the easy part. It’s the long thinking, and rethinking, then thinking again that’s really needed if you want to produce industrial strength insights.” — Cal Newport

“A search on ‘what is creativity’ brought me to a post on the Creativity At Work site.  It was a little disheartening.  The bar was raised by their opening definition:

Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing.” — Michelle Ockerz

“Curiosity is time spent listening to the people in your business and being mindful of your surroundings. It’s taking time to understand people and situations from different perspectives and not your own biases.” – Shannon Tipton

“When we are curious, we engage the world by exploring, learning, and making meaning from our discoveries” — @ariannahuff

Curiosity is essential in our modern world and its importance. How do we develop curiosity and future skills?

Through this series of blog posts, I share how one can start to nurture and develop curiosity on their own and with peers.


“Working distributedly, which is not the same as working remotely, is all about how we redefine the way we work as we transition into networks and online communities as new operating models.” – Luis Suarez

“Working distributedly means we have new operating models in place where online communities and networks dictate how work gets done. It means we no longer have to exclusively depend on the traditional command and control, top-down hierarchy of (senior) management making decisions for us. Instead, we thrive in informal networks where we have democratised the way information and knowledge are shared across. Where our only means of surviving online is by how much we coordinate, cooperate and collaborate with one another, regardless of the tools we may use in whatever the context we may have been given.

Now, that is how we change the nature of work. That’s how we discover, embrace and adapt to new ways of working by making extensive use of a number of (social) digital tools that allow us to earn the merit of being an integral part of those networks and communities: through building trustworthy personal business relationships while working and learning together. Trying to copycat exactly what happens in an office environment is not how we rethink the role we play when we come to think about work.” — @elsua

“Distributed work is driving a work-from-anywhere culture and is increasingly reliant on asynchronous communication, as people move to multiple time zones. In order to share the necessary implicit knowledge needed for complex work, trust has to be developed. People only share with others they trust. This trust takes time to develop between people. How can they do this when they are not in the same office?” – Harold Jarche

Six tips for working in an all-distributed team, or even partially-distributed one, from beginner to advanced, that are shared by @johnmaeda

  1. Choose async over sync whenever you can — but always 2-way.
  2. If you have to use Slack, make tents as makeshift conference rooms
  3. Learn from YouTubers how to make sharable videos quickly.
  4. Have a beer-cake-kombucha list by which you can treat a teammate.
  5. When on a video call with a large audience, ask for cameras on and always call on folks by name.
  6. Use shared time as a surrogate for shared space by MTW-ing it regularly. 

“Education would be transformed if #learning how-to-learn was considered as important as what was to be learnt. To master the skills needed in the future, hand out fishing rods, not fish.” — @simbeckhampson

“Emergent strategy: “We cannot know first, then act. We must experiment tentatively, learn more about our context, and continuously revise our plans.” – From Scotland’s nature preservation organization @nature_scot” HT @marshallk

“The process by which members interact with the community. Behaviors that constitute engagement include: Asking/answering questions, sharing resources, attending calls/events, welcoming new members, and Working Out Loud, among many other public community actions.” – The Community Roundtable

“Healthy engagement resists instrumentalization of persons, despite efficiency imperatives: engaged people are genuinely “seen” by their peers and their hierarchy, respected in their diversity and in their free will. Healthy engagement rises in environments that favor cohesion, offer tangible support, focus energy towards the same direction (through buy-in, not coercion), over time and in action.

Engagement calls for reciprocal and protective leadership – leadership understood not as a title or a function but as a dynamic partnership process.”

At a time when civic and professional engagement seem to be a response to many contemporary challenges, this issue raises the urgent and vital question of our practices of command and leadership.” — Céline Schillinger

“An exhibition is an argument, but conveyed differently, through objects and with much less text. It’s a very different endeavor, and very useful.” according to Kristel Smentek, MIT Associate Professor

Read more.


