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Last edit: 05-03-17 Graham Wideman

Intelligence and Change in Enterprises

Pivotal Roles for Knowledge Management and Concept Modeling
Article created: 99-03-12

Previous pages in this series have identified that we are very interested in how enterprises change, and in turn how enterprises think about change, and implement their own changes via projects.

As rate of change increases, both areas (thinking and doing) involve increasing complexity traceable to the interdependencies inherent in the systems of interacting parts of the enterprise and its projects. It is exactly such systems (and especially their behaviors) that are particularly difficult to describe in narrative and discuss in words.  If the intelligence of more than just individuals is to be brought to bear on enterprise issues, then it is essential that the understanding and discussion be moved to a medium that allows collective construction and maintenance of the knowledge.

This line of thinking is represented by  the "Organizational Learning" interest area, convincingly articulated by Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline and taken up in subsequent works.

Such a medium is provided by models, often in diagrammatic form.  At present only a fraction of the enterprise domain is covered by available modeling conventions and tools.  Even where these are used, they cover more regular and technical levels, hence somewhat below the level needed for upper level management. 

Upper level management is thus still without a shareable conceptual framework coherent with what the lower levels understand.  The result is that upper level management is disconnected from inputs regarding "reality"  (ie: the truly available opportunities and hazards), is unable to leverage the understanding of the key issues of a situation that may already reside in the organization, and is not equipped to acquire that understanding themselves.  Conversely, upper management has difficulty communicating direction to the rest of the enterprise if armed only with relatively weak narrative communication tools. 

We await, then, a  generation of conventions and tools (and education)  for modeling enterprise and project structure and behavior in the powerful way that existing modeling tools serve various design and technical professions.


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