- What do we really know about those knowledge practices that involve a strong cyclic component?
- Can we alter the rate, depth, relevance and utility of knowledge generation by enhancing the cycle visibility, being mindful of our place in the cycle, changing frequency and other properties?
Idea generations and dialog turns
Would we build shared understanding faster if we supplied regular summaries or if we had strict time-limited events and interactions such as a turn taking rule in conversation and dialog? I guess the essential question is, will ideas (or memes) develop faster, be richer and go further, if we force the generations to turn over quicker? This assumes you buy into the notion of a thoughts or an idea birth, development (mutation?) and retirement / death in the first place.
What I'm trying to understand is the value of regular summarization and open group reflection to those participants already in the conversation? I can easily see the value to new arrivals and can appreciate the need to have diversity and participant churn.
For my money, it goes around the practice, value and depth of reflection, the opportunity for making new connections and surfacing novel insights afforded by good summary. What happens if the role of summarization is rotated in the group rather than falling on the single (same) shoulders each time?
A meta-practice in military thinking is to deliberately speed the Observe - Orient - Decide - Act or discover - reflect - act cycle so as to disorientate and confuse an adversary. Being agile, willing to alter course, evaluating conditions and going with the flow, has proven to be useful for survival, speeding innovation and building resilience - but can it also improve intelligence and result in greater knowledge formation?
Enumerative description (ED)
Is an interesting way to capture local perceptions and experience of situations. Expert(s) gather to look for invariance across their domain and select the questions that best define the current situation. These questions are distributed in the form of a survey template. Individuals then supply answers in natural language. ED is integrated into a larger picture with work-flow, pre-processing to uncover the invariance and natural language tools to generate reports from the returned templates. The returns can be analyzed for variance (a measure of group alignment?), for longitudinal change and trends, after significant events. This human-in-the-loop may be essential for awareness & anticipation.
Concept and reasoning mapping makes the rationale visible, explicit and shareable. Mapping revisions assist with making new connections, expose poor logic, capture thinking and augment group memory. The practice of visual thinking is still poorly defined. We know little about sequence, revision frequency, spatial location & clustering, influence of color, typing links and optimal ways to 'interrogate' a diagram.
Altering and imposing interventions on these cyclic activities can have far reaching cumulative consequences - changing how we may think, reason, interact, learn and decide!
Double loops on steroids.