The Knowledge Management Culture Shift

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Great blog post from Nick Milton , all about the Knowledge Management culture shift. I’d seen this before, but worth repeating since I think it encapsulates the key elements of collaboration in successful communities of practice, a key area of work I’ve been involved in for the past 4 years.  It’s a useful exercise to consider these points as both an individual and as part of a group/community exercise to gain a perspective of where you , your organisation or your community are on your KM journey:

  • From “I know” to “We know”
  • From “Knowledge is mine” to “Knowledge is ours”
  • From “Knowledge is owned” to “Knowledge is shared”
  • From “Knowledge is personal property” to “Knowledge is collective/community property”
  • From “Knowledge is personal advantage” to “Knowledge is company advantage”
  • From “Knowledge is personal” to “Knowledge is inter-personal”
  • From “I defend what I know” to “I am open to better knowledge”
  • From “not invented here (i.e. by me)” to “invented in my community”
  • From “New knowledge competes with my personal knowledge” to “new knowledge improves my personal knowledge”
  • From “other people’s knowledge is a threat to me” to “our shared knowledge helps me”
  • From “Admitting I don’t know is weakness” to “Admitting I don’t know is the first step to learning”

Nick goes on to comment:

That shift from “I know” to “we know” – from “Knowledge is mine” to “Knowledge is ours” is a huge one, and counter-cultural to many of us. People can find it scary, but once it has been achieved, it is like living in a different, and far better, world.

Agree with that, and have never underestimated how difficult it is to achieve this cultural shift.Within the context of communities of practice it reflects a view of knowledge as the property of human communities and places the emphasis on connections between people and cultivating, recognising and supporting a shared learning experience.

About Post Author

Stephen Dale

I’m a life-long learner with an insatiable curiosity about life. I love travel, good food, and good company. I’m happy to share what I know with others….even the interesting stuff! My outlook on life is pretty well captured in this quote from a book about the legend of King Arthur: “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” ― T.H. White, The Once and Future King So much to learn, so little time!
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