13:51 11/06/2004 Mathemagenic: Mathemagenic
on personal productivity in knowledge-intensive environments, weblog research, knowledge management, PhD, serendipity and lack of work-life balance...


  Friday, September 20, 2002

  Intranet as part of the daily work

One more piece about intranets Avoiding the same mistakes (via Jim McGee: k-logs)

Ensure the intranet becomes part of the "daily activities" of all staff. Once there is a strong demand, there will be a strong incentive to support the intranet, and many complaints if it is not kept up to date.

More on: embedding 

  You just don't know what you'll want to know down the road

Weblogs and Firm-wide Knowledge Management by Seb's Open Research (bold is mine)

I'd missed this nice piece on law K-logging by Rick Klau the first time around. I believe that Rick's observations easily generalize to pretty much any knowledge-intensive field. Here's a point worth reiterating:

"you just don't know what you'll want to know down the road [...]

This is where I think a number of current KM initiatives at law firms have fallen short: they are too structured and require too much effort on the part of the individual to contribute useful information. Weblogs, at their core, are simple tools for the collection of information. Because the architecture behind the scenes is explicitly built to encourage linking, publication of posts and sharing of relevant information, once that information is collected it is easily distributed throughout the organization."

I don't want to think about synchronicity any more: it's proven to exist a lot of times. I was discussing it today with a colleague.

Analysing where and what knowledge is needed will help to optimise, but will not help to change as we don't know what we'll want to know down the road. We have to connect and empower people for creating and sharing knowledge and then rely on self-organisation. May be steer a bit...

And in a very strange way this connected with something totally else from my RSS subscriptions: We can't predict the future. (context: Tara Sue takes Aim via John Robb's Radio Weblog).

  LiveTopics released

Matt Mower: liveTopics finally released

Today, and with great relief, I formally announce the release of liveTopics (v1.0.3) which is now available for download.

I'm looking forward to try it out. Just one week of waiting - untill I'll be back from my trip back home.

More on: liveTopics Radio 

  10 Best Intranets of 2002

10 Best Intranets of 2002 (Alertbox Sept. 2002) with a couple of things highly relevant to KM:

In the long term, we will need better tools to quickly implement major changes in intranet designs. For now, one helpful approach is to structure the intranet's information architecture based on employees' tasks and job goals instead of on the company's org chart. Even major reorgs are likely to leave large parts of a task-based intranet in place, whereas an organizationally structured intranet will require redesign. Indeed, most of this year's winners chose information architectures and navigation schemes that are primarily task-based.

To ideas come to my mind: (1) this is the way to structure any KM application, and (2) I can see come connections with "social capital as a stable part of a company". I wonder if we have to build intranets around people's networks, or this structure will emerge itself with linking, or something blog-like?

Many intranets suffer from a fragmented design and the resulting loss of usability as users are confronted with different rules at every click. The winning intranets had all made great strides toward consistency and were typically successful at overcoming internal politics by the sheer quality of the central design, as opposed to the dubious designs usually produced by individual departments.

Wal-Mart has a particularly fruitful strategy for managing its intranet for consistency: Users own the content and the central team owns the design.

Do we need something similar for corporate blogging?

More on: usability 

  BRINT question about k-logs

Have you seen this BRINT question about k-logs?

Came across the idea of using Weblogs (Blogs) as a conduit for knowledge sharing within organizations. Could also be called K-Logs.

[...] One of the concerns of this could be how do you organize the data to be meaningful to newcommers who view it after a few years?

More on: blogs in business 

  Knowledge workers time spent finding information

Christina asks BRINT:

I'm looking for the source of a recond study that stated "a recent study of 6,300 knowledge workers showed that the average worker spent 8 hours per week finding (obtaining, reviewing, and analyzing) information - with 10% of this group spending over 20 hours or more per week." Does any know who did this study?

I became curious as well and found that this study was done by Outsell. I didn't find the price. 

A bit more details from this study could be found in this report about knowledge technologies:

In a 2001 survey of 6300 US knowledge workers, such as IT professionals, technical writers, researchers, academics, lawyers, teachers etc. Outsell Inc Super I-Aim found that the average employee spends eight hours per week processing external information. 68% of the respondents preferred "Do-it-yourself" methods to using content provision services. Ten percent of all knowledge workers spend over twenty hours per week looking for information. Translating this into dollars and cents, this represents about $10.000 per employee per year.

