Can't Get THERE from HERE...
You Can Get HERE from THERE
Center Concept Sketch - 1982
Toohey drew this sketch back in 1982.
were working on our Annual Report and discovered
that we had nothing for the cover. We decided
that we should use a drawing that illustrated
[link: backcasting 2007] of the environments we wanted to create and now have begun to.
had about an hour to do the work - ten minutes
of which was taken up with Jim and myself discussing
what should be in it. 20 plus
years later this sketch still remains a waypoint;
we design and build an environment we revisit
this THERE. We get a little more
of it to HERE each time we build.
it is not a very eloquent drawing, in the
architectural sense, it does show
most of the key elements that, today, make up
a modern navCenter
[link: making, using, nacenters] and it clearly indicates technology just coming
on line including some critical pieces yet to
exciting thing is, in the next few years, what
is diagrammed in this piece can be fully realized.
And, more interesting than that, it is possible
to do virtually all of it today, economically,
with the single exception of the large-scale seamless
read-write electronic Radiant Walls. A matrix
of flat-screens that can show many images or a
single one will be the next RadiantWall HERE from
scene shows two people joining Teams, already deeply
engaged working collaboratively, from different
physical locations. While the team members are
obviously in sync, the emphasis is on multitasking
by employing many different work modes and media.
Several dialogs are going on simultaneously while
a variety of documentation and work-tools are
being employed. These include voice recognition
capture (this is why the documentation station
is shown empty); wireless laptops, PDAs and electronic
pads augmented with books, pens, paper, sticky-wall
displays; and, multi-modal (verbal, graphical,
pattern-language) intelligent-agent search engines.
ALL media is multimedia.
course, other individuals and groups, not shown,
can be participating by a variety of technologies
(fax, voice conference, electronic white-board, e-mail, Chat, www,
employing the active interface areas on the
table (and/or Radiant Walls and/or laptops, etc.),
it is possible for the participants to engage
in a rich multithreaded dialog while performing
the entire 10
STEP PROCESS [link: 10 step process] with minimal distraction
from the work itself.
levels, sound pickup, playback and attenuation
- along with video capture - are controlled in
the same way. With all this technology, however,
the feeling of the space is little different than
any environment built by us over the last 15 years.
The technology is designed to be transparent;
it is to never get between people or their work;
this is a requirement of augmentation [link: bootstrap].
environment/tool-set allows a level of integration
of work process that cannot be accomplished with
tools, and process designs. The same level
of productivity that is now accomplished with
a fully supported DesignShop system.
closest built environment to this sketch, architecturally,
is the CNL NavCenter in Orlando,
Florida built in 1985 and, not surprisingly, with
Jim Toohey as design-lead. Our goal has always
been to make the technology ubiquitous, not in-your-face
and fully integrated with many flexible work processes.
feature of this environment is that it is fully
Hypertext capable. The users are searching, linking,
recreating and producing their work-product in
real-time. This supports an iterative, recursive,
feedback-driven work flow.
Nelson pioneered Hypertext
as being more natural to the way people think
and relate information. The Foresight Institute
is now working with an advanced web-based version
Lloyd Wright said that if someone else had not
invented the corner window he would have - that
is how I feel about Hypertext! Of this I am certain:
in the time-compressed, complex world we are making,
it will be impossible for people to get context,
understand and ACT effectively in real-time
without advanced multimedia/Hypertext
systems that are interactive on multiple LARGE
WorkWalls, other display systems including personal
human mind is capable of much more throughput
than the average meeting allows. It is often thought
that less information, in smaller bits presented
in one-to-many mode is essential to understanding
- just the opposite is true. The third day of
event demonstrates this. Multitasking is the norm
for the human mind. The problem is not peoples
ability, the problem is that most work environments
and social processes do not support it; the problem
is that the technical language used in these meetings
do not build functional
corporate memory [link: strong memory].
today we accomplish with KnowledgeWorkers, supporting
users in highly specialized environments, tomorrow
will simply be a natural way of working available
to anyone in, or connected to, this kind of environment
and educated to these processes.
size of the RadiantWalls is important - not only
to hold all the information that is at any moment
in-mind - but also to create a significant
level of presence with the displays and/or
remote groups involved. They do have to be WALLS.
There are many issues of scale, critical mass
and ubiquity in creating an environment of this
this illustration, the WorkWall at the far end,
is a window to another team working remotely.
Each team is able to SEE and directly work with
the other while also sharing a WorkWall in common.
This is a far cry from the talking-head teleconferencing
used today which is more a distraction than an
aid. What is required is REMOTE PRESENCE.
