On social software and capabilities and organisational digestive systems

Thanks to Clarence Fisher for focusing my mind on this. I think everyone should read Clarence’s recent post on Access Versus Participation; I was reading through the Jenkins paper at the same time, preparing to link and comment, but Clarence has done such a good job that I can save myself the effort.
Education is lifelong. The 11 “skills” Jenkins speaks of relate well to children and to youth; at a level of abstraction they are suitable for looking at adult capabilities as well, for students of all ages. But I can’t help think that we need to work on the list, adapt it and improve it in order to create something similar for Enterprise Capabilities and Competences. We need things like this to help us overcome organisational immune systems. Even if they smack of jargon-du-jour.
So here’s the list, below. See what you think, see what you come up with. I will post my version in a few days time, then we can compare notes via the comments.

  • Play— the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving
  • Performance— the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery
  • Simulation— the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes
  • Appropriation— the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content
  • Multitasking— the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details.
  • Distributed Cognition— the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities
  • Collective Intelligence— the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with  others toward a common goal
  • Judgment— the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources
  • Transmedia Navigation— the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities
  • Networking— the ability to search for,synthesize,and disseminate information
  • Negotiation— the ability to travel across diverse communities,discerning and respecting multiple perspectives,and grasping and following alternative norms.

One possible outcome is that we decide that the list is cool, that it doesn’t need editing or mutating. That is an acceptable outcome. One that I would love to see. But I think we’re not there as yet, so we will need random sprinklings of jargon and weaselword and buzzphrase to make it easier for the organisation’s digestive system.

Which reminds me. You have been warned. I’ve been busy writing a series of posts on organisational digestive systems, as opposed to immune systems. How ideas get ingested; how they provide much-needed nutrients; why one man’s meat is another man’s poison; and how idea effluent is dealt with.

One thought on “On social software and capabilities and organisational digestive systems”

  1. I cannot quibble with anything on the list. At the very most I might want to invest some cognitive cycles in trying to create some clusters (just because 11 is far too much in excess of Miller’s Magic Number). On the other hand I am far more concerned by what I feel is a significant sin of omission. I do not see anything in the list that explicitly addresses the ability to engage in intersubjective communicative actions. Put another way, everything on the list (including Negotiation) is basically CONTENT-based. (Yes, that also includes the reduction of Play to problem-solving.) Somehow or another, we need something on the list that honors Isaiah Berlin: Differing opinions should lead to dialog, but dialog does not have to lead to convergence of opinion. The intersubjectivity is a matter of each side reaching enough understanding to acknowledge, of not honor, the other’s point of view. This is the skill for which we must all strive in an age of too many trigger-happy people with the power to end it all with a bang (not a whimper)!

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