The crux of
the book is that over the Twentieth Century, the world began to
go from vertical, heirarchical structure to a horizontalization.
Love that word, horizontalization. Things flattened out. As a meritocrat,
I love this, because it means that instead of looking to solve a
problem within a vertical silo, you look outward to who has the
skills. Brain power is everywhere. Brain power is global.
has 10 factors, as seen in the graphics. The Berlin Wall falling
(#1) broke down proverbial walls and opened eyes. Netscape going
public (#2) and the software revolution in the 90's (#3) connected
software and connected people. It was this connecting that facilitated
collaboration and factors #4-9 were collaborative extensions of
that. The "Steroids" (#10) of VOIP (Voice over Internet
Protocol) and Wireless have just started, but have already changed
the way we communicate.
The epilogue for me personally, is that graphic
facilitation work is the work of a "good collaborator"
as seen in the lower right corner. As facilitators with groups,
we are reflecting the conversation of the whole group, horizontally,
not just the bosses vertically. We encourage and fuel collaboration
by creating the image of a group, project, solution as a whole,
including all people. We sort out the pieces of a conversation,
organizing and bringing clarity. Onward to more communication,
collaboration and horizontalization -
Hold on, there's
In July, I got an email from a woman, Joanna, who was the editor
magazine in Taiwan. They were running a story about Friedman's
book and wanted to run the graphic facilitation above with
not? We had an easy time negotiating, contracting and sending
the files. She was a great client paying on time, sending samples,
perfectly pleasant to work with. Our only small snag was the international
dialing codes back and forth between the US and Taiwan. Very minor
image found 50,000 pairs of eyes in the heads of Taiwanese businesspeople.
the moral of the story or the punchline to this is that it perfectly
illustrated the point of the book. The world is very flat when
a drawing I made in my 450 square foot apartment reaches 50,000
magazine readers on the other side of the world. And that the
drawing still communicates.