Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The sum of divinity

The serenity of Buddha's face. The compassion & forgiveness in Jesus's arms.  The wisdom in Krishna's words.  The sum of divinity. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When it Rains Ideas

Some ideas are like thunder & lightening followed by a downpour. They shake you up and then vanish. 

Some ideas are like the gentle and cool breeze that you may or may not notice, but they have a subconscious impact. 

Some are like a continuous drizzle, you must accept & live with them. 

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Experts and Wikipedia

It is hard to resist the urge to share something that is one or more of the following. Isn't it? 

  • Inspiring
  • Thought-provoking
  • Humorous
  • Positive/optimistic/hopeful 
  • Paradoxical 

In other words, one feels extremely compelled to share things that fall into one or more of these categories.  It is harder to resist the urge if you love to write and enjoy, like the Master would say, spreading sweetness and light.

I was reading a thought-provoking article on Wikipedia and how it has changed the way we perceive knowledge creation and generation, wherein Marshall McLuhan is quoted as saying that technology can alter cognition (and to think we've been fond of saying 'Technology is only the enabler, folks').

Here are some extracts that I liked.

".....The place where an idea could be owned by a single person. One of McLuhan's genius insights was his understanding of how the shift from an oral culture to one based on print gave rise to our modern notion of the individual as the originaator and owner of particular ideas."

McLuhan foresaw. "If the printing press empowered the individual, the digital world empowers collaboration."

McLuhan's chief insights centered around the idea that technology strongly affects not only the content of culture, but the mind that creates and consumes that culture. He maintained that technology alters cognition itself, all the way down to its deepest, most elemental processes.

"It is not only our material environment that is transformed by our machinery. We take our technology into the deepest recesses of our souls. Our view of reality, our structures of meaning, our sense of identity—all are touched and transformed by the technologies which we have allowed to mediate between ourselves and our world. We create machines in our own image and they, in turn, recreate us in theirs"

In a traditional encyclopedia, experts write articles that are permanently encased in authoritative editions. The writing and editing goes on behind the scenes, effectively hiding the process that produces the published article. [...] Jaron focuses on the "finished piece," ie. the latest version of a Wikipedia article. In fact what is most illuminative is the back-and-forth that occurs between a topic's many author/editors. I think there is a lot to be learned by studying the points of dissent. [...]

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Thoughtful Moments

A few of my own thoughtful twitter moments today 

How can love & forgiveness exist where there is a tendency to constantly observe, analyze, assume & judge?

Sharing is the Mother and Curiosity the Father of Serendipity. #inspired_moment


An inspiring post by Sudhir Krishnan that I came across this morning (and this post happens to be somewhat related to my first thought)

However noble your thoughts and actions, there will be some people who will not be pleased. Even Jesus and Buddha faced opposition. While one needs to take care not to deliberately hurt others, there is always the possibility of falling short of some people's expectations. As long as you have given your best, move on and do not blame yourself. Detach yourself from what is essentially the other person's karma.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Evolution of KM

KMers everywhere have been desperately attempting (but in vain?) to get people to stop associating KM only with content repositories and embrace other concepts like 

  • the simple sharing of thoughts, experiences, ideas, articles and musings (via internal and external blogs and microblogs, bookmarking), 
  • discovering colleagues who might collaborate, guide, mentor, or support employees (via internal social networking, author-discovery, people search), 
  • collaborating efficiently to co-create content and innovate through collective wisdom (via workspaces, conversations apps, wikis, community-platforms, discussion-Q&A forums). 
  • Additionally, KM also includes softer techniques like 
    • storytelling for effective knowledge sharing, 
    • checklists for effective knowledge capture and reuse 
    • after action reviews for learning from the past, 
    • unconferences for unstructured and serendipitous exchange of knowledge, 
    • social network analysis for finding important information nodes in the organization, job rotation, succession planning etc. 
In short, KM in its truest form is a versatile portfolio of various techniques and tools, rather than plain content reuse.

This may be painfully obvious to KMers who've been in this field for a while, but what could be the reasons why organizations typically stick to content management rather than pursue other ideas as well, as a part of their KM initiative? 

1. They live in the past and believe knowledge equals (or almost equals) structured content

2. They're not comfortable with spending energy and resources on things that are hard to control and bring discipline to (content collection and reuse is relatively easy to define, control and monitor) 

3. They're not comfortable with spending energy and resources on things whose benefits cannot be accurately quantified (content reuse is relatively easy to measure and quantify in terms of time saved) 

4. They don't see the connection between the 'new' techniques/tools and KM, as they know it. Therefore, they'd leave the pursuit (and facilitation) of these ideas to, say, the HR or Operations or IT functions, or the Project teams themselves

Which brings us back to the rhetorical question. Should we call Knowledge Management something else and wrap it up in something that sounds more commercial rather than academic? Will a rose by any other name smell better? And, not to forget, is it already happening in organizations that are using the label of Enterprise 2.0 or does that sound equally esoteric?