The comparative advantages of online dialogue

I wrote up the following points originally, in an online conversation on Facebook, related to Frederic Laloux‘ upcoming lecture on “How to Become a Soulful Organisation“:

• We can pause for a moment of contemplating ( ) before answering to what has just been written, thus accessing and responding from a potentially broader perspective.

• I think many people are sharing both your and my views, and this medium can give them a voice and enrich the conversation.

* The shared record can support and become a destination for critical thinking, “the awakening of the intellect to the study of itself.”

• The record also lets its readers revisit the flow and look for patterns of emergent meaning that connects the different positions; something that is more difficult in real-time conversation, due to the limitations of our short-term memory.

• We can make a small contribution to the larger conversation around organisation design for the 21st century, given that what we write here is searchable and linkable to/from other related pages on the Web.

What other advantages can you think of?

Clearly, there are disadvantages too, and I’m not arguing for online dialogues replacing the face-to-face ones. Our collective intelligence needs not only both, but even more importantly, the skillful integration of them. Do you have any experience of or view on that?

This entry was posted in Contemplative Practice, Technologies That Support CI, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The comparative advantages of online dialogue

  1. pamelamclean says:

    George . This is something I’ve been “accidentally exploring” for many years because of my UK-Africa connections and collaborations. Most of our work is, of necessity, online. I have many observation to share, but no time at present.

    An event I’m organising in January will demonstrate the power and potential of online collaborative-working communities. Our theme is that UK-Africa collaborations are changing. Now that we live in a connected world, traditional top-down ways of doing things are outdated. Effective two-way communication at a distance is increasingly possible, and that can mean collaborative problem solving.

    Personally I’m fascinated by the patterns that are emerging now that we have this new “space” and opportunity for learning-from -each-other and learning-by-doing through collaborations that couldn’t have happened before the Internet and smart phones.

    Looking at international development from an empowerment perspective, we are going to consider how successful collaborative projects linking UK and English-speaking, sub-Saharan Africa can grow and be replicated. The ideas are all completely grounded in experience and both John Dada (from Fantsuam Foundation in Nigeria) and I will be there to provide reality checks. None of the work we will be sharing would have been possible without meetings “in the cloud”. I see this reality as a vital part of the ideas you share about “we”.

    It would be great to have your input at the event which in on January 10th in London – Africa-UK Connections in Practice – New Approaches for 2015

    I’m trying to bring many different perspectives. (For me this is about far more than a new model of international development. It is about deeper systemic change. ) We will have a tight focus from the front, alternated with group discussions and harvesting the wisdom in the room.

    I hope when the event and its immediate aftermath are over I’ll be able to join in more of your discussions and reflections.


  2. duncanwork says:

    Hi George, these are all important points. Another advantage is that people can participate in an online conversation at times during the day that work best for them, since an online conversation doesn’t require everyone to be “present” at the same time.


    Liked by 1 person

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