I have to admit, I don’t usually spend a lot of time thinking about “knowledge management” (KM). I know my work is often classified under that domain, but I’ve never been able to wrap my head around the idea that knowledge can be managed. Processes? Tools? Resources? Sure. But knowledge is created, shared, transferred and transformed the same way water flows downstream. It finds its way, it gets trapped, it dries up and it can move mountains.
Then in the span of the last few weeks, KM keeps coming up. Last week there was the panel on the Future of KM at GK3. Yesterday my online colleague Luis Suarez twittered a question about the future of KM and Chief Tech suggested the idea of a Next Generation Knowledge Sharing & Learning Online Conference Event. It didn’t take long until a bunch of us were chiming in…
“while trying to wrap up everything at work since tomorrow is my last working day for the remaining of the year, earlier on today in Twitter a crazy thought came up from James Dellow after I mentioned in one of my twitterings how one of my abstracts for a conference event, taking place next year, on the state of social computing, was rejected. From there onwards, Dennis McDonald also jumped in, along with Steve Collins, Kelly Drahzal (a.k.a. Kellypuffs), Mark Masterson, Nancy White, LittleLaura, Ryan Boyles, Thomas van der Wal, Ryan Lanham and Jasmin Tragas so far. And before we knew it we had a whole bunch of folks in Twitter interested in the overall event (Plus those who contacted me already offline!).“
That is knowledge sharing. Maybe even a little creation. So what next? Chief Tech is pondering on what he’d like to present. I’m still wrapping my head about what “it” is. Again, quotes from Twitter that Luis saved…
Nancy White came up with some really good comments on a potential direction: “I have been struggling with “what it is” And it is not just personal. It is organizational. KS, knowledge creation and application. And yes, some management” and so did LittleLaura: “like the idea of KM and IM and info architecture, importance often gets forgotten with all the hype of modern media these days!“, along with Kapil Gupta with some really good suggestions: “I only saw part of your conversation about nextgen KM conf, but sounds like you need is something like a barcamp for KM -in SL maybe?“
My starting point is to ask myself, what can we do together that advances our knowledge? Is it presentations? Conversations? Working projects that demonstrate key ideas and projects? Thinking and writing together (a la “writeshops”)?
How can we walk our talk about knowledge creation, sharing and transformation? How do we embed the ideas of complexity, connection and even love into our thinking together? Form matters as much as function here. How do we live our ideas about knowledge and its role in our work and lives?