« Case-hardened books | Main | KM practices »

October 29, 2006


David Locke

Sai, I'm tired of the first gen practices, actually.

So what are you trying to learn? I would rather ask what are you trying to discover? And, how do you propose to learn it? It can be said that explication is learning, but exploiting knowledge does not require explication at all, neither does it have to be rationalized. You don't have to understand it at all to use it. And, what you will learn is how to use it, not it.

Learning as Stewart Brand defined in "How Buildings Learn," is that a house (a brainless thing totally without rationalizatio) accumulates changes (like neurons) and thus learns. The building certainly does not make sense of its occupants. It's occupants certainly do not explicate their fitness, and still the building evolves towards fitness for those occupants. The house accumulates knowledge about the occupants. This is the essence of knowledge. KM would facilitate this. But, it doesn't. Neither does learning in its rationlized sense. The highest value knowledge is unrationlized and unshared. Sharing diminishes the value of knowledge. It is pure geek myth that going pubic makes it more valuable.

It's kind of like the people that say that you must be flexible to evolve. But, evolution doesn't work that way. Evolution is broadband and is a matter of changing channels. If you are not the channel changed to, you are toast, and your flexibility has nothing to do with it.

Sai Lakkaraju

I define knowledge as the information rationalised through the processes of reflection, logical reasoning, and learning. So obviously learning has a big role to play in KM.
If you consider only explicit knowledge as knowledge then you are talking about first generation KM and scientific management, which failed a long time ago.

Michael Gannotti

Was cruising Technorati when I ran across your site. Very cool.

David Locke

So Colleen, do you code, or will someone be doing this for you?

Begin by writing down your description of how your container will work. After letting it sit for a while, come back and broaden your description.

That's where it starts.

Colleen Carmean

Sometimes, when I'm completely lost on how to move forward, I ask myself repeatedly "What's the core problem we're trying to solve here?" For me, right now, the problem is finding the effective mashup of tools and practice for uninterrupted flow and creation of knowledge, when and where needed - based on the themes (hypotheses, really) Denham summarizes here.

So, let's not talk about it anymore. Let's do it. Move information out of the strong AND weak nodes and make it available, searchable, and understandable. This is the space where learning and knowledge will collide.

I believe it's now key to the success of an organization. And that we're we're just now finding the tools, evidence, and expertise to do so. For me, I'm going to keep myself focused on Denham's 4th bullet -
Capacity to connect is more important than current knowing. We don't need a perfect solution to create an effective container for connecting nodes. We do need an organizational framework (culture and process) that allows participants to input expertise that's retrievable anytime, by anyone. You'll then have a continuous and dynamic collision of learning and knowledge.

Core problem? Getting from here to there. Siemens, Downes, McManus and Cross are great reads, but no one can sell industry on letting 1,000 in-house bloggers bloom.
So: Let's sketch the mashup. Define the container. Create practice. Find a test case. Ask the right questions regarding success, ROI, value, and whether there are still weak nodes that either can't be heard or can't hear the signal. If so, why and what next?

David Locke

Learning and knowledge don't collide. They are worlds apart except in the mind of some people who want to broaden KM into irrelvancy.

If you are managing learning in your organization, you are not managing knowledge--you are managing knowledge after it has lost its value. So where is the business case in doing that. And, you are managing only the explicit knowledge, which is not where your firm's value from knowledge is really found.

Corporations only facilitate learning from the perspective of thier HR soft-side trainers. But, that's what happens when HR latches on to training as a way for HR to add value to the firm.

The comments to this entry are closed.