Knowledge vs. Learning vs. Information vs. transfer

I just recently received an email about disaster preparedness, it contained a scan of a document that the person who sent it to me had received. What does this have to do with KM? Nothing and everything. The point the person who sent me the scanned document was making was that he had received this document in the middle of summer, while people were away on vacation, it was poorly produced, there didn’t seem to be an electronic version available, and he believed that if any of these floods, fires, earthquakes etc. ever happened (or maybe that should be when they happen), he wouldn’t be able to remember the information in the document (which was about 10 pages long), and if he remembered that he had received this document, he wouldn’t be able to find it again. Again, so what you say? What does this have to do with KM or learning or information or anything at all? Well, if we are doing knowledge management, or learning management or information management we need to be concerned about how knowledge/information gets transferred and shared. How do the users want to receive it? What is their environment like? What circumstances will they be … Continue reading

Posted in Business-IT Alignment, Design Thinking, Information Management, knowledge by design, Knowledge Management, Organizational Learning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Knowledge Management by Design, part 2

Design thinking seems to be everywhere lately, but it seems to me that KM has always been “by design,” at least it was if it was done successfully. Design thinking is characterized by being purposive; human centred;  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. How are these principles 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 centred: 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 of analytical and creative: KM should be a balance of analytical and creative. It should capture knowledge and make it reusable, but it also needs to leave space, ba, to allow for knowledge creation. This space can look like lots of … Continue reading

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Knowledge by Design

I have been doing some more research, reading, and thinking about this creativity-innovation-knowledge management area and am coming to the realization that to a certain extent KM by design is what I’ve been doing all along, I’m just becoming more aware of it and kicking it up a notch. Let me explain… What I have been doing is knowledge (management) by design, and I say that because, I’ve always believed in looking at what knowledge activities were need to meet the needs of the organization  I’ve never said, “you need xyz technology, or you need a lessons learned process,” without understanding what the organization was trying to achieve with knowledge. I’ve always focused on the left-brain activities, the process, the activities, the technology, the information architecture, etc. What I’m incorporating now is more right-brain thinking, which takes me and my knowledge management consulting into the innovation and creativity arena and making space for knowledge creation–ba, to use the term made familiar in Nonaka’s knowledge management work and writing. How am I going to do that? Through having people do right-brain activities in the workshops that I run, but also by working with organizations to include more of these kinds of activities … Continue reading

Posted in Collaboration, Community of Practice, Creativity, Decision making, Design Thinking, Innovation, knowledge by design, Knowledge Management | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments