Updated: 4/10/2006; 4:39:17 PM.


...giving birth to learning...
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  Sunday, September 21, 2003

  Three categories of knowledge work

Jack Vinson points to Sharing Leads to Abundance by Don Tapscott, which refers to work of Roger Martin:

He argues that managers should think of knowledge work as falling into three categories: procedural, heuristic, and executive.

This looks interesting. There is not enough detail in the article, but I found a page with publications by Roger Martin. Too late to search for the specific article, so this is for another day.

More on: knowledge networker 

  KM as a system to experience, welcome and embed flow

Dina Mehta articulates the best vision of KM I've ever seen

the vision of KM [...] is of a system that helps users experience, welcome, and embed, within themselves or their organisations, flow

Read the whole post to get Dina's passion...

More on: flow KM 


Go with the weblog flow by McGee's Musings:

The promise of weblogs in the organization is that they help us get more accustomed to flow. The threat the pose is the same thing; they work against those who are more comfortable with control than with performance.

The new dynamics of strategy: Sense-making in a complex and complicated world by Kurtz&Snowden [via Column Two]

Corporate experiment in banning email (Clay Shirky) [Many-to-Many]

Mapping knowledge by Denham Grey (see also knowledge mapping wiki page)

More on: flow knowledge mapping 

  Best use of a new technology is hard to foresee

More On Fear and Innovation [via Roland Tanglao: KLogs].

The reality is that extensive experimentation and trial and error may have to occur before the best use of a new technology can be discovered.  And the creator of the technology may not even know what this best use might be.  This suggests that managers ought to downplay the hype about the enormous potential of a new technology  until some compelling uses begin to emerge - both to keep investor expectations down, and to reduce the possible consumer fear factor associated with that new technology.

More on: technology adoption 

  Learning: community vs. individual perspective

Denham commenting to my community vs. individual perspective for learning post:

To change entreched mental mosels you need the energy supplied in deep dialog, the explication and defense of alternative points of view, you really need 'community' help to discover, surface, articulate & examine your personal assumptions. To get to those burried models you have to have external support - they just cannot be reached via personal introspection.

Stephen Downes commenting on Important Learning Must Occur in Groups by Spike Hall (check 17 September 2003 as there is a problem with direct linking):

That fact that there are some irreducibly social elements to learning does not mean that the whole thing is social. You can learn some things, in some ways, on your own, without a social network. Specifically, you need a social network in order to teach others or to learn from others. But that is not the whole of learning.

I agree with both. "Community" or social context is very important for learning. At least, this is true for myself: I always need a conversation for growing my ideas.

I believe that learning comes from recognising differences. This could be done in several ways: confronting your today's ideas with yesterday's, confronting mental models with practices or confronting your views with the views of others. The last way is probably most natural for us as it is part of our social life anyway.

But there is a simple question that makes me looking at the individual differences: why not everyone learns from being a part of social interactions even if "creative abrasion" is there?

I think about very simple example. I studied for my Master's degree in the Netherlands (here). I was part of an international study group, had international social life and many opportunities to observe people from different cultures. When I look back I say that learning about different cultures and their interplay and learning about my own myths and perceptions about other contries probably gave me more than learning for my studies. But I also observed another extreme of this "cultural" learning: getting closed, staying in one's "own country" club only and almost visible resistance to look what could be learnt from differences.

So, why same conditions provoke learning and change in some people and resistance in others? I can think of many explanations, like personal need to learn about specific things or personal need to belong to your "tried and tested" communities without being open for new experiences, but all of them have to do with something "personal".

Summarising I would say: social context is vital for learning, but not enough. I wonder what else do we need and I suspect that this "something else" is hidden at individual level (or, better, in interplay between social and individual).

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© Copyright 2002-2006 Lilia Efimova.

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.

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