It started with a simple challenge: if I were to draw a big circle around the things I find interesting enough to follow and declare them to be one thing, how would I label it? To avoid flying completely off into pointless musing, assume that it's relevant professionally. Considering that the circle included social media, analytics, intelligence, geopolitics, and natural disasters—to pick a few—the label wasn't obvious. By declaring them to be one thing, though, it soon became clear that the theme was the importance—the value—of knowledge.
The label was Omniscience.
"That's pretty ambitious."
Yes, I'm aware of the definition of omniscience, and no, I'm not suggesting that I know everything or ever will. But among the unattainable goals, it's a good one. I mean, what could you do if you knew everything? You can't, but what if you knew a lot more about things that matter to your business?
What if you knew something that was there to be discovered, and your competitor didn't? Is it starting to sound reasonable yet? Maybe even something you'd want to do?
I've talked through the Omniscience framework with several folks for early reactions, mostly in person. It involved some handwaving, so I knew it wasn't ready to post. Some people suggested related books, but nobody really shot it down. Now, it's your turn (click for a larger view). I'm not sure I need a lot more assigned reading at the moment, but I'm definitely interested in your reaction.
A framework, not a recipe
This is the top-level view, and each section has a story, a purpose, and examples. But this is the gist of it: starting with a few simple observations on the nature of things, Omniscience is a challenge to expect more of your intelligence and analytics, drawing on a broader range of techniques to track and anticipate a wider range of things that matter.
Omniscience provides a thread. It links things you know with things you do—and with things you don’t do. It links the very large and the very small, the short-term and the long-term. The way you think and plan and the way you measure and evaluate. It provides a structure to identify missed opportunities and to evaluate new ideas. And although it looks highly theoretical, it's already suggested a practical application that I haven't seen on the market.
Naturally, I think it's a big deal. Does it make sense to you, so far?