This is the second part of the series on Roam. The first part was about what is Roam like. If you’ve read it or if you know already, carry on.

The concept of digital twin became popular thanks to the digital transformation fad. It’s now amplified by both market research companies such as Gartner, and by academics.

Roam is expected to be the digital twin of your brain. Working with Roam is like “building a second brain”, the community echoes, after the training course of Tiago Forte by the same name.

Looking at Roam as a second brain is understandable…


Linked Data is a universal approach for naming, shaping, and giving meaning to data, using open standards. It was meant to be the second big information revolution after the world wide web. It was supposed to complement the web of documents with the web of data so that humans and machines can use the Internet as if it is a single database while enjoying the benefits of decentralisation.

Today on the web we have 1495 linked open datasets, according to the LOD cloud collection. Some among them like Uniprot and Wikidata are really big in volume, usage, and impact. But…


Art installation in an abandoned shop (photo by Ivo Velitchkov)

The balance between autonomy and cohesion is one of the three balances, essential for everything living and social. It’s fascinating to watch when there is a shift both in the balance itself and in the way it is achieved. The times of Coronavirus are exceptionally rich in new ways of maintaining social cohesion.

There are various factors and forces for cohesion. They can be distinguished once in terms of origin and influence, and then for different system scales — individual, organization, society. …


The first note-taking tool I used was Zim. What I liked most about it was that every word or piece of text in a note could be easily turned into a new linked note. And each note showed backlinks to all other notes referring to it. All that stored as simple text files. Neat and powerful.

Yet, it was a standalone application. Having no native mobile app and no clipping functionality made it difficult to integrate with my workflows. For example, I had to collect and organise my bookmarks and web clipping elsewhere.

So I moved to Evernote. It offered…


Photo by Dana Vollenweider

It could be only in my bubble, but my ears now ache from louder and louder service improvement talk. Ever better ways to map customer journeys, to analyse touch-points, and to improve user experience. I get it. It’s all good, or at least the intention is. But I can’t help thinking how much it resembles the process improvement hype. It lasted until some remembered Drucker’s words that “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all”, and embraced Lean. Others embraced Lean on other grounds. In fact, it wasn’t much more than just…


I love going to jazz festivals. Listening to good jazz at home is a pleasure, but what’s missing are the vibes during a live performance. And it’s not the same when you listen to a recording of a concert. Everything changes when you are actually there, immersed, experiencing directly with all your senses. I guess it’s similar with other types of music. But what makes the difference between listening to a recording and being at concert even bigger for jazz, is that it is all about improvisation. And then the experience of single concerts versus festivals is also different. With…


Excerpt from Unflattening, Copyright 2015 Nick Sousanis & Harvard University Press

People are valuable. That’s why they have an established status as human resources in organizations. When they are more valuable, they are even called assets.

Assets

“People are our greatest asset!” You’ve probably heard that a lot. If not, try “People are our * asset” in Google, and you’ll get over 300 million results. “Greatest” is sometimes replaced by “biggest”, “most important”, and “most valuable”. The results are mainly of two types. The first is people praising narratives, and that’s by far the bigger group. The second is criticism of the statement being hypocritical. Probably most of the authors of the…


At the southeastern end of the Mont des Arts garden in Brussels, there are stairs leading to Rue de Musée. Climbing up one of the stairways, there is a wall on your right. A few months ago, a form of art started spreading on that wall. I don’t know if it was spontaneous or organized. In fact, it doesn’t matter. At some point, every organisation was spontaneous, and everything spontaneous is worth talking about if it has led to some organization.

When approaching it, all you see is just frames.

Getting closer, they (actually, you) start to make sense, but…


‘Can you deal with it?’

Deal originates from divide. It initially meant only to distribute. Now it also means to cope, manage and control. We manage things by dividing them. We eat an elephant piece by piece, we start a journey of a thousand miles with a single step, and we divide to conquer.

(This is the second part of a sequence devoted to the concept variety used as a measure of complexity. It’s a good idea to read previous part before this one but even doing it after or not at all is fine.)

And that indeed proved to…


Image by the author.

Here’s another pair of glasses with which to look at organisations. It can be used either together with the Essential Balances or with the Productive Paradoxes, or on its own. For those new to my “glasses” metaphor, here’s a quick intro.

The Glasses Metaphor

As I’m sceptical about the usefulness of methodologies, frameworks and best practices when it comes to social species, my preference is to work with habits and instead of using models, to use organisations directly as the best model of themselves.

The best material model of a cat is another, or preferably the same, cat.

N. Wiener, A. Rosenblueth, Philosophy…

Ivo Velitchkov

Consultant, Author, Speaker; interested in complexity, and knowledge graphs. Blog: http://www.strategicstructures.com. Book: http://www.essentialbalances.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store