Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Coherence vs Fragmentation

The antidote for fragmentation is coherence. How, then, do we create coherence? In organizations and project teams – in situations where collaboration is the life blood of success – coherence amounts to shared understanding and shared commitment.


  1. But too much coherence leads to groupthink and lack of exchange. Sometimes fragmentation is good (especially in a learning environment) as it forces us to piece together the fragments and fill the holes. To me it's like patio pavers or a cobblestone. If there is to great a distance between the stones, the going is rough. If the the stones are too close, they can break up other stones and create an uneven walkway. The trick is to have them in a regular pattern that is close enough to make it easy to fill in, yet far enough apart to allow for movement and external environmental conditions.

  2. Yes, this is definitely something to keep in mind. You are right--too much coherence and the diversity and its advantages are lost. The trick is to maintain the balance as you have said. Applying this to problem solving--if we can bridge fragmentation in the "understanding" of the issue and yet maintain it when thinking about solutions--that could help in solving or at least partially solving novel challenges.


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Organizations as Communities — Part 2

Yesterday, in a Twitter conversation with Rachel Happe regarding the need for organizations to function as communities, I wrote the follow...