Stranova

The Knowledge Web, with James Burke

Sept. 25, 2006

Stranova Interview Series Vol. 25, published September 25, 2006. For hundreds of years, we have built our learning systems in celebration of and in support of the “knowledge specialist” as perhaps the most valued member of our organizational teams. The problem with such specialization is that it often ignores a far more significant source of innovation, one which draws from the insight of interconnecting two or more seemingly unrelated ideas or disciplines to create a truly novel “new” one. In our episode this week, James Burke, the world-renowned author and creator of the “Connections” book and related TV series, suggests a way out of the “reductionist rut” of placing too much faith on “specialists” for critical thinking AND strategic innovation. With his Knowledge Web project – and more than a few pointed concepts on how our educational and learning systems haven’t really grown up much since the 17th century, Mr. Burke’s ideas should provide some exciting “food for thought” on how you may want to change the way you manage innovation and learning in your own organization.

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