Shimazaki-san gave us so many good source of discussion, I think we will accumulate enough writing on those topic to produce several dissertations! One discussion he and I had was about the meaning of workplace. He sees it as “ba” which information flows. I agree, but I commented that these information will only flow when people communicate.

As the group talked about understanding the prosperity of two icecream shops at a beach, we agreed that the economics model can only be considered when we build the model with the assumption everything else but the location being equal. But the fact of the matter is, anything but the distance is never equal between two icecream shops, and the source of the difference is in the end, people. (Complexity, Conscilience, Out of Control express this concept so eloquently.) It is the same with information. I do believe mathmatics is the language of the universe that expresses the state of anything. However, it can only expresses all of past, present, and future state that has no mind or spirit, and humans are not so. Therefore, the mathmatics may express the past and present of everything including humans, but the future, I am doubtful.

Humans do surprising things, and it is the same within workplace. When one wants to know how information (partially knowledge) is created, handled, passes through within a workplace, first thing that one has to deal with the attitude and relationship among people there.

Our talk took a turn to the trend among major companies in Japan for the past couple of years (because, everybody does it now!) which is to create a “ba” for communication, collaboration. Companies average adults in Japan know by name are coming to me, asking for assitance in creating such “ba” to promote knowledge share and communication and collaboration. Truth is, unless human factors are first considered and designed to change along with the design of a “ba”, it is doomed from the start.

Humans are the most complicated factor in anything. But then that’s why there’s always a hope. Right, guys?