When I was approached two weeks ago to be part of the Workplace Learning Today team, I was both flattered and thrilled to take on a new challenge. In preparation for delivering weekly insights, I decided to do a major cleanup of my Google Reader Feeds. And before I knew it, the wave of content hit me and I was flooded. There had to be a better way.
And then the perfect article pop-up this morning thanks to one of my strategic filters: Filter or Be Flooded: Do You Need a Content Strategist?
Though this FastCompany blog posts refers primarily to content for Website design, the lessons learned are transferable to our own Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) strategy as well as larger organizational Knowledge Management (KM) strategy.
Some of the key criteria for a good content management strategy which are pulled from Kristina Halvorson’s book Content Strategy for the Web include
- Content purpose (i.e., how content will bridge the space between audience needs and business requirements)
- Content gap analysis
Instructional designers, sound familiar?
Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today
Great comprehensive piece by John Tropea on making the clear distinction between informal information management and knowledge management. It is a call to push current knowledge management practices further.
My thinking is that just the sharing aspect of informal stuff is “know-what”, this is what KM has been about, but we need to go further to the “know-how” ie. to learn and to be able to have the skills to come up with your own “know-what”. We can do this via conversations. We can now converse with people who shared their informal information, and not only know “what” but also “how”…the ultimate example is apprenticeship and mentoring.
Connect, Context, Engage, Interactions
So let’s get it right. Knowledge doesn’t exist independent from a person.
Social Media has changes many things, including the way experts envisage online communities of practice. The following is Cormac Heron’s account of leading author and expert Richard McDermott’s reflections on how Communities of Practice have evolved and where they are headed.
Richard McDermott was there to give a bit of his background in personal and professional experiences of the last 20 years. 10 years ago they thought that these were the main characteristics of online communities:
- Independent of an organisation
- Some face-to-face occurrences
- Passionate Leader
- Light-handed management
But on revisiting them consequently the following were thought to be more relevant:
- Goals were set out
- Reporting to the highest level
- Integrated into organisation
- Passionate Leadership
- Part of the actual job description
According to Heron, Richard then ended his keynote by hitting them all with this stonker:
How will the emergence of new social media, current organisational dynamics and social change shape the role and impact of communities over the next 10 years.
While I have focused most of my research on Communities of Practice and Collective Expertise, I see a necessary co-existence of both these principles in order to ensure the most optimal results in advancing knowledge and practice.
We can seek out (aggregate) all the sources of information on any subject and share them with the world, but if we don’t make sense of them, they’re worthless.
PKM isn’t just collecting and filing bits and pieces of information for later retrieval. There is an ongoing sense-making process that, through practice, develops cognitive skills. It’s knowledge management, not information or document management.