As a side-effect I found this one - how European sales and marketing people use information. May be useful in the future.

  Thursday, September 19, 2002

  KM change management Browsing Knowledge Board: document about KM change management

The document starts with introducing a general change management approach which defines what change management is with respect to KM. The document then gives an overview about e.g. human factors, change management methods (23 method descriptions avaiable), process in change management, and a look on the people. A KM classification and her analysis is given. Guidelines and tutorials round up this document.

More on: change 

  Involve knowledge worker I'm sure that I've read this post of Dale Pike a couple of days ago, but I had to formulate my own ideas before I was able to catch this:

In some ways, I've begun to believe that as important as the tools of knowledge management are, the most important (and most challenging) hurdle to jump is getting a "knowledge worker" (someone whose job it is to filter complex arrays of information, extract relevant chunks, combine them with other chunks (or new ideas) to create "value") into the mindset that any knowledge management tool requires.

More on: knowledge networker 

  Rethinking PhD ideas (2)

You can't make people smarter against their will. Joseph Kessels

I can't see how organizations are going to progress with knowledge management unless the individuals in those organizations learn how to unpack what they know. Jim McGee 

Let's think about ideal KM case, an organization where knowledge is created, shared, captured and used to add value to the business. In this case we would expect knowledge processes to be an integral part of business processes and communication flows. For people it will appear as natural behavior embedded into daily routines.

We are not there yet. Why? I assume that mechanical embedding of KM steps (e.g. read previous reports as part of the project procedure) doesn't work; I believe that the whole magic is in the people. I also believe that learning, sharing and creating is something very natural for human beings, but I see that this is not happening in many companies. Some of us forgot or never experienced the fun of being a knowledge worker, fun of growing next to doing our work. Others are struggling to find a company that builds on our growth.

I'm thinking in terms of:

  • What do people need to work as knowledge workers?
  • What environment will support it?
  • How an organization can move from now to tomorrow to make sure that employees are knowledge workers?


More on: knowledge networker PhD 

  How to survive a PhD

vexed by jill/txt (btw, this is one of the blogs that have inspired my blog)

Oh, why I felt awful? I'm utterly terrified of finishing my PhD. I'm supposed to have the same opinion for 200 pages! And I'm supposed to defend that opinion staunchly! See, I love blogs (I must be better) because the process and the movement of thoughts shows and is (for me) even encouraged by the format. I'm trying to remember that

a) I will have 30 years as an academic or professional whatever I want to be after this. My PhD thesis is a drop in the ocean in this time frame and will not determine my entire life.

b) Søren Kjørup said that "Your thesis only has to be 150 pages long and it doesn't even have to be very good." And even though the lit. professors scowled at that, he's right.

c) There are more important things in life.

d) I will survive. I even have a manual on How To Survive A PhD.

I'm a weird mix of confidence (of course I can do it) and utter terror.

Nice to know where I'm heading to :)

More on: PhD 

  Knowledge management in instructional design

Column Two: Knowledge management in instructional design (via Serious Instructional Technology)

Personally, I don't think this article goes far enough. Instead of KM being seen as a supporting technology for implementing instructional design, the two should be treated as one. The activities and processes are so similar, it should be possible to both improve the knowledge of an individual (instructional design) and meet organisational goals (knowledge management) at the same time.

One day we will find enough people thinking this way and then instructional design will turn into knowledge sharing design.

See also ideas of James Robertson about holistic assessment.

  Rethinking PhD ideas: embedding KM into daily routines

Jim McGee in Weblog as my backup brain (bold is mine):

The notion of personal knowledge management hasn't been explored enough. Maybe I'm sensitized to it because of my aging brain cells and general absent-mindedness. But I can't see how organizations are going to progress with knowledge management unless the individuals in those organizations learn how to unpack what they know. Think back to the heyday of expert systems in the mid 1980s. The show-stopper was not the limitations of the AI technology (although that was an issue). It was the huge challenge in getting experts to figure out what they were expert at and make it accessible.