“At its best, futures thinking is not about predicting the future; rather, it is about engaging people in thinking deeply about complex issues, imagining new possibilities, connecting signals into larger patterns, connecting the past with the present and the future, and making better choices today. Futures thinking skills are essential for everyone to learn in order to better navigate their own lives and to make better decisions in the face of so many transformations in our basic technologies and organizational structures. The more you practice futures thinking, the better you get.” – Marina Gorbis

Spotting signals help you to focus on emerging trends, practices and realities. Like hunters or gemologists, you look for gems to collect and put on your curator’s bag to show and share with people when relevant. It all starts with observation and the ability to see what people have not seen yet, even if they may have access to the same sources as you do.

What is your taste, flair, practising to choose wisely signals and use them with your ecosystem?

“Flow (described by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi), the state of grace reflecting the perfect balance
between skills and challenges.”

— Milija Šimleša, Senior User Experience Researcher, Sencrop

“In a liquid world, our communities and networks can keep us afloat, but we have to first build our ‘knowledge rafts’. Together we can learn to navigate the emerging ‘liquid-modern culture’.” — @hjarche


Every time 3 people or more come together for a purpose with a beginning, a middle and an end. A gathering a technical unit you can hold and close. Different from a community. The life of groups enables people to do their work temporary: marrying people or creating products. Read more with my reading notes from the book The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker.

The Skills That Global Cosmopolitans Bring to the Table by Linda Brimm| INSEAD Knowledge

‘Global Cosmopolitans’ are building bridges with learnability, collaborating & cooperating with diverse people, timezones and cultures, develop humility & empathy. – via @kwooleyy


rotana ty technology humanity stem ethics creativity imagination gerd leonhard

I like the idea of combining STEAM (A for Arts) with HECI (Humanity, Ethics, Creativity, Imagination), which Gerd Leonhard suggests in this blog post. What if Complexity is also included in HECI? That would become HECIC. The Complexity Labs is a pretty good online platform to dive into the world of complex systems and their application.

“What does hybrid work mean to you?” asks @rhappe

Embracing synchronous and asynchronous ways to collaborate, co-create and cooperate within a distributed org, team, network, and community – F2F and online.

Rachel Happe also tweeted:

“I like that definition a lot. Many miss the important place of asynchronous work.

I am finding that some people define hybrid as everyone remote most of the time, some as everyone comes to the office a few days a week, and the best are rethinking HOW they work.”

And this tweet:

“I was thinking recently about meeting roles and how all participants should have one (to make it a collaboration vs a presentation) and in those situations make one person in the room responsible for one person joining remotely to ensure they are included and can participate”

Hybrid teams which 1) meet face to face periodically, 2) meet in dyads when appropriate, and 3) are intentional about engaging in interpersonal as well as transactional interactions during online meetings, eliminate many of the deficits of virtual teams. They build the relationships and trust necessary to increase collaboration, engagement and knowledge sharing.” — Nancy Dixon

“Hybrid teams which 1) meet face to face periodically, 2) meet in dyads when appropriate, and 3) are intentional about engaging in interpersonal as well as transactional interactions during online meetings, eliminate many of the deficits of virtual teams. They build the relationships and trust necessary to increase collaboration, engagement and knowledge sharing.” — Nancy Dixon

My learning partner, Taruna Goel, shared her experience and thoughts:

“I work in hybrid teams too. I think its possible to have meaningful human connections when working remotely if the work is designed to support these connections and the culture nurtures serendipity – remote or otherwise!” — @write2tg

“It is also possible, and less costly, for pairs or trios of team members to meet for a few days to work on joint projects or to problem solve.” HT @kwooleyy


“The IDGs will provide an essential framework of transformative skills for sustainable development, a field-kit (in co-creation now) on how to develop these necessary skills – open source and free for all to use. The current IDGs framework represents 5 categories and 23 skills and qualities which are especially crucial for leaders who address SDGs, but fundamentally for all of us!  It is the greatest possible accelerator to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and create a prosperous future for all humanity.”

“Innovation happens when differences are mixed in a new way. But those differences can’t be mixed unless there is some similarity to establish a relationship upon.”

