Even if it’s not berries and deer we’re after, our DNA hasn’t changed that much. As soon as food becomes abundant, we get to install a modern update on Darwin’s theory. For survival stops being about physical fitness and turns to center around our mental fitness. In order to survive and gain competitive advantage within the evolution of the modern, networked homo sapiens … we take information as our food.
While tracking down your next piece of meat, it becomes pretty hard to focus on anything else but physical survival. As soon as we could, we turned the game around and scaled our villages up to magnificent cities like Ancient Rome.
Even though we know Rome wasn’t built in one day, it is still a great example that reminds us how important the right framework can be. Because not only was all present know-how efficiently collected and used, new intelligence was easily attracted through the (cultural) wealth that was growing along the flows of knowledge streaming through the streets and squares of this powerful city.
In this context, Mark Fidelman‘s words sound really rooted in history when he states that we need cultural frameworks that harness the wisdom of the organization.
What is essential, is that it’s all about making knowledge flow. And in order to do this you need to create space and time for dialogue. If Rome was indeed heavily influenced by the School of Athens, they indeed understood that they needed to go from the (simple) agora to building what became the Forum Romanum.
As Anthony S Iannarino says, learning is about conversations, not tutoring or (please excuse me) lecturing. By now we all understand, together with the Romans, that from Socrates to Plato to Aristotle … there was no such thing as a ‘knowledge gap’, so why should we keep ours?
Ancient Rome became ‘the world’. And since the emergence of the Internet our world has become our global village (thank you Marshall McLuhan for pointing that out!). Again, like Mark Fidelman, states we need to transform our enterprises into digital villages. Even if the people of our organization are geographically spread all over, we don’t need to find our ‘local’ Aristotle, Plato or Socrates.
What we do need is to create an online agora or even your own Forum Romanum. Find or hire yourself a conversation manager that understands how to connect people in dialogue to make knowledge flow through your organization as if your empire were a village and rule the world.