Adds to my rethinking of my PhD ideas: I knew that I was passionate about getting people smarter (=creating an environment there people are learning), but then went on a bit wrong track.

Now I'm trying to approach the same thing from another side: embedding KM into daily routines.

From conferences and talks around I've got an impression that often people don't share knowledge or don't learn not because they don't want to, but because they don't have time or it doesn't fit their way of working. I think about several conditions that would enable "good KM behavior" (which is learning+sharing+creating). So far I will call it personal KM, but I'm not sure that it exactly what I mean.

I suggest that people would learn themselves, share their knowledge with others or innovate if they have:

Need or motivation. It seems from informal learning studies that learning is quite natural for people. And, it's often triggered by tasks we have to do. Learning "ahead", for the future, as well as knowledge sharing (=articulating) and innovation (=reflection and critical thinking) are more tricky processes: motivation is not necessary will be there.

Space and time. KM behavior often comes on the top of our existing tasks, and perceived as "extra". Only those with high motivation and priorities can make time for it. (BTW, if you write job-related blog, how much of your free time it takes?)

Low threshold instruments. I think "instruments" in a broad sense: ways to do it. It's easy to talk with a colleague in a corridor, so this is our common way to share knowledge. Blog is an example of easy "articulating/sharing/finding". I believe that finding own "low threshold" way of doing personal KM can help doing it much better.

Skills. Follow-up thinking from several discussions: you need certain skills to be able to learn, share or reflect effectively. E.g blog is nice tool for knowledge articulating, but you need blogging literacy to do it well.

I wonder if someone has already invented this or it still worth further exploring in a PhD?

  Tuesday, September 17, 2002

  Addicted to RSS and more about context

One more KM blog natureklog.blogspot.com (via Gurteen Knowledge-Log). It's really sad that Ron Donaldson doesn't use something producing RSS feeds - I will be forgetting to check it regularly.

In KNOWLEDGE: FRAMES & CONTEXT (about The Society of Mind' by Marvin Minsky)

I like to think of knowledge as being stored in chunks or frames concerned with a specific subject or topic.

Minsky suggests that when you hear a story certain words or phrases resonate with your past experience and the relevant frames are excited and brought into focus. This is the point in a conversation where people chip in with their experiences or thoughts. In a presentation this is where you start to think that's a good idea or I remember something similar myself.

As the story unfolds against your own backdrop of frames, any new knowledge or ideas it may provoke are attached to all the currently excited frames. As these frames are then stored back in your memory they take the new story with them.

Excite any of these frames later in conversation and the story comes to mind.

Now consider how difficult the proposal to 'manage knowledge' is when you think of the very different experience and therefore frames which exist in our staff.

This is the book to read!

More on: blog reading context RSS 

  I'm not alone :)

Knowledge management and Instructional Design (bold is mine)

The goal of knowledge management is "what?" It seems to me that the goal of knowledge management is to change knowledge into information. It is possible to manage knowledge, and it is possible to use information. I have no problem with the ideas of knowledge management and KLogs. In fact, I kind of like them. My question, maybe someone can send me a link to help, is how do you turn the knowledge into information via learning? My background is in instructional design, so maybe this is a natural question for me to ask. I see the instructional design process as having a large potential impact on the issues of knowledge management. I am still trying to wrap my head around this intersection of knowledge, information, learning, and instruction. I see them together complimenting each other, but I am working on how to produce clarity at this intersection. [Scott Adams: Instructional Design]

More on: KM&learning 

  More about context and tacit

Seb's Open Research in The implicit that haunts us

Why Process Capture is Difficult. Subjectivity created by our knowledge and experience 'taint' our observations.  What seems obvious to one person is not to another and vice-versa.  If you've tried to write processes, you will know how difficult it is.  [thought?horizon :: non inferiora secutus]

And as long as you're only talking to people with very similar experience to your own, you may not even realize how much stuff there is between the lines.

Something to add to my thinking about Learning as building own context: I'm curious about the role of implicit knowledge in the knowledge sharing processes. 

I'm happy to continue KMSS discussion about Context sensitiveness. I belive that one day these "bits of thinking" with result in something valuable.