— Valdis Krebs in the ‘On the edge podcast’

“My simple definition:innovation is a better way to deliver value. In my book, it’s not an innovation until it delivers value or helps someone solve a problem in the real world. It’s important to differentiate invention from innovation. Too many conflate the two. It is also important to clarify an organization’s innovation agenda to separate out incremental improvements to today’s business model from exploring entire new business models.”

Saul Kaplan, Founder of The Business Model Innovation Factory


No definition yet. Some dimensions over here:

“Leadership is changing as networked models become more prominent. Great overview of some key emerging attributes: curiosity, courage, and empowering others. And yes, you can FEEL the difference immediately. It’s remarkable. Great overview from @rotanarotana” – Rachel Happe 

“Community leadership employs influence and enablement to inspire and ensure people are rewarded for new behaviors. To do well, community leadership requires metacognition – the ability to understand one’s own thinking, how it differs from others, and how to bridge that divide. Community positions often require many adjunct specialties like strategy or content or are infused with expertise in one specific domain.” — @TheCR

“Today’s organizations need leaders who believe in human potential and goodness, who can inspire people to operate from their highest selves, who can instill in people a deep sense of their own worth.” — @sahana2802

“Learning Agility is that intelligent ability to make sense and success of something we have never seen or done before.” via @kwooleyy

“Learning agility is a mind-set and corresponding collection of practices that allow leaders to continually develop, grow and utilize new strategies that will equip them for the increasingly complex problems they face in their organizations.” — J.P. Flaum and Becky Winkler in Harvard Business Review

“By default, when we embrace learning agility as a mindset, continuous learning at work becomes the norm. And with the twin challenges of both digitally turbocharged globalisation AND desperately needed economic recovery to navigate, we ALL need, as an imperative, to learn new ways of delivering value at work. 

Surely hiring for adaptability and curiosity is a no-brain choice to make?” — Cathryn Barnard

“(…) your learning potential is partly dependent on your own personality, with traits like learnability, curiosity, and openness to experience being key.” — @drtcp

“Online learning should be fast, fun, crazy, unplanned, and inspirational. It should be provided by people who are more like DJs than television producers. It should move and swim, be ad hoc and on the fly. I wish educators could get out of their classroom mindsets and actually go out and look at how the rest of the world is doing online learning.” — @oldaily

“Learning is different. Learning is something we get to do, it’s a dance, an embrace, a chance to turn on some lights. You don’t take a workshop. You are part of one.” — Seth Godin

“I don’t think learning is defined by a building or a certificate. It’s defined by a posture, a mindset and actions taken.” — Seth Godin

Read more in the learning series.

“A learning organisation is one which is constantly transforming & evolving itself. It cannot and must not stay the same. For that you need people who are willing to do that; managers who leaders who support and role model; culture of experimentation too” — @ActivateLearn


When I revisit those print and digital maps, I am proud of my work and creativity. I feel enthusiastic about subtracting or adding more dots and insights. My hunch, vision, mindset, practices and the context of our modern world are my compasses for doing so.

Those maps are resources and archives. Unique timestamps and artful visual synthesis that I can refine and re-use in another context or project. This is why mind mapping is a useful and creative way to nurture my boundless curiosity and sensemaking.

Read more.

“Megashifts are much more than mere paradigm shifts, which usually affect only one sphere of human activity. They arrive suddenly to transform the basis and framework of entire industries and societies. Megashifts do not replace the status quo with a new normal – they unleash dynamic forces which reshape life as we know it. Megashifts radically reconfigure the age-old relationship between our past, present and future.” — Gerd Leonhard in his book ‘Technology vs Humanity

No definition yet. Consider reading my notes on mentoring from the Women of Learning podcast.

“I don’t have one mentor. My network mentors me.” — Reid Hoffman

“An individual learns in many different ways at work. A holistic approach to organisational learning and development means supporting all these ways – rather than focusing solely on training. National lockdowns have meant that the workplace has now changed, so this offers organisations a great opportunity to adopt this new approach to organisational learning, that I call Modern Workplace Learning (MWL).”

