Making Knowledge Move…

06Feb08

I have to confess that this blog is part work-related, part school-related, and part experimental (if you haven’t picked up on this part yet). At some point I am hoping they merge – or at least come together in some form.

While the title of this blog is equal parts fun and partly connected to my current studies, I did carefully choose and play around with the title. “Knowledge in Motion” conveys my current understanding of Knowledge Management, what that means, how it’s done, and why it matters. At the heart of KM, for me at least, is the importance of connecting what is known with those that want or need to know what they don’t know.

In my crude attempt to use the tools at hand, Person A (and I’ll come back to the person-ness at some point) has some knowledge. Person B needs or wants the knowledge, and mediating the process of transferring (or sharing) the knowledge is some type of assembly line or conveyor belt – I haven’t settled on the analogy yet but I like both so far. In this sense, I go back to my early adoption (and proclivity for Marshall McLuhan) of the blurring of medium and message. Knowledge transfer is a basic communicative model, BUT the channel or medium of transfer is important. I’m still working out in my own head how, why, or if this is important; but indulge me for a little while on this journey.

The CBK (conveyor belt of knowledge) or ALK (assembly line of knowledge) is the medium – but can also be the knowledge as I hope to drive further down this road. The examples suggested in the diagram are just that: examples. Face-to-face, almost always the preferred mode, and digital or via some form of computerized repository or connection to knowledge are the two more important vehicles for moving knowledge in my model. Although as I look at this linear model, this isn’t a fair representation of my idea but a limitation of my use of the tools to draw this out. Ideally this process is multi-layered, circular (feedback loops), and lacking clear form. I’ll work on the drawing tools when I get A-Round-Tu-It, but that’s further down the road.

I realize this prototype might raise some questions and is still in its early forms. Central to my thinking, however, is the human interface – the person-ness. Knowledge Management, as a shred-out of IM/IT or the business world, ultimately rests on management. Managing what? Is it the content or the people or the processes in the knowledge worker-centric economy – here’s an interesting link to KW 2.0? Well, I haven’t answered this question for myself yet; but as in many other things I’m preferring to straddle a fence (or fences) for now. If someone out there has the link to where this Wikipedia reference to Knowledge Worker 2.0 comes from I’d appreciate hearing from you.

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