Sailing with Dragons
I’ve been thinking about the tsunami of information that seems overwhelming and at the same time, necessary. The number of words written on WordPress can exceed 43 million per day, which doesn’t count traditional print media or any of the other popular social networking and blogging sites. There are organization strategies known as knowledge management systems that attempt to make sense of the tide of information. There are individual strategies for organizing e-mail and schedules.
And yet, we need to implement effective strategies to contain and manage the knowledge necessary for the linear processes in our work and life. And additionally, we need to have flexible strategies designed to help us, and the organizations we are a part of, make sense of the knowledge and information. When we have effective management processes and time to tell the stories that make sense of what is happening, our organizations will begin to thrive.
Having an effective process map and the narrative stories to give direction are not the only helpful things for organizations. It can also be helpful to go sailing with dragons. A few weeks ago I wrote about our maps and talked about the dragons that live beyond the edge of the known world. A willingness to live the full adventure, to accept the contradictions and paradoxes encountered, to not have all the answers, . . . these are keys to innovation and discovery.
The College of Cartographers evolved a Map of the Empire that was of the same Scale as the Empire and that coincided with it point for point. Less attentive to the study of Cartography, succeeding generations came to judge a map of such Magnitude cumbersome, and not without Irreverence, they abandoned it to the Rigours of sun and Rain.
Jorge Luis Borges in Of Exactitude in Science