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Why records authorities are a mess

While reflecting on the exciting and invigorating experience of presenting a recordkeeping masterclass last Friday, an epiphany occurred. You can make a good case that the current records authority process for classifying and disposing of records is highly problematic because it mashes up to six different needs for recordkeeping into a single unholy mess:

  1. to meet legal or regulatory requirements (eg retention of financial records)

The problem of preserving important information

Timothy Vines recently led a research effort to try and determine how quickly the source data (and thus justification) for scientific research becomes inaccessible. The answer: it proved impossible to source the data for 77 per cent of the 516 studies investigated, which were published between 1991 and 2011. The major reasons:

"The Mission Thing"

The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.
-- Peter Drucker

Fair warning: This is a post about semantics. For those who feel that the words we choose to describe something are less important than the concepts they represent and the actions they entail, this is probably not a post for you.

Augmentation system or service system?

As a generalisation, computer applications involving user interaction are either intended to augment human intelligence and activity, or to be a service that delivers a pre-determined capability for people. By analogy, it's the difference between an exoskeleton and a car.

SaaS is being adopted to decrease OODA loop time

(Reposted from LinkedIn, where an interesting discussion of Enterprise Architecture's role in the modern organisation is taking place.)

SaaS is an interesting beast. If we consider "work" to exist on a continuum from servitude on the left (a completely custom service on demand) to shop window on the right (here's what on display; take it or leave it), SaaS is far more to the right.

Why does resilience matter?

In response to my article on holding back the tide of complexity, Lillian Oats asked: What's important about a resilient process?

It's a good question, but in some ways the wrong question to ask.

There is nothing intrinsically "important" about a resilient process but as our world becomes more complex, it is less and less viable to implement robust processes to solve problems.

Holding back the tide of complexity

Helga Nowotny made a ripper of a speech to the 5th Global Drucker Forum. Here's an excerpt of the edited transcript:

Chaos, complexity, and CASes

In a recent post, William Powell put forward the theory that culture is chaotic. I commented, suggesting that complex adaptive systems were a more appropriate starting point and hoping to start a dialog.

Structure of a KM-aware organisation

Knowledge Management can be a discipline which is difficult to get taken seriously when it is constantly treated as an "extra" and "peripheral" to the core of the business. David Griffiths is seeking to address this through a new organisational structure that supports and embeds knowledge management functions deeply within the organisation's DNA.

Decision-making structures of organisations

Recently I read Steve Denning's article about moving away from hierarchical organisational structures. However, I found myself confused about the difference between heterarchy, and responsible autonomy, two alternate forms of polyarchy in opposition to the tradition of hierarchy.