Inside Knowledge Magazine /Knowledge Management Magazine Archive
Volume 13 Issue 2
For most people, ‘learning’ is a concept that is easily associated to our days at school, college or university. On that note, I see now why my parents always told me to make the most of them… if only because I didn’t have to brave London Underground’s Northern Line to get to my classes, and my most pressing concern was often the length of my skirt or which branded, plastic carrier bag would be the ‘coolest’ to carry my plimsolls in.
Anyway, I digress. The classroom model of learning is something that continues to influence how training is presented within many organisations and on a lot of external courses. The presenter or instructor speaks – usually assisted by a snappy (or not) PowerPoint slide – and the ‘pupils’ take notes and, perhaps, think about what they are going to have for dinner that evening.
Of course, there must be some sense in working in this way or we wouldn’t keep doing it. But while we might soak in the knowledge on the day, how long does it remain in our brain before something far more important squeezes it out?
This is a topic that was covered with extraordinary insight by Charles Jennings, during a recent breakfast seminar that I attended. Hosted by distance learning solutions provider CrossKnowledge, the seminar produced some interesting theories, including the notion that in many cases, learning and development has been forced into ‘activity’, rather than ‘output’. Jennings made reference to our ‘information rich, attention-poor’ world and the concept of richness versus reach, punctuated with lively examples of experiential learning taken from topics as diverse as Socrates and 1990s cult film, The Matrix. I don’t want to give away too much here as we’ll be providing coverage of Jenning’s presentation – and the subsequent CrossKnowledge case studies – in another issue of the magazine, but the main message was that people learn and retain that knowledge by doing; through personal experience and dialogue with people they meet along the way.
A few people contacted me to ask if we had any case studies from organisations that had tried the workshop, so I’m sure the update in this issue will answer some of your questions.
If you have any thoughts on any of the issues discussed in this issue of the magazine, or have a story that you would like to share, I can be contacted at the usual address. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy the issue.
Head of Editorial
KM frontiers: Self-signifying knowledge - Part II
In the previous article, I recounted my understanding (sense) of what Dave Snowden of Cognitive Intelligence told members of the International Society of Knowledge Organisation in May 2009. For me, his term, self-signifying, pointed not just towards the kinds of intelligence-analysis techniques that I have used for years, but it also began to bring into focus what had hitherto been a rather inchoate sense of something emerging in the world of Web 2.0, social networking and collaborative intelligence.
Cover feature: Measuring the state of KM
The degree to which an organisation effectively applies the art of knowledge management (KM) creating, organising, applying and transferring knowledge to facilitate understanding and decision making is an indicator of its KM maturity. Measuring the state of KM maturity provides a baseline from which to build KM. Developing metrics that assess KM impact and value is both essential and difficult. It is a topic that has often been studied, written about and debated. However, we have found little in the way of practical methods that are easy to understand and apply. This series will provide practical ways to measure the state of an organisations KM strategy, its initiatives and their impact.
Although the first anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers has now passed, there are many who feel that the current, difficult economic climate will still be with us for some time to come.
Traditionally the realm of knowledge management (KM) has not fared well in periods of economic downturn. The temptation for businesses to focus on the bottom line often means that KM initiatives and professionals can be perceived as the icing on a shrinking cake and, as such, an expensive indulgence that has no place in leaner and meaner organisational structures.
The Gurteen perspective
Why, for all knowledge, do we so poorly understand what is going on in our world?
Since the advent of the World Wide Web 15 years ago, we have had unprecedented access to information and knowledge. But are we that much more effective, productive or creative? I dont think so.
I could give you all the information you asked for: perfect information. But would you be able to readily act on it? Probably not!