Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Art of Context

This past weekend I saw an art exhibit, you can read more about it on my Stephanie Barnes Art blog, but what struck me about it was the value of context, or knowledge to the understanding of the paintings. The paintings are abstract blocks of colour, meant to elicit emotions and a reaction, to me they have a meditative quality to them. They have value in the colours that they use, the textures, and the shapes. Seeing the exhibit revived me. I walked through the exhibit first on my own, but then joined a guided tour, where I learned more about the artists, and what was going on at the time, why they painted the paintings they way they did, what had come before, and what came after: context. Learning about the context added more meaning to the artworks my second time through the exhibit. It strikes me that this is the same with knowledge management. We can look at the end result of a process or project or activity and know if it was successful or not, but we don’t necessarily know what worked and what didn’t until we start asking the questions: what worked? what didn’t work? why? … Continue reading

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Knowledge Management, Creativity, and Innovation: Part 2

Talking about design and balance and creativity and knowledge management makes me happy, joyful even. Bring on the joy. In Part 1 I talked about how important TIME is knowledge creation and reuse, creativity practices that allow us to take knowledge and either transform or apply it in order to create something new. What does it mean to design time for this into our activities? Well… Design thinking is characterized by being purposive; human centered; a balance of analytical and creative; uses abductive reasoning, i.e. inference from best available explanation; and iterative, it uses prototyping and play testing to achieve success. Here’s how these principles are applied in knowledge management: Purposive: we look at the organization’s strategy, goals, and objectives and assess how knowledge management best supports those activities. The knowledge management strategy outlines how the organization’s goals and objectives are furthered through the application of knowledge management activities. Human centered: the best knowledge management implementations consider the people of the organization, e.g. how they work, what makes their work-lives easier, what the culture of the organization is like and works with those requirements to make the organization more efficient and effective in its knowledge processes and activities. A balance … Continue reading

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Knowledge Management, Creativity, and Innovation: Part 1

“Knowledge Management, ho hum, who cares? I have more important things to worry about than some esoteric discussion about knowledge. I have a job to do.” I know that’s what they’re thinking with the glazed-over look in their eyes as they search around the room to see who else is around that they can talk to. I’m not going to tell you why you should care; I’m going to tell you why I care. I like to make connections, meet new people, learn new things and I like to share what I know with others. I like to make my job as easy as possible, and I like to help others do the same thing. I like to learn from my mistakes and not make the same mistakes repeatedly. So, you’re probably thinking, where is she going with this? This isn’t knowledge management; this isn’t creativity; this isn’t innovation. And to that I say, “ah, but it is.” One definition of creativity says: It is the reorganization of experience into new configurations; A function of knowledge, imagination, and evaluation. In other words, the use of knowledge. Knowledge is about holding information learned through experience or study. Knowledge management wants you … Continue reading

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