On 31 Mar 1996, Rol Fessenden wrote:
> Literally every manager who worked for me and who has tried to empower
> others has at first made the assumption that they had spelled out the 'box
> of responsible autonomy' so thoroughly that the empowered person would do
> exactly what the manager would have done in the same circumstances. It
> has only been through conversations after the empowered person did
> something else that the manager has realized just how much ambiguity there
> was in their own thinking.
> When you spend years thinking through complex situations you have a
> clearer conception of that situation than you may be able to convey in
> words. Or at least you _think_ you have a clearer conception. Only
> through the after-the-fact conversation can the manager reconnect with the
> ambiguities they struggled through.
I think this is relevant to John O'Neill's research on shared context.
There's a company that produces BPR Expert systems based on IDEF that is
doing research on this area.... I think what they find is that they model
a business process using IDEF, different people have different meanings
of the words used so the model doesn't work too well.
I heard a story about an Admiral telling a Captain, "I need information
on the situation in the Middle East." The Captain wrote a report on the
current political situation, people that live there, etc. and when he
gave it to the Admiral, the Admiral said, "No, I wanted to know how many
battleships there are in the region." Another Admiral told the Captain,
"I need information on the situation in the Indian Ocean." The Captain
wrote a report on the number of battleships in the region and when he
gave it to the 2nd Admiral, the 2nd Admiral said, "No, I wanted to know
the current political situation, people that live there, etc."
If the Captain had a linguistic tool to generate shared context, a lot of
that ambiguity would have been avoided.
[BTW Generating shared context with the linguistic tool is a technique on
a different logical level than the linguistic tool itself.]
Andrew Moreno <email@example.com>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>