Home > theorywatch > Change agents or chance agents

Change agents or chance agents

Okay, so I’m googling (yes, assistant professors google a lot!) Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, to check out a hint that his “Project Halo” is about to go commercial with the launch of a really intelligent search engine, when I accidentally come across the “other” Paul Allen of Ancestry.com (self-identified as “Paul Allen the Lesser”), who has a post about his own experiences as a CEO.

I think that PA the Lesser simply made a minor typo in his post by referring to himself as a “chance agent” rather than a “change agent,” but that got me thinking about the potential differences between the two (agents, not Allens!) I think the primary one may be that the “change agent” is trying to introduce some already-existing innovation into an existing environment, while the “chance agent” may inadvertently produce some new environment as a side-effect of creating a new innovation.

And I’m wondering how this might fit with David Lee King’s recent
“Library 2.0 spectrum thingie.” Who or what’s outside that spectrum on Planet Library, hmm?

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