Jane Hart, Author, MWL 2022

Mentored Open Online Conversations

There is an interesting post by Sahana Chattopadhyay on “11 differences between a MOOC and an Online Course”. Her helpful post made me react by sharing with her and other learning pals the brilliant post of Anne Marie Rattray. She said that the acronym MOOCs could stand for something much more useful and meaningful than the acronym MOOC’s widespread sense.

“MOOCs move on?

What the MOOC explosion says to me is that despite our lack of time, we are using social technologies to educate ourselves. And this of course is good news.

But I think the real opportunity for self-driven learning is in the ‘C’ bit of MOOC, ‘c’ for conversation and connecting as well as courses. It is also in the ‘M’ bit. My vision is for Mentored Open Online Conversations supported by mentors, coaches, facilitators and — most importantly — each other.”

“This is why I think that social network technologies are so full of possibility for Mentored Open Online Conversations — it is a practical, timely, socially-engaging, supportive, reassuring and challenging way to learn. And it is all possible.”

Read more.


“Neo-generalists find it hard to describe what they do, to which I can relate. Neo-generalists defy common understanding. They cross boundaries, and some break them. They see patterns before others do” — Harold Jarche

My notes from the reading of the book ‘The Neo-Generalist’ in which I am included. An extract:

Kenneth Mikkelsen and Richard Martin wrote in their book ‘Neo-generalist’:

“Researcher and digital explorer Rotana Ty, for example, in reflecting on his own experiences living on the specialist–generalist continuum and adapting to contextual shifts, makes reference to the disc-jockey concept favoured by Sanders and Sloly. A DJ, particularly in the era that followed the emergence of hip hop in the late 1970s, constantly borrows from, samples and remixes existing music to create something new. They do in music what the modernist authors of the 1920s were doing in literature; stealing like artists, as Austin Kleon phrases it.(…)

In another variation, business adviser, analyst and occasional jazz pianist Jane McConnell favours the metaphor of the drinks mixologist, who like a DJ crafts something unique from creative integration. The neo-generalist is ever curious, painting pictures, telling stories, mixing, sampling, experimenting, trying to redraw the edges of the map.”

book kenneth mikkelsen neogeneralist leadership rotana ty

Book cover of The Neo-Generalist written by Kenneth Mikkelsen & Richard Martin. I am mentioned in it.

Indeed, it is all about becoming a master of your curated and created digital gems to remix them:

“When a D.J. brings a laptop full of music samples to a club he doesn’t play an instrument, but we don’t argue that he isn’t doing something creative in mixing those sounds to create his own effect. In the online world the only thing you’re the master of is your collection, your archive, and how you use it, how you remix it. We become digital archivists, collecting and cataloging things. I find it exciting.

(…) an educated person in the future will be a curious person who collects better artifacts. The ability to call up and use facts is the new education. How to tap them, how to use them.” — Wasting Time on the Internet? Not Really


#PKMastery is like breathing in and out. We breathe in through our networks, filtering knowledge and making sense through conversations and actions. We breathe out by sharing what we know and have learned.” — @hjarche

“Personal knowledge mastery is a set of processes, individually constructed, to help each of us make sense of our world and work more effectively. PKM keeps us afloat in a sea of information — guided by professional communities and buoyed by social networks. 

PKM is the number one skill set for each of us to make sense of our world, work more effectively, and contribute to society. The PKM framework — Seek > Sense > Share — helps professionals become knowledge catalysts.

Today, the best leaders are constant learners.” — Harold Jarche

“The discipline of PKM helps to develop four core work skills, identified by the Institute for the Future:

  1. sense-making
  2. social intelligence
  3. new media literacy
  4. cognitive load management”


Source: via a tweet from @hjarche and sketch by @tnvora

“I think what has happened is — we have gone past the ‘information age’ and now entering the ‘age of meaning’ with the internet acting as the powerful ‘pilot wave’ that guides a self organizing system based on the basic human values of Love, Respect and Meaning.