  KMSS02 at one page I just reorganised my KM Summer School notes in one-page story: KM Summer School log
More on: KMSS 

  Learning of knowledge workers
Learning for yourself, or for the company?. In her introduction, Janice Reid raises an interesting point about what happens if you focus too much on learning about the company you work for. I'll let Janet's words explain.

One thing that I've learnt recently is that there's a limit to what one's learning when working with a corporate.  After a couple of years you start to capture more about the company, rather than building your own functional knowledge.  You create a personal database of information which is very valuable to your work colleagues, but worthless to you once you move on.  In hindsight I would recommend 'job hopping' in order to develop your personal knowledge of different environments, ways of doing things, attitudes etc, rather than a prolonged period at any one firm, even if you are frequently changing roles.

[thought?horizon] [Seb's Open Research]

One more characteristic of knowledge workers - they go to find more learning. Would be interesting to study how knowledge workers work and what motivates them next to how one becomes a knowledge worker.

  Blogs as a learning tool with group projects

Sebastian Fiedler about using blogs as a learning tool with group projects

More on: blogs and learning 

  Knowledge sharing and rewards

David Gurteen with links and ideas about Rewarding and recognizing knowledge sharing (bold is mine)

This is an interesting article on [Rewards and Recognition in Knowledge Management] from the AQPC. [...]

Speaking personally I am very much against extrinsic motivation to reward or encourage knowledge sharing. Its like saying 'this is not really part of your job' or worse 'this is a distasteful part of your job' and so we are we going to reward you separately to do it.

This is totally the wrong message to be giving and can only undermine knowledge sharing in the long term. Knowledge sharing is a fundamental and integral part of every knowledge workers job - not so different to breathing! Why the hell should you single out the key essence of a knowledge workers job - to mind what they are really getting paid for and reward them separately for it. It is just plain crazy.

Fully agree. But organisations are not full of natural knowledge workers, so it would be interesting to look how someone becomes knowledge worker: what education, culture, experiences are shaping "knowledge worker behavior".

Later in the day Sunday: Serendipity! Even [more] on this subject in an item on 'Knowledge sharing and leadership' in Jim McGee's blog. I love the [article] by Alfie Cohn - if you have any lingering doubts about the stupidity of rewarding knowledge sharing then read this article!

Also a number of other good links here on the subject e.g. the work of Hazel Hall. I have an article on Knowledge Sharing that is taking a long time in gestation but I must remember to come back here when I find time again to work on it!

Synchronicity :) I met Hazel at KMSS and I hope that we can get in touch.

  Talk nicely to your computer

On Being the Digital Job (via Matt Mover):

I'll try to do some blogging during the next couple of days, but it will depend on how well AT&T internet service behaves. In the meantime, I suggest you go out and buy some flowers and chocolate for your computer and talk nicely to it. I know I will be.

I have always thought that computers have feelings. They definetely react better if you do nice things to them :)

In any case I think that in the future computers will be much smarter and will be able to learn by themselves. People around can learn from our "not being nice" and do the same to us. Computers are getting there as well, so it's better for us to start learning now how to behave well :)))

More on: fun 

   I've got a lot of interesting things to read after my vacation. And definetely I don't have time to read as I've got a lot of things to do as well. Wish I would have a job there my learning would be a first priority :)

  Monday, September 16, 2002

  Learning as building own context

I'm back from one week of sea and sun. I'm almost back to work, but I feel strange. I feel like cooking Provencial dish: I have plenty of fresh vegetables, cheese, garlic, herbs and olive oil, but I'm still half way to go to the delicious meal. I have bits and pieces of ideas, but they have to bubble together to get tasty rich sauce. And I'm still inventing the recipe...

Starting points:

I share the point that knowledge has to be addressed as competence. Knowledge is never transferred, but always constructed (=competence has to be developed).

Knowledge sharing consist of (at least) two processes: knowledge is articulated (or expressed, demonstrated) by the one who "shares", and knowledge is developed (learnt) by the one who "receives". "Expressing and developing" process is often mediated (e.g. digitally).