November 1999, the first AI MagicWindow
products design to augment RemotePresence and
RemoteCollaboration were prototyped. They have
not, yet, found a buyer but it is only a matter
must be able to reach-in to each others
space (and mind). This can only be accomplished
when the environment, work-process and tool-kit
are designed and employed as a single
system. Work must be done in real-time,
in iterative cycles and on many levels
of recursion - simultaneously - with feedback
between all of the stages to all of the others
- for complexity to emerge that will be requisite
with real-world conditions and demands. Present
not support the kind, scale
and scope of interaction between people,
people and machines, machines and machines - that
is necessary to accomplish this.
this sketch was drawn, we have built about 20
environments ranging from 3 thousand
to 20 thousand square feet each. We have
thousands of days of teams made up of a dozen
to a hundred plus participants working their
through complex challenges. Of course, what we
have really been doing is learning
the algorithms for a new-way-of-working.
learning the systems-integration role of configuring
the best mix of process, environment and tool
combinations. We have learned a significant number
of the these algorithms and we are ready now
to build the hardware/software systems
to bring the technology alive. Working with AI,
these systems will be embedded into the next
of our environments.
have created a system and method, a language and
the protocols that - with recent advances in technology
- can fulfill the propose rendered by this sketch.
Of course, 19 years ago, the idea was as alive
and present as it is today - it didnt seem
possible that it would take to the 21st. Century
to get the tool kit in hand necessary for building
this design. On the other hand, when you look
at the many many individual inventions required
- to get here - let alone THERE, it staggers the
imagination. The tool makers have done their job,
now it is necessary to complete the task of tool
tools are being put on the market - most often
to automate old work processes. This provides
far less gain than is possible or necessary. The
large-scale systems integration work - for the
new way-of-working still remains to be
done. The pieces are in place - the necessary
synergy is not.
basic technology was conceived by me in the
I wrote about it in the 70s
and the basic tool kit developed, by MG Taylor,
in the 80s.
Most of the 1990s
we devoted to building
and using various versions of this concept -
as much as technology, economics and user limitations
would allow. Now,
the seminal projects are on the drawing
boards that will, at last, see this concept
to its full expression.
is a paradox, is it not, that the tool necessary
to compress time response and make requisite the
complexity of response - to challenges organizations
face - took over 30 years to build? This is why
has always been a bootstrap process. It
takes a Management
Center to build a Management Center.
this environment and with this tool-kit, work
teams will be able to accomplish, every day, the
kind of quality work and time compression
that we now achieve, in event-focused,
facilitated, activities with the DesignShop process.
This will help them stay requisite with
the increasing complexity and change they face
everyday. This will help them produce the quality
of work required. This will allow the flow
levels necessary to support a sustained
kinds of problems that people can solve
and the nature of their solution-sets,
are inherently limited by the process-environment-tool
kit that they employ. Gail and I set out to bring
about a new way-of-working because we believed
that the problem (of sub-optimal design and response)
was not people, per se - but the system
that people were in. We have consistently seen
this to be true: place people in the right environment
and they are spontaneous, creative, productive,
collaborative and capable of emergent design.
will complete this VISION only in partnership
with other organizations. The question, that faces
us, is who are the right partners? This question
has to be answered, soon, because the market window
is opening now. It will be filled by something.
The issue is what and how useful will it
be. The best technologies do not always win in
the market place - at least in the short term.
1999 challenge was to demonstrate this system
of work, adequately - in the projects
we built and the environments we operated,
to build the financial and organizational base
sufficient to see this design iteration of the
project through to completion. Our 2000 challenge
was to build and activate the ValueWeb that is
required to see this work through to a working
level. Every day, we have to bring more
of THERE to HERE. Every day.
the turn of the century, a new market position
has to be established. Who will own this
position? Why does it matter who “ownes” it?
What will be the consequences to our
ValueWeb client-partners? How will this new environment
forms will the prototypes take? From what sources
will the components come and who will act as
the functional systems integrator? It seems
the pieces are in place and it seems like the
concept of a system has yet to emerge.
the five years since this piece was first posted,
many advances have taken place in the base technology
necessary to implement the CyberCon concept. There
are also three MG Taylor/ SFIA-Master Builders/AI
prototypes [link] underway
that are directly related to the
of getting HERE from THERE with
implementing a day-to-day executive work routine.
the ten plus years since this piece was first posted and the five since the last update, technology has leaped ahead in all areas relevant to our 1982 THERE vision particularly in regard personal tools which are becoming increasingly affordable to an ever expanding percentage of humanity. The navCenter which most expresses the 1982 technical vision is the UniCredit space opened in Turin in January 2007.
click on picture below
for a tour of the Unimanagement environment
December 27, 1999
voice of this document:
• ENGINEERING STRATEGY
• PRELIMINARY •
click on graphic for explanation of SolutionBox
December 28, 1998
October 13, 2002
• 20000715.632921.mt 20010214.618562.mt
• 20021013.656522.mt • 20040417.341279.mt
• 20101122.555121.mt •
this document is about 90% finished
Statement and Policy
of the system and method described are Patented and in Patent Pending