So from PLN (Personal Learning Network) we are moving towards PMN (Personal Meaning Network).”  — @EnggMainR

“Personal Meaning Network is a nice phrase. It does describe my experience starting in 2009 on twitter. My opinion is the magic ingredient is persistent conversations.

There are people I have met on twitter 4 or 5 years ago with which I still cross paths. I find it’s the persistence over years and in different venus — twitter, G+ sometimes Linkedin, every once in a while an email or two that has revealed to me the people with whom I am connected.

They are beautiful souls. Thanks go to the Universe. ” —  @toughloveforX

So Personal Meaning Ecosystem makes us attractive as we engage in networks and persistent conversations. And there might be work to do on your own behind the scenes.

Sahana wrote in her excellent piece:

“The new narratives are the voices of many—connected across countries and nations, forests and islands, villages and cities—by values, beliefs, and wisdom sourced from the deepest of humanity. A wisdom that arises from living an entangled life with the living planet that is their home and provider of livelihood. They have long been stewards of their ecosystems—long before colonization, imperialism, industrialization, and then globalization displaced them. They are once again becoming the harbingers of a new civilizational order—unencumbered by the one-size-fits-all Eurocentric narrative of development and progress.

A world that operates beyond the narrowness of ‘isms’ and dogmas.So new narratives are being woven. Strand by strand. Diverse contexts, cultures, communities are being woven together. Yet not striving for homogeneity. Heterogeneity is the foundational value—a pluriversal world where many worlds fit. This is no longer about ‘scaling up’ but ‘scaling sideways’, and when needed, ‘scaling down’. It is about entanglement, learning from each other, modifying, trying, failing, and then trying again.” 


“Because who we are is what we make.

That spot in the world only you stand is the source of your big ideas. It’s a function of your distinct history and experiences, visions, and hopes. This distinct set of ideas born of you is manifest when we are in the right social structures. When we can belong as our fullest selves. That’s why Onlyness is not about the single-dimensional message of you being more you, or you finding the clarity of your voice, your own values. That is just one axis. It is also about finding the right social spaces, the ones where who you are will be celebrated. That is the context in which you can be most fully alive.” — @nilofer

“Pick yourself up because we all go through different things. Figure out as an actor what you gonna do and work on when one project is done.

Trust in yourself, and believe in the process. Own what you have to give. Walk into that room. Got the role. Here we are.

Make people around you look good. It is about respect for the ecosystem that works with you. And everything will land much better.” — Pattina Miller


“The best way to uncover actionable insights is to catalyze more random collisions of unusual suspects. Make a #RCUS!” — @skap5


“Self-directed learning is more about autonomy and less about independence.

The term, self-directed learning, has been understood in different ways and is sometimes implied as something we do alone.  But learning is not that kind of activity even when it is self-directed. The way I think of self-directed learning is along the ideas of autonomy more than independence.

Self direction and interdependence may seem odd together, but we can’t self monitor without depending on the environment for feedback. Although some self-directed learning activities and tasks may be solitary, the learning process itself is interdependent on knowledge items, personal learning networks, peers, mentors, etc.” — Taruna Goel

“Sense-making is the ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what’s being expressed — and in a world with so much information, it is a critical workplace skill.” — Beth Kanter

“Two important sensemaking types of tools that everyone should use are feed aggregators and social bookmarks. Though the specific tools may change, everyone needs a way to control the push of information and a way to save, categorize, and annotate resources for later use.” — @hjarche

“In other words, sense-making is about making sense of the external world, while meaning-making is about relating it to our inner world.” ― @DavidGurteen via @hjarche

“We, humans, are intuitive beings. We sense from what we observe, hear, smell, touch. We have the ability to convert disparate data and past knowledge/patterns into useful information, by connecting the dots. And we do a lot of it unconsciously without much effort.” — Srikanth Ramanujam

“Slow media is not for the distracted masses, it’s for the focused few. Go ahead and subscribe to a few. Slow media is good for us”. — Seth Godin

“Social learning is the willingness to be changed by engaging with others.” — @rhappe

« I define social learning as participating with others to make sense of new ideas. Augmented by a new slew of social tools, people can gather information and gain new context from people across the globe and around the clock as easily as they could from those they work beside.