Context is important:

  • Knowledge comes with "contextual wrapping": knowledge "bit" is "attached" to other bits in our experiences and our mental representations.
  • Knowledge sharing process has its context as well - who shares, why, when, how. To the great expend it depends on relations between "sharers" and "learners" (and has to do a lot with trust and shared understanding).
I feel that "learning as constructing" has to do with building own "contextual wrapping" for a new knowledge (like adding mortar to get bricks together). I wonder how knowledge sharing context (e.g. relations between "sharer" and "learner") and communication channel influence this process.

  Friday, September 06, 2002

  KMSS02: Final thoughts

KMSS is almost finished, we are having the evaluation. My feedback: I love the experience, but it could be more (people are always "hungry"). I gave my suggestions to the organisers, so I don't think that it worth writing them once more.

A few follow-up things:

A discussion "What type of business problems can you solve with KM?" is planned on Knowledge Board in October.

There is a bit of self-organisation between KM researchers (PhDs mainly). We are getting the commitment for a on-line interactions and we are planning to meet face-to-face around every three month. First meeting is planned on 13-14 December 2003 in Brussels (see Quaerere Dialog and follow-up posts

KM Summer School 2003 is planned on 7-12 September 2003, I want to make sure that I have funding in my PhD proposal :)

I guess I will have more follow-up thinking and posting. Now I'm getting ready for the final reception, saying "good bye", and for my vacation that starts in one hour...

More on: KMSS 

  KMSS02: Day 5. Methodologies and technologies for KM

Today I met Knowledgino, a funny mascot of KMSS. Does anyone have a photo?

Notes referring to the presentation of Rose Dieng-Kuntz:

Once more time I see that I should read Polyani and not to rely on references. Few days back someone noted that he writes about tacit and explicit knowledge as about to sides (characteristics) of knowledge. I have a feeling that something what we call explicit comes with tacit wrapping in any case (this is also something to do with context). Second point was today as a definition of tacit knowledge as something that "known without awareness, difficult to state, formalise and communicate though language". I guess this is the area where I can find some connections with learning as building knowledge.

I don't believe in organisational knowledge. I would rather say shared knowledge.

Metis is one type of knowledge according Baumard. I didn't really get the meaning, but it would be nice to see another meaning for the title of our KM project.

In the presentation corporate memory is defined as a result of collecting and making accessible explicit knowledge or articulating tacit knowledge that is crucial for a company. I'm not sure that memory is a good term to address it, as for me it strongly refers to the memory of human beings (which has a lot of tacit).

Our knowledge map is their competence map

Training design is not considered as a method of building corporate memory. Pity... I'm resisting to accept an approach that pretends to map knowledge in a different forms, but builds only within its own domain. Knowledge do exist in training/learning materials and training designs. Even more, they are available in digital and structured format via all kinds of e-learning systems. Why not to do one more step and include them into a list of systems that are "scanned" to build ontologies and so on... I expect that this is just a matter of some kind of XML bridge (I know that there are more problems around - getting KM and learning people talking to each other is one of them).

(related to the previous one) I also thought about NLP where there is a lot of experience in articulating (in a specific format) and reusing experts' strategies.

Just a concern of Doug - "corporate memory is the way to homogenise minds"

I hope that it doesn't look like I want to through away the presented work. I can see a lot of interesting results in area of knowledge mapping, ontologies, semantic webs and CSCW. I think that a lot of my colleagues would love to see the presentations and to ask more specific questions. I'll try to get proper links or contacts.

I'm trying to understand why existing and proven methods of "next door field" are not considered in KM. Language and mindset barriers? Organisational barriers? Lack of motivation or awareness? May be it's a good topic for a PhD: how to motivate knowledge flow between KM and learning communities :)

Let's do a bit of brainstorming of possible (nice, talking to myself :) I would start from identifying actors (KM/learning practitioners and researchers), then look for their goals and problems. I hope that then we can find some common ground in between and to start from there. I also expect that this could be much easier in practice rather then research. So, probably it's better to start from mapping practical connections and their added value (e.g. reusing KM objects in e-learning system).

The presentation of Fabien Gandon ontologies is brilliant. It provokes some thinking which I can't formalise in words yet. Some comments

  • Ontologies are living object
  • Ontologies are used to build other things (systems), so if ontology changes, those things have to change as well.
  • Would be nice to take a look at ProPer (an ontology to describe skills and competencies) and Reconciler (a tool to develop shared meaning of terms).

