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December 11, 2008

The end of edifice

spelled pronunciation [ed-uh-fis]
1.     a building, esp. one of large size or imposing appearance.
2.     any large, complex system or organization.

It’s nearly the end of the year, maybe it’s nearly the end of an era.

Old edifices are giving way, economically and organizationally. What were previously very well established systems are now looking very hollow.

It’s fascinating to see how, in various quarters, people respond to this. Some prefer ‘bail out’ others go with ‘belly-up’, we resist the dip, or we embrace the dip.

What’s clear is that, socially connected as we now are, for those that are engaged in change what lies ahead is going to be one massive collective learning experience and it’s time to get iterative.

Many resist the end of edifice or structure, quickly seeking to rebuild. But it’s exploration skills that are needed now in order to take us to new places we haven’t gone before, not building skills.


Helen Fisher at Le Web on Tuesday this week talked about different types of personalities - explorers, builders, negotiators and directors - and how they interact, shape and develop their relationships in the world, all of which has significant impacts for those interested in the development of viable social communities.

Similarly, in an age of some potential anarchy, unpredictability and improvisation are becoming the flavours of a new day.

Times like this can make us twitchy. We sense loss and desperation. In circumstances like this it’s only a brave new dawn can sometimes give sufficient hope. Then again, success is not too often to be found by throwing out all else that has gone before. There’s edifice in that too.

Whatever happens, we’ll cope better if we create adaptive fits with one another. That's why social communities now offer so much promise.

That willingness to flex is going to be what gets the synapses going.

New growth from organizations of old is entirely possible that way.


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