Social learning is not just the technology of social media, although it makes use of it. It is not merely the ability to express yourself in a group of opt-in friends. Social learning combines social media tools with a shift in the corporate culture, a shift that encourages ongoing knowledge transfer and connects people in ways that make learning a joy.” – Excerpt from “Where Social Learning Thrives” (Marcia Conner with Steve LeBlanc)

“Social learning is about people in trusted relationships sharing and building collective knowledge. The prime role for ‘learning & development’ professionals will be to help make connections by supporting professional networks and communities of practice.” — @hjarche

“Social learning is not a separate activity at work; it is one that is a vital part of daily work. So, if something crops up as you work, e.g., you might read something or hear something or do something that others might benefit from, then it’s important to share it with them.

Having said that, it’s also important to share effectively and discriminately – and not over-share. It’s about adding value to other people’s working lives and not overwhelming them with stuff, and certainly not about trying to reach the top of some artificial leaderboard that rewards those who post the most! But unless L&D does this themselves in their own teams, they cannot help or role model this behavior in others.” — @C4LPT

“Social media creates within leaders and through them more capacity to metabolize the complexity of our modern world and turn it into a strategic advantage.” — @CelineSchill at #socialnow cc: @_Kavi @elsua @KenHMikkelsen @rotanarotana @leebryant” — @tnvora

engagement social media leadership complexity sketch tanmay vora learning rotana ty


“Thanks to social engagement, I am able to stay in touch with current thinking, participate in conversations/tweet chats around topics of my interest and become a part of an empowering network. I could learn, absorb patterns, prepare for the waves of changes likely to come, put some of those lessons into practice at work, and share my reflections back with community. In my case, social media made me a clearer thinker, better leader and a curious learner.” — @tnvora

What the heck are soft skills? Why are they essential in the context of distributed work?

“Soft skills separate humans from machines. They are permanent skills. For the past several centuries we have used human labour to do what machines cannot. First the machines caught up with us, and surpassed humans, with their brute force. Now they are surpassing us with their brute intelligence. There is not much more need for machine-like human work which is routine, standardized, or brute.

This requires a rethinking of how we categorize work, define jobs, attract and retain talent. It should be based on talent, not labour. It also means a rethinking of our entire education system. These permanent (soft) skills are not developed through standardized curriculum based on temporary (hard) skills. It’s time to take the long-term view on human work and learning. What was categorized as Labour is merely a temporary skill for market and technological conditions. Talent, or permanent skills, is our long-term value as humans to each other.“ ― @hjarche

“I love the term ‘power skills’ instead of soft skills. Interestingly the roles needs are still listed as specific hard skills. To improve power skills, organizations are going to need therapists, psychologists, and community managers – not seeing that on anyone’s roadmap.” — @rhappe

“While we all may not be experts in all areas, we can balance our strengths with the strengths of others to create value for ourselves, our teams, and our communities.” — @kschottphoto

I think Mark Oehlert nailed it when he said:

“Go with the flow…feel the Force…be the ball….focus on building your network. You don’t have a 1:1 relationship with social media — what you should be building is a many to many relationship. Social media is a network, and you need to respond to the output of that network with your own network. I’ve got a strong network that kinda looks like a patchwork quilt.

It’s my responsibility to architect the right network. The cool thing? Me and my network are also part of other people’s networks — at absolutely zero incremental cost to any of us. Start thinking like a Subject-Matter Network.”


“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” ― Isaac Asimov

I pay attention to the work of Gapminder as put on the website of their latest educational tool:

“Gapminder is an independent Swedish foundation with no political, religious or economic affiliations, which fights devastating ignorance with a fact-based worldview everyone can understand.

