Tuesday, 20 March 2007

KM vs. KO

In my (self-appointed) role of rapprochement imp, I regularly monitor discussions in many information and knowledge management domains. May I present to you an excerpt from a message recently posted to a KM discussion group, which might shed some light on the space currently separating the KO and KM communities.

"Unfortunately, labels are necessary and categorizing (stereotypes, archetypes, taxonomies, ontologies) makes them easier to manage and leverage. As a KM practitioner, I am, like the biochemists, more interested in the "what can we do with this or how does it work", because this is where I think the value comes from. Even in my role as an author of a book about categories of personalities written as animal metaphors, I am still more interested in how this can be applied than the categories per se. The character types enable us to identify (with) a pattern of behaviour that we can more easily remember and assist others to understand and apply. The pure taxonomist would be happy if the characters fit nicely into "a box". However, we know that human behaviour (or KM for that matter) is rarely like that. The best we can do is describe a common set of characteristics and place similar things in it to make them easier to manage. Why would we do that? So it becomes easier for others to get the knowledge into context and for the knowledge to be transferred to others and applied. The risk is, what happens when the context changes? If we rigidly stick to our categories, we may miss significant opportunities, or our categorization
systems could become obsolete."



No comments: