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Meshing KM Thoughts

Sharing Knowledge - Respecting Culture I've keep checking up on Tom's blogging experiment. Combine what Peter says below with Tom's thoughts:

We learned how terribly crucial it is to remember that people bring a lot of their behaviour, their assumptions, and their needs to 'new things.' Bringing new technologies to people is easy. The delightful challenge is making sure those technologies mesh with how people really do things, how they interact, how they learn --

Peter Merholz made a nice Supernova observation after John Parkinson referenced burning through $1b in collaborative tools and KM that failed to live up to promises.

His post is similar to David Isenberg's thrusts... Why Stupid is Still Smart" which updated his original paper "Stupid Networks". My argument then as it would be now.... Canít we apply this same logic to companies? "Stupid Companies are really Smart". A stupid company implies empowerment, connectivity, and filtering at the end points.... not centralised or hierarchical.

The contrast with KM systems is useful. For few KM systems work P2P (Groove does), unless we start including whiteboards, supersized post-its and more.

Stupid Smart Companies don't invest in the KM systems referenced in Peter's review. They do invest in creative friction. It's called rubbing heads together. Asking better questions that accelerate learning.

This contrasts with most KM systems which are repositories for capturing knowledge that has been made explicit. The argument is that explicit knowledge can be multiplied thus trapping it gives it value.

Here's an old story tracing back to an oil company with a large KM investment. They had spent lots of time working out who the experts were and who had the answer. There was a large oil drilling fire. No one knew how to put it out. Their system said "Joe" knows... The screen blinked "Joe" for days... he was on vacation..... Joe couldn't help them put the fire out, and finally they put the fire out themselves.

Clearly linking to the person with the answer didn't help. They needed to link it to what he knows. And that is one of the dilemmas. Individual currency. Codify expertise and then??? Not everyone responds with.... ah that will provide new opportunities... Yet codification has a role too.

Stupid companies have the capability to trap - capture - nuture items at the periphery that traditional smart companies can not touch. Fundamentally highly structured co's can only learn as fast as their core. Whereas our Stupid Company can learn much more rapidly driven from the fringe.

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