Gapminder produces free teaching material to make the world easy to understand based on reliable statistics, and truly believes that people will make better decisions if they understand the world around them and get the basic global trends and proportions right.

Gapminder was founded in 2005 by Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund and Hans Rosling.”

I highly recommend using their tool to test yourself on questions related to the United Nations Goals – as I did.

“Gapminder Worldview Upgrader is a fun educational tool created to help people rid themselves of common systematic misconceptions about global development.”

This exercise helps me to upgrade my worldview and be aware of my ignorance and bias.

According to Jane McGonigal, urgent optimism is a mindset and a practice. It combines mental flexibility, realistic hope and future power/actions for self-efficacy and collective efficacy.

In addition, imagination, courage and deep collaboration skills are activated. To practice and develop urgent optimism, I have been learning with a global community of urgent optimists/futurists since March 2022.

“Building urgent optimism is like following a string out of a labyrinth. You’re taking all these twists and turns. You’ve got your radar up, so you’re going to hear about weird new risks. You’re going to hear about cool new uses. And I like to think it’s essentially a process of opening your mind.” — Jane McGonigal

“In the middle of winter, I discovered that there was an invincible summer inside me, and that makes me happy, because this says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, inside me there is something stronger, something better, pushing back. ” — Albert Camus


I examine technology while using McLuhan tetrad. Below is my take on one technology: videoconferencing.

tetrad videconferencing technology media analysis visual thinking rotana ty

Visual produced by Rotana Ty

You may also be interested in the tetrads on the effects of audio I shared previously while participating in the PKM workshop.

“VUCA: Virtual Unknown Chaotic Adaptable” —François Lavallée

“Peter Hinssen, in The Network Always Wins, describes the antidote to VUCA as VACINE.





Network [Thinking]

Experimentation” — Harold Jarche

“Updating VUCA (V:olatile, U:ncertain, C:omplex, A:mbiguous) to BANI (B:rittle, A:nxious, N:on-linear, I:ncomprehensible): “Brittleness could be met by resilience and slack. Anxiety can be eased by empathy and mindfulness. Nonlinearity would need context and flexibility. Incomprehensibility asks for transparency and intuition.” — Jamais Cascio (2020) Further interpreted by Stephan Grabmeier HT Mara Hermano” — John Maeda


“Walking is a smart way to experience a whole host of physical, mental and psychological benefits. Introducing it into your daily routine will help you benefit long-term in your cardiovascular and aerobic fitness goals. It will help extend your lifespan and help you meet your weightloss goals.” — Darebee

“Wirearchy is an (emerging) primary organizing principle. As such, it can be used to better understand, instantiate and act towards effectiveness in an interconnected networked world.

The working definition of Wirearchy is “a dynamic two-way flow of  power and authority, based on knowledge, trust, credibility and a focus on results, enabled by interconnected people and technology”.

Knowledge.  Trust.  Credibility.  A focus on results.” — Jon Husband

I recalled especially one episode that caught my attention: M2 #16: Conversation Avec Jon Husband (32 min.) «Société en hyperlien» [M2 #16: Conversation with Jon Husband (32 min) Society in hyperlinks], and that I will revisit as I pay attention to mega shifts and wirearchy.

“Wirearchy – organizing principle for interconnected participative era. Implications for business models, organizational structures, leadership & management development” — @jonhusband

I also intend to revisit the ebook ‘Wirearchy’, that Jon Husband co-wrote with other people from his global ecosystem.

Some of those co-authors are people I exchange with and have interacted with over the past few years such @elsua @dr_rattray in person and/or via social tools. For some of the other authors of that ebook, we are connected via Twitter, and I have under my radar what they share on social, and what they are up to via their blog, website and any other sources.

Worth viewing, too this video from Michel Cartier du site web ‘Le 21ème siècle‘.

