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John Clausen

Free markets breed passion, which in turn drives innovation. Abolish the US Department of Education which promotes the failed liberal ideal of equal outcome. Think about it, everyone 37 years of age and younger have been indoctrinated by jimmy carter's failed vision...You, John Brown and Doug Thomas should realign your focus away from the private sector and do your part to fix the public sector!

David Gerard

Very stimulating analysis and review, John! I would like to focus on what these "collectives" mean for our organizations, starting with how the C-Suite models or thwarts accelerated learning.

I believe that there are both tacit and explicit knowledge pools in today's organizations. In my work over the past twenty years with organizations, I have found that the kinds of executive communities that top and middle leadership groups create with each other will strongly influence the degree of play and imagination they will experience around learning.

For example, I had a CEO once ask me to meet with groups of executives and managers to "inject" his strategy "into their bloodstream"-- all in the name of strategic alignment. Instead, I turned the alignment sessions into opportunities for the managers below him in the hierarchy to pose questions to him, which I then shared with him.

He responded with surprise at first, but quickly got the point that his people were posing questions for which his strategy had no answers. Rather than closing down my renegade "alignment sessions", as his managers warned that he would, he responded positively. He created monthly Town Halls where they could meet directly with him, and this led to the accelerated development of a younger, talented leader to become his COO, and ultimately replace him as CEO. It also, for a time, unleashed a period of experimentation and innovation in these CEO-Manager collectives that did create a much stronger alignment than before.

Had this CEO chosen to rigidly insist on "injecting" his strategy "into the bloodstream" of his managers, none of this would happen. As you wisely suggest, he went the route of "play and imagination" and created an executive community that was based on accelerating, instead of thwarting, the sharing of tacit knowledge.

I am looking forward to this book as well as your next iteration of Pull thinking.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and passion for this book. I am looking forward to reading it and your blog more often. This post has given me much to think about as I reflect on our work to remodel education for our youth.

monika hardy

can't wait to read it. thank you for the post.

this was going through my head all day after i read it..what do you think?

Mark Montgomery


I enjoyed reading this, but frankly these issues were far more obvious to me as a largely self-learned "thought leader" who quite often found myself leading academia.

Tacit knowledge has been overcooked for a decade in my view, and often disguised in KM circles as a form of extortion, although who can blame them given the rise of institutions and fall of the individual?

On a similar thread, of course the issue with academia is the ancient guild-- combined with what is an increasingly enormous investment given the inability for anyone to guarantee much of anything for long in our new world.

I absolutely agree and support your notion here and elsewhere that continuous life-long learning is a big part of the answer, as is experience, and technology.

Now if we could just somehow alter the stranglehold of self-accreditation, and adopt systems already well along in providing solutions in terms of human capital development and performance systems.

What we have now is a system something like apartheid where often is the case where the most advanced and least conflicted are also the less likely to receive attention and credit, not to mention opportunity. Rare perhaps, but increasingly less so, and just as unjust.

Tension indeed-- it threatens the very status quo -- one of the oldest and largest industries. I suspect unlike in centuries past, change is coming this time regardless.



These are important ideas and I'm looking forward to reading the book. One thing I hope they touch on is how to evaluate students and teachers in this model. It's clearly more difficult to evaluate performance when success requires a balance between multiple goals that are in tension with each other. I think the ambiguity of how to evaluate progress is one of the reasons for the resistance. It will be important to create new evaluation methods and metrics for these ideas to be accepted. I see it happen all the time with clients. When trying to do new work, they resist until we can develop new, appropriate metrics for success. Without new metrics, they either resist the new ideas entirely, or resort to existing metrics that were created for the work from which they are trying to differentiate themselves. I can see the same thing happening when developing learning models. People want to do a good job, and in order to drive the right behaviors, we need to define what a good job is. Excellent topic!


To sum up the collective and the pull notion in a short sentense could be: Pull yourself together!

New approaches to learning is a refereshing opportunity to do something different, when old methods do not render the expected results - even after repeting old patterns.. That's what instrumented learning is all about..

Martin Wiedemann


Balancing the tensions
Push and Pull
Education and Learning
Freedom and Structure
Open and Bound
Individual and Collective
Questions and Answers
Physical and Virtual
Facts and Imagination
....sounds powerful


This looks like an incredible book and I cannot wait to start reading it. I recently finished The Power of Pull and was truly inspired by everything written. So many of us are exploring what we need to do to adapt while making adjustments and trying new things. It's great to connect with people who see this as an opportunity to re-imagine our futures( even with the challenges), embrace it and do the work to get there.

Thank you, Lynda

Randal Hendee

I'm looking forward to reading this book. What a great antidote to the reductive notions of achievement espoused by the current crop of "reformers." Embracing ambivalence and ambiguity is a promising alternative to teaching to the test.

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