I came across a germinal thought, the full appreciation of which is essential to understand the dynamics of the electronic and inner technologies of intellectual production. It comes from Pierre-LÃ©onard Harvey, a professor of “communautique” at UniversitÃ© de QuÃ©bec Ã MontrÃ©al:
“Les infrastructures et les technologies devraient Ãªtre subordonnÃ©es aux relations cognitives (l’individu nÃ©gociant avec l’environnement informationnel) et aux relations qui se dÃ©veloppent… dans le processus de production des connaissances. Il nous faut concevoir l’individu comme un systÃ¨me vivant qui cherche Ã contrÃ´ler et Ã gÃ©rer l’information qui lui vient du monde extÃ©rieur.”
Excerpt from L’Ã©cologie cognitive, une Ã©cologie communicationnelle
A surprisingly good Google translation to English and my comment follows.
“The infrastructures and technologies should be subordinated to the cognitive relations (the individual negotiating with the informational environment), and the relations of knowledge production… . We should think of the individual as a living system which seeks to control and to manage the information which comes to him from the external world.”
Well, all this sounds very logical and natural, but the problem is that the legacy system of economic production inherited from the industrial era–that governs the logic of how resources are invested in enabling technologies–doesn’t seem to know about it. The main infrastructure cocnern of today’s enterprise is still how to best use technologies for managing data, information, and knowledge, not for augmenting human intelligence, individual and collective.
Who says “problem,” says “opportunity”. The opportunity that future-responsive companies will start addressing in the next few years, lies in re-orienting knowledge management R&D as to focus on the center of value creation: the “cognitive relations (the individual negotiating with the informational environment), and the relations of knowledge production” in and among corporate knowledge communities.
I’d like to be wrong about the “next few years” part and hear from a reader of this blog that it’s already happening somewhere.