Something for my colleagues to look at: CoMMA project (corporate memory through agents). For me as well - it's used for orientation program for new employees.

Just a citation: artificial society [of agents] :)

PROMOTE project - building a tool to describe KM methods and systems.

I don't' understand everything, but I think that the idea is to create a metamodel of models/languages used to describe knowledge. (Note - it's possible to get demo and articles).

It could be interesting to see for our "networked business" people. It adds knowledge processes on the top of business processes.

  KMSS02: Day 4 follow-up - introducing blogs

A couple of people were interested in blogs, so I presented my blog. We had a brief discussion about how and why blogging works and how it can be used in KM. I gave or promised a few links to blog/klog resources, so I hope that more interest will be generated. I'm also planning to finish an introductory story about blogs/klogs and their use for KM.

I'm curious to see if new blogs will appear because of it...

More on: blogs KMSS 

  Thursday, September 05, 2002

  Reflecting on KMSS02 experiences

I've got a bit of time to reflect more on my experiences during KMSS.

  • I met only a few people who knew about blogs (only one outside Knowledge Board). I expect that it will get more time for the idea to get rooted in KM community.
  • KM and learning people still talk different languages.
  • (related) KM is evolving discipline, but it seems like an evolution in isolation. KM people are getting stuck with KM problems: they (we) can hardly communicate across boundaries of their discipline.
  • 60 people is too much for a good networking: even with some degree of group discussions it's difficult to talk to all that I would be interested. I really hope for "digital follow-up".
  • Weather is never good when there is some free time.
More on: KMSS 

  Conference blogging

Blogging from the conference feels strange: I have a laptop next to my paper notes. It takes a bit of time to arrange notes into readable form, so I publish them with some delay. Sometimes I'm not sure what I can include (I know that presenters are not aware that some ideas from their presentation can go out of the room), so I include mainly "safe" things - brainstorming results and my own comments. I'm going to come back to these notes for a bit of editing and adding a few links (KMSS organisers promise to publish all the presentations on-line). The funny thing is that I still need a piece of paper next to the laptop - for drawings, contact details and bits of ideas that are not mature enough to become full sentences.

Back to work I'll have to write a report about KMSS (this is usual practice in my company). I wonder how I will use my blog notes: as a basis, rewriting text around them, or as an attachment that shows my personal impressions. But in any case it might appear at the KMSS web-page, as organisers are interested :)

  Lost with PhD ideas

Finally I'm totally confused. It's not only difficult to narrow down my ideas for PhD research, they are also getting more diverse. And I don't know what do to with it. Does anyone knows a strategy to define a PhD?

More on: PhD 

  KMSS02: Day 3. KM research and practice

Core questions for today's presentations: Why are you doing KM? What's the connection with research? What are you looking for?

We worked in three groups to identify practical problems and research questions in three groups: private sector, SMEs and governmental/non-profit organisations.

Problem list for private sector

  • informal networks (e.g. communities) vs. hierarchy
  • where KM is located in a company? Is there KM department? Who is responsible?
  • how to show KM success to managers and employees (=individual benefits): measurement and making people believing in KM
  • knowledge is power vs. sharing
  • right implementation decision on a small scale
  • range of competencies in KM team
  • KM competencies that enable people to share knowledge
  • long-term vision: how to show that initial investments lead to future benefits
  • communicating across different perspectives, background, languages
  • articulating knowledge - how to scale up elicitation and active sharing
  • how KM reaches those who don not have access to a computer
  • finding who knows what
  • technologies are not designed for people

Next to it we had extended discussions about connecting KM research and practice. I've got a feeling that we deal with typical KM problem: there are two groups of people with different goals, languages and mindsets, and knowledge is not openly flows between them. This discussion has triggered more thinking, but so far it's too implicit to write about :)

I also thought about a couple of emerging research directions. One would be to look at motivation and embedding KM activities into everyday work. Next is KM introduction in a company: getting people involved, decision-making and power games. KM across heterogeneous groups is another: how to overcome barriers for knowledge flows between different contexts.