“What it’s all about: ‘If you are interested in ‘the future of work’ or ‘the future of education’, start with these: – Diversity – Learning – Trust – Autonomy – Competence – Relatedness’ ⁦⁩ happy 15th anniversary of great thinking and sharing!” — @ancani

“👉 Show Your Work = finished product, serves to inform others and gain feedback.
👉 Work Out Loud = work in process, serves to invite others and gain collaborators.” — @britz

“My preferred term now is WFA — working from anywhere” — @hjarche


‘WFA [Work From Anywhere] extends individual labour, obsolesces the office, retrieves the written word, and could reverse into digitally connected sweatshops.’

That’s quite a punch line Harold Jarche has put together on this fine blog post 👉🏻 reflecting on #DistributedWork.

‘The best way to communicate with a distributed team is in writing, especially when you factor in multiple time zones. Good writing skills will become critical in a distributed workplace.’

Couldn’t have agreed more with that statement, although I’d also add #SenseMaking (a la #PKMastery) will become just as critical to today’s digital workplace. Why? Well, read below 👇🏻

‘In 2020 Prodoscore looked at 90,000 data points from 7,000 workers. One interesting finding was that high performers regularly used voice & video less often than low performers. The tool of choice for high performers was messaging & chat’.

Talking about re-thinking the purpose of one’s work in a distributed workplace! Whoaaah! Video/Voice alone, indeed, are not longer good enough.

Mastering the art of facilitating two-way conversations is where the game is at … (It always has been all along! 😅👍🏻)” ― @elsua

“The work left for humans to do is nuanced, creative, and collaborative. It requires each of us to maximize our unique strengths rather than conform to a standardized set of skills.” — @rhappe

“project selection; does this work align with our culture? does this partner align with our culture? will this project further our culture?” — @gapingvoid

“Younger employees may be comfortable with consumer social media but they may have not have used digital media for professional development. This is where they can be coached and mentored to find bloggers, communities of practice, and knowledge networks. Perhaps they can even start blogging themselves. Work is becoming more creative and entrepreneurial and a similar mindset toward learning will be an advantage in this economy. The discipline of personal knowledge mastery should start with each knowledge worker.” — @hjarche

Working distributedly, which is not the same as working remotely, is all about how we redefine the way we work as we transition into networks and online communities as new operating models. We have all become nodes of a wider, hyperconnected, more complex than ever, giant cluster of networks: The Internet. Yet we keep insisting that’s how we used to work while at the office. No, we weren’t.

Working distributedly means we have new operating models in place where online communities and networks dictate how work gets done. It means we no longer have to exclusively depend on the traditional command and control, top-down hierarchy of (senior) management making decisions for us. Instead, we thrive in informal networks where we have democratised the way information and knowledge are shared across. Where our only means of surviving online is by how much we coordinate, cooperate and collaborate with one another, regardless of the tools we may use in whatever the context we may have been given.

Now, that is how we change the nature of work. That’s how we discover, embrace and adapt to new ways of working by making extensive use of a number of (social) digital tools that allow us to earn the merit of being an integral part of those networks and communities: through building trustworthy personal business relationships while working and learning together. Trying to copycat exactly what happens in an office environment is not how we rethink the role we play when we come to think about work.” — @elsua

“Work from anywhere (if you can), at variable times, is surely how we manage not only our health, equality of opportunity, help carbon footprint issues and serve 24–7 societies in the digital era.” — @PerryTimms

“Let’s hope now that with data analytics we can glean how we use our work tools and technology so we create new ways of working. It means a focus on not just continual learning but meaning making.” ― @ActivateLearn

“Future workplaces should be proactively designed, led, and managed for community building and relationship.” — @cat_pearce71

“Writing on the Web is a technology we are just starting to learn to use. While writing for the Web can be seen as formally and functionally close to writing for print, such a perspective deprives it of the opportunities hypermedia environments and its texts open for us to connect, understand and know more.

To write well on the Web, we need to be aware of the metamorphoses of text on the Web [link to a transcribed talk with Cruce Saunders: The Semantic Web and Linked Data with Teodora Petkova] and the world behind our looped writer’s and reader’s eye.” — Teodora Petkova