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Complexity and Knowledge Management Navigators…

Knowledge: Best enjoyed socially

Peter Evans builds on the popular conversation from last week’s blog…

Knowledge is produced in action and as such relies on people, how they understand what they do, what they use to do what they do and from there, making KM explicit to them and to the firm. In other words, knowledge is social.

Key to this view of knowledge management is understanding job roles and what is required to perform those roles effectively in the reality of a specific organisation. Knowledge is tested through and embedded in the routines, processes, practices and relationships of that particular organisation. So the role of managing effective use of knowledge cannot be in the hands of a knowledge manager – solutions, innovations and improvements can only come about through combining the expertise of the knowledge manager and the experience, knowledge and ideas of those who perform.

For example, where existing knowledge resources are being used to inform decisions and actions, collaborative reflection in how these resources apply in the specific context under consideration is key – excepting some (but not all) technical knowledge. Very often new knowledge combinations occur as people who work in the same system come together for the first time to share their knowledge and understanding, to share what they do and why and explore how these may better fit with the activities of others.

It is as Jack Vinson stated in a post from back in 2007, “‘Co-creation is not an option‘ I like it. We work together naturally”. So co-production is a natural and spontaneous thing – we just can’t help ourselves! – except to be of real value it requires managers (including knowledge managers) to let go of preconceived outputs and allow the patterns of activities that will achieve the (co-) desired outcomes to evolve out of the people that know – the workers.

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3 comments on “Knowledge: Best enjoyed socially

  1. Pingback: Getting KM right! (4 Functions and 12 Constructs) « Theknowledgecore's Blog

  2. Pingback: How to ‘make’ people share knowledge! « Theknowledgecore's Blog

  3. Pingback: Learning about tomorrow to know about today Today « Theknowledgecore's Blog

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