Co-Choreography as Transformative Dialogue

McNamee contrasts dialogue with persuasive talk pointing out how the latter creates polarity and conflict.  She explains that “. . . dialogue is a process of holding firmly to one’s position while maintaining a curiosity and respect for another’s very different position.”  She goes on to reflect on how we can coordinate diversity, understand disparate viewpoints, and create the possibility for a conversational exchange that transforms our view of each other without requiring us to modify strongly held beliefs.
Reading her article, I was filled with images of dancers moving.  I recalled the experience of coordinating my movements with others that led to the discovery of a common dance.  I imagined choreography naturally evolved by a group of dancers who moved in each other’s presence.

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The Dance of Discussion

The meaning of movement is contextual to who we move with or who we move for.  Movement meaning is created as we are watched or responded to with other movement.  Action and reaction become the crucible for creating meaning between two people.  With shared meaning comes truth, common belief, and, ultimately, the creation of knowledge.  This happens as we move together but is also true in the ebb and flow of discussion.

In discussion meaning is created not just in the words that are interchanged but within the context that the words are placed.  The manner of expression, the syntax used, the tempo and pattern of expression and response.  All of this carries inferences of meaning that are read and understood.  These exchanges are locked into us, a product of many interchanges and many relationships. It is the syntax of verbal expression that communicates so much about our feelings, impressions, and vision. 


The Promise of Social Media

Though Social Media applications focused on intranet based, secure collaboration, are appearing and these kind of capabilities are consistently being added to corporate intranets, this not just a new application.  Social Media is the natural next stage of ECM evolution.  For the first time, we have a capability that more closely parallels how people want to share information.  A capability, based on the explosion of Web 2.0 use on the internet, that can grow as organically as email use has grown.  More importantly, we have a method for the first time to more richly share information within the organization and achieve what ECM applications have offered but which have not fully delivered.

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Is Best Practice the Whole Question?

At the end of my last posting, I asked a question about what constituted a new best practice for the implementation of ECM.  There is a question that must be answered with regard to how we implement ECM today but there is also another, broader, question about the very need for method within the context of ECM application implementation.

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Toward a New Definition of Best Practice

The best formed implementation method and practice cannot take into account the shifting of user perspective, post deployment. Where we thought there existed clarity of understanding of the system, how it could be used, the usage choices that were made, and how a refined business process would function in the newly introduced system, what we find is that as people “live”, using it on a day to day basis to do their job, their perspective of the system and what they expect from it, changes.

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