  Wednesday, September 04, 2002

  KMSS02: Day 2 afternoon

In the afternoon we divided into several groups with objective to think about creating a community based on our common (KM) interests. It turned out to be funny exercise: people wanted to discuss interest, but not creating a community around it. For me it's related to the discussion about natural development of a community that you can't reinforce - it grows or not.

We did a kind of voting to select topic for interest groups, so the selection is a good representation of "hot topics" between KMSS participants.

Interest groups (with some comments or ideas)

  • Methodologies for KM practice group discussed need for a framework for KM implementation and guidelines: when to do what and why it should work. Personally I'd like to add HRD/training/learning methods to the spectrum of KM tools
  • I was surprised how many people joined cross-cultural issues in KM group. Next to other things this group suggested to look in three directions regarding the problem
    • case-studies in companies
    • interactive translations
    • assimilation vs. customisation
  • Communities of practice raised a heated discussion
    • Definition of community is not clear. Group suggested several characteristics: shared understanding, social capital, similar values, system of activity, two or more people.
    • How far (if) management interventions can support natural developments of a community? Are those interventions responsible for a death of the community?
    • If community is capable of innovating?
  • KM in engineering
    • What engineers want: knowledge is organised and visible (at this point I've got some ideas about knowledge-logs in engineering :)
    • Why: keep knowledge in company/department, faster learning curve
  • Context sensitiveness was my group. We went for a bit philosophical discussion about the importance of context and tacit, but then turned to more practical things: ways to share context and tacit knowledge. We didn't have many answers, but more questions:
    • What is context?
    • What kind of value shared context adds?
    • How to support sharing context? What technology can do and what not? What motivation and skills people need? What kind of environment?
More on: communities context KMSS 

  Tuesday, September 03, 2002

  KMSS02: Day 2. Communities of practice

User profile: you can make open only two things: contact details and contribution. You can't (formally) add "CV experiences" because of the legal rules (trade unions), so you have to rely on people voluntarily adding information about their experiences. Then you run into cultural problem - "if I'm the only one visible expert, everyone will call me and I will not be able to do my work".

Large vs. small communities. If trust relationships could be only developed in a group up to 150 people, can we call the group of thousands "a community"? Are we talking about different types of communities that evolve/work according different rules and that can contribute to the different business needs? I'd like to look for more background reading about it. (ask for the research done).

More on: communities KMSS 

  KMSS02: Day 1 follow-up

An observation: best discussions happen when you don't have pen and paper, around a dinner table or in a bar. Next morning you come back and try to capture them, but not much left. I wonder, probably the value of this discussions not in their result (something to be captured), but in learning experiences you go through. Few more useful bits:

  • Thigs to find and to read
  • Questions to think about
    • If KM is so context-specific, could it be researched in a scientific sense (fixed variables and repeatable conditions)? Could I run into a situation when I would have to omit important variables? Something to look for in the research methodologies.
    • Does organisational learning exist? Not as a result of knowledge flows in the networks of people in a company, but as something else?

  Monday, September 02, 2002

  KMSS02: Day 1

Today was an introductory day: icebrakers, getting to know each other and discussing KM models. Highlights and insights:

For the first time I've heard the story of 3M inventing post-its. This is a great example, so I'm going to find out more details

From the analysis of KM characteristics in a company - there is less difference between "current" and "should be" descriptions at the individual level, as people tend to be more critical about "them", the organisation.

Gunnar Hedlund (1994) in his KM model uses "articulated" rather then "explicit" knowledge. I like it more, it shows the origin of knowledge.

I was suprised how many people talk about context, trust and values rather then technologies for KM

I should look for ideas of Kuhn about evolution of scientific ideas

We had a great "knowledge market" activity: everyone wrote their "look for" and "to share" points on the piece of paper that is hanging on the walls around. I already found several people interested in my "KM/learning" topic

French keyboard is awful - tomorrow I'll try writing in my laptop and then sending

More on: KM KMSS 

  Sunday, September 01, 2002

  Leaving for KMSS02

Im leaving for KM Summer School. I'll try to post from there, otherwise I will be back with all fresh ideas in the middle of September.

More on: KMSS 

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This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Last update: 3/25/2007; 10:28:30 AM.