Ambient awareness is the sister of Blitzkrieg

"Guderian believed that developments in technology were required to support the theory; especially equipping armored divisions — tanks foremost, with wireless communications. Guderian insisted in 1933 to the high command that every tank in the German armored force must be equipped with radio.[31] At the start of the war, only the German army was thus equipped with all tanks having radio. This proved critical in early tank battles where German tank commanders could maneuver their tanks in better organized ways than the Allies. Later all allied armies would copy this innovation."

"The classic characteristic of what is commonly known as "blitzkrieg" is a highly mobile form of infantry and armour working in combined arms teams."

- Blitzkrieg - wikipedia

Just like Iqbal Quadir’s TED talk “connection makes for more productivity”…it also makes for adaptable organisation and coordination due to heightened communications.

Adapt to change quickly, be agile, and resilient.

Military Taps Social Networking Skills - nearly 70 years on from the communication advancement that enabled Blitzkrieg, we now have drones reporting what’s happening from the ground from 8000 miles away. This can be reported in real time chatrooms to ground zero who then have the intelligence to adapt to their environment and change, whether it’s a surprise attack on the enemy or to get out of a pickle….basically they have eyes in the sky.

This article in question is titled with the words “social networking”, but I don’t really think it has anything to do with this in a Facebook kind of way…it seems more of a chatroom. What it does have in common with social networks like Facebook is the concept of “Ambient Awarenes”. You are tapped into to an intelligence activity stream…and you can take an item in the stream and have a conversation around it, only in real-time.

Whether it’s real-time or not; connection, context and ambient awareness is what the concept of KM was about (or should have been about), but it failed as it took a library science approach; it lacked behavioural characteristics that encourage engagement; it lacked these new social tools back in the day; and it was all managed by a centralised, incentivised and predictable “plan and outcome" management approach…more connection and less collection.

For more see my post, Ambient awareness is the new normal, c’mon already!

Since Blitzkrieg we can now also collaborate on strategy, plans, lists in a distributed way (and real-time) that is so quick that we can successfully respond to change, just look at the recent way Google listed all employees that were affected by the Volcano incident in Iceland. Everyone can be involved and aware in no time at all, rather than waiting for the information flow to come through the vertical chain, where it also becomes re-interpreted and meaning and relevancy is lost. Equally important now is that all links in the chain can be involved in conversations that lead to decision-making.