Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: [cp] The Rule of 150 -- What is the ideal size of CoP?

Expand Messages
  • Steve Song
    Hello Tony, ... Excellent book! Just out in paperback now too ;-) A couple of comments on it follow/ ... I have heard Larry Prusak suggest the number 300
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 14, 2002
      Hello Tony,

      >Have you read "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell? Great book I
      >recommend for this audience.

      Excellent book! Just out in paperback now too ;-) A couple of comments
      on it follow/

      >On page 182, Malcolm writes that "...the size of a group is another one of
      >those subtle contextual factors that can make a big difference." He argues
      >that, since early times, 150 is threshhold for effective community. He uses
      >the military, the Hutterites, and even Gore Associates (Gore-tex
      >manufacturers) as examples. The later put 150 parking spaces in a new
      >factory. When there are more than 150 people working there, they build a new
      >factory!

      I have heard Larry Prusak suggest the number 300 (mentioned by Kent Myers)
      as the number of people one can reasonably get to know in an
      organisation. I found it interesting that Gore Associates settled on the
      number 150. A pretty big difference. I wonder if they meant different things?

      >"When people know each other well, they create an implicit joint memory
      >system--a transactive memory system--which is based on an understanding about
      >who is best suited to remember what kinds of things."

      This for me is the most interesting part of the whole book; a quantitative
      validation of the power and importance of groups/community. A powerful
      confirmation that how well we know each other determines how well knowledge
      flows between us.

      The scientist who pioneered this work is Daniel Wegner and his original
      paper on this is:

      Wegner, D. M. (1986). Transactive memory: A contemporary analysis of the
      group mind. In B. Mullen & G. R. Goethals (Eds.), Theories of group
      behavior (pp. 185-208). New York: Springer-Verlag.

      which is not available on the web however an article that discusses his
      theory among other models is available:

      "What Do We Know About organisational Memories and Can Current Theories
      Contribute to the Development of Knowledge Management Systems?" by Frans
      Lehner
      http://www.sistemi-informativi.org/kio/cons/Lehner.html

      Unfortunately the article is more focused on memory storage than process
      but it still gives a reasonable overview of Wegner's model.

      Regards to all... Steve



      ______________________________________________________________
      Steve Song <ssong@...>
      Senior Programme Specialist
      Bellanet International Secretariat
      P.O. Box 8500, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1G 3H9
      Tel. +1 613 236 6163 x2268 Fax +1 613 238 7230
      Website: http://www.bellanet.org
    • Lilly3653@aol.com
      In a message dated 15/03/2002 01:00:54 GMT Standard Time, ssong@bellanet.org ... Tony and Steve, thanks for the conversation on Glover s book. I have had it
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 14, 2002
        In a message dated 15/03/2002 01:00:54 GMT Standard Time, ssong@... writes:


        http://www.sistemi-informativi.org/kio/cons/Lehner.html


        Tony and Steve,

        thanks for the conversation on Glover's book.  I have had it mentioned now by three different groups as a 'must' so have to get it tomorrow.

        On the size, I remember that Gore was a military man in WW2.  He realised the power of the relationships in a unit - I am not sure what is the name of the one which jumps from 150 to 1000+, however it is this boundary where he saw a real difference.  Keeping to these numbers has also assured that Gore does not need the overhead of Personnel department - people act as mentors to each other.

        Also, in Heidi's Junior school Headmistress prided herself on knowing the names of all kids by the end of first week.  They had between 140-160 kids in the school every year.

        Observation - we are doing viral marketing on Glover's book here.  Will it spread?

        Kind regards

        Lilly
      • Steve Song
        Hi Lilly, Great comment. I love the Heidi link and the background on Gore. ... Not if you keep calling him Glover. -Steve
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 15, 2002
          Hi Lilly,

          Great comment. I love the Heidi link and the background on Gore.

          At 08:21 PM 14/03/02 -0500, Lilly3653@... wrote:
          >Observation - we are doing viral marketing on Glover's book here. Will it
          >spread?

          Not if you keep calling him Glover. <big grin>

          -Steve
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.