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September 04, 2005


Andre Saito

Hi Denham!
Thanks for your comments at my site last week. I posted some answers there, but since I don't have an RSS feed, here is a comment to this entry you pointed to...
I agree very much with you about the importance of a community, dialogical approach to KM, and I am a firm believer in that. But KM has come to mean so many things that a balance among the different perspectives has been very challenging...
Anyway, I'll keep your warnings in mind along my research. Thanks!

You are very welcome Andre

Buck Lawrimore

Knowledge management is still a rarified discipline little known in the vast majority of companies. Because it requires a particular mindset or personality type on the part of the organization leaders, it is not likely to take hold except where the leadership, culture and market success factors are conducive, for example, an IT company or a consulting firm or good old academia.

Matthias Melcher

Thanks for the great post; I now understand some things better.

Garsett Larosse

Hi Denham!

As developer of TeleCommunities, I of course support your general analysis.

But it seems to me that we have to stop using the word knowledge as a placeholder for so many different products and processes.

All you say is true, but it is also not true in situations where the experience of understanding is not linked to the processes that we mean to focus on. In other words, knowledge for one person is not knowledge for someone else. It's the experience of the knower that counts. Sometimes there's no interest and need for shared awareness.

I'd say that a core practice in what you describe as knowledge ecology should be the ability to link insights to processes. KM meets systems thinking? In oragnisations, yes. But I'm also referring to the basic processes with which we understand and organize the world; our learning styles, our worldview structuring.


Hello Mr. Denham
Thanks for such a great articulated post. The benefits of creating knowledge through community, dialogue and opinions (within contextual framework) for an organization is so obvious.

As John Udell also mentioned -

If individuals agree to work transparently, they (and their employers) can know more, do more, and sell more.

If this concept is so crystal clear and obvious, then why do most organizations not embrace social interactivity in their learning initiatives? First thing comes to my mind - organizations where ‘Darwinian’ culture is promoted, i.e., where the management supports hierarchy-based “divide and rule” policy. In such organizations, the fear of becoming dispensable is associated with sharing knowledge (this becomes more and more relevant when we talk about core tacit organizational knowledge). In the middle of ego and turf-battles, social interactivity is unimaginable. Where conversations are not connected and instead hindered by personal or group ‘silo-based’ agendas, emergent learning and innovation can’t take place and the complete knowledge ecosystem is useless – no matter whatever technology base you try to install.
I would really appreciate if you could enlighten us on how we can ‘sell’ and ‘promote’ the concept of knowledge ecosystem in an organization.

Shawn Callahan

Hi Denham, as always your post is packed with heaps of ideas. What you say here makes sense to me, especially the focus on community.

Perhaps another area of knowledge creation is the ability to experiment. This is partially embedded in your description of community. One of the things I've noticed is that very few organisations have explicit ways to support experimentation. It's either the full blown programme of activities or, as you suggest, people banding together in their communities to try a few things out under the radar--the skunkworks.

I think experimemtation is going to increase in importance as organisations recognise that more and more issues are complex and small, experimental interventions followed by ways to see what happened will be the best way forward.

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