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  Saturday, November 15, 2003

  KM Europe: other weblogs

This is the growing list of other weblogs posts on KM Europe (see also conference presentations online). Please don't be angry when updated :)

Martin Dugage: A quick report on KM Europe in Amsterdam

Lee Bryant (Headshift): general notes and more about

Ton Zijlstra: Squarewise: KM's Soap More Slippery Than Suggested, On the KM-community, Keynote Dave Snowden and much later - How to organise valuable congresses/conventions

Sam Marshall: The Kindness of Strangers, KM Europe notes (Renault, Dave Snowden, Rolls-Royce, Verna Allee), see also notes on KM Asia 2003

Martin RoellKM Europe 2003 - So war's (in German, but make sure you use Google translation for a story which is less about the conference content, but more about people and observations)

More on: KM Europe 

  KM Europe: random quotes and thoughts

I know that drafted blog posts have to be finished within a few days, otherwise I never finish them. This  collection of quotes and thoughts from KM Europe is still drafted, but I post it before it gets lost.

Edna Pasher

  • biggest KM challenge is not knowing what we have to know (me - how do you know what you need to know?)
  • you need "critical mess" (I'm not sure now if it was Edna or Ton who sat next to me)
  • If you see a conference with "emergent" in the title, go there.

Dave Snowden: if you force visibility into a system you stuffle innovation

Gerald Prast: BLOG = Benign Low-threshold On-line Growth

Audran Sevrain: blog is personal intranet

Knowledge Board discussion - activity vs. content access

Things to think about:

  • weblogs and apprenticeship
  • blogging in different languages (extend to multiple blogs): difficulty of switching contexts
  • visibility and traces, public and personal spaces
More on: blog research KM Europe 

  KM Europe: Dave Snowden

I was very happy to listen to Dave Snowden's keynote. I tried to follow some of his writings, but listening is much better way to grasp complex ideas. This speech provided a good initial framework to glue pieces together when I'm reading again.

Below are some of my notes. They are quite random and text-only: I'm too lazy to make something of my drawings. If you want some background there is enough articles by Dave Snowden on-line. The one I can link without much searching is The new dynamics of strategy: Sense-making in a complex and complicated world (.pdf).

KM is about:

  • Content management - managing what can be written
  • Narrative management - managing what can be spoken
  • Context management - managing the rest (what is the rest?)

Rules vs. heuristics. Rules tolerate no ambiguity, so they are difficult to apply then context changes. Heuristics are more flexible, but there is lack of consistency in applying.

Retrospective coherence - in advance it doesn't make sense, but looking back it makes a good sense. The final pattern is clear only once it formed and can be explained

Why people are different from ants

  1. We never make decision based on rational grounds
  2. Human beings have multiple identities
  3. Free will

Random quotes

  • When people change between groups (re: size) they change identity.
  • People are very good in managing serendipity.
  • People know that databases are dangerous.
  • Human beings are brilliant in gaming explicit systems.
  • All innovation processes are work on incremental innovation. True innovation is achieved by seeing the world in a different way.

Categorisation and sense-making

  • Categorisation is about fitting ideas into an existing frame. Exploitation. (Good example here: asking people to allocate things into 2x2 matrix with 2/3 things designed to be not fitting --> people squeeze all of them into 2x2).
  • Sense making is about pattern recognition and discovering emerging frame from the data.  Exploration.

Managing chaos (managing a party of 12 years old as an example)

  • gain different perspective
  • create, modify, remove boundaries
    • permeable
    • rigid
    • elastic
  • create, modify, remove attractors
    • single point attractor
    • multiple points
    • "strange" attractors

With my system dynamics roots I'm used to think about the world in terms of boundaries and attractors, so I'm definitely interested to learn more. Dave said that there are some kinds of training programs for students. Will find out.

More on: change complexity KM Europe 

  KM Europe: Dorothy Leonard

Dorothy Leonard talked about "deep smarts" and how novices become experts (official keynote description, slides). As I understand "deep smarts" refer to a form of expertise - tacit, unrecognised, distinguishing experts from novices. I post some of my notes first and then a bit of comments.

"Ladder of expertise": novice - apprentice - journeyman - master

Deep smarts (experts vs. novices)

  • use pattern recognition
  • draw on their tacit knowledge
  • make swift decision based on knowledge about context
  • extrapolate from what they see to what might be
  • perceive small variations

Compared to novices experts have a lot of "receptors" and broad experiences, so they recognise patterns more easily. Novices have few or no receptors, without receptors information doesn't become knowledge.

Ways of learning (with increasing independency)

  • specific directions
  • rules of thumb
  • stories with a moral
  • modeling
  • Socratic dialogue
  • joint problem-solving
  • learning by doing (guided experience)
    • guided practice
    • guided observation
      • creating receptors (mind-stretching)
      • challenging assumptions and beliefs
      • checking role-models
    • guided experimentation
      • response to uncertainty
      • bounded search for feedback from environment
      • learning to think in hypotheses

For me the bottom-line of this talk was that coaching of novices by experts is may be the most effective way to acquire deep smarts. I would be interested to read more on studies Dorothy referred to and I'm getting convinced that I have to spend time studying research on apprenticeship models. If you have any pointers, please, let me know.

Gerald Prast asked Dorothy about dangers of coaching by experts and then we spent great part of lunch time discussing her answer. My summary of why coaching may not be good:

  • not all experts can coach novices
  • experts can be wrong, so with coaching "wrong expertise" will multiply
  • when you learn from experts you are less likely to come up with new ideas

I believe that to overcome those dangers there is a need for more critical skills from novices (=not following gurus blindly, but finding their own path). Next to it an opportunity to learn from many different experts with controversial experiences and ways of coaching will help (but in this case there is a risk of getting lost with multiple role-models). Anyway, both require meta-learning skills which (we know :) are difficult to develop.

  KM Europe: summary

I'm back from KM Europe. That was a strange conference. If I think along content vs. networking scale it was much about networking. Or networking and peer-generated content. I'm sure I've learnt more from talks around coffee, food and walking in Amsterdam than from the formal program.

I will try to post specific notes about some sessions, but so far general insights.

Building bridges. I had a lot of fun of getting people from my blogging network and from my Knowledge Board/KM Summer School 2003 network talking to each other. Hope they had fun as well.

Main lines that emerged in my head from visiting presentations and talking with people:

  • exposure to differences and "mind stretching" are very important for learning and innovation and related issue of apprenticeship models vs. exposure to differences
  • KM is much about interplay between public and private spaces and related question about what happens once private becomes visible
  • how do you find what you need to know (or - the cost of not knowing)

I wonder if it is an objective confirmation for my own beliefs (e.g. that learning comes from recognising differences) or I just filtered out things that are aligned with my own thinking and research :)

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© Copyright 2002-2005 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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