Thinking for a Living

January 2, 2007 at 1:58 pm Leave a comment

Thinking for a Living, By Davenporthttp://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Living-Performances-Knowledge-Workers/dp/1591394236

It speaks to many issues faced by organizations filled to the brim with Knowledge Workers.There are several chapters dealing with results from questionnaires around IT strategies to support knowledge work.  My take away thought is that there are (at least) two routes to improving information/knowledge sharing in an enterprise.  One is imposing a top-down ‘enterprise solution,’ meaning a corporate project or a software purchase to facilitate the improved KM.  Another is a bottom-up personal knowledge management approach, or promoting  ‘information literacy’  as an important part of an employees work-life.  Interesting, the former would end up relying on the latter.  And maybe approaching from both ends at once gets you to the goal.

From my notes:

P. 62 Few knowledge worker have any spare time today for recording their most recently learned lesson, or for taking calls from coworkers seeking their expertise. If we want knowledge workers to adopt these behaviors we will have to free up some time for them to do so. The desired behaviors – creating, sharing, and using knowledge will have to be baked into the job and unnecessary activities eliminated.

P.116 Some companies were already actively dealing with personal information management…involved a recommended set of technologies, education in how to use them, and a set of recommended behavior changes for optimal information-processing effectiveness.

P.119 “On the road” companies “know” they should be doing more in this area but there is just too much else going on….none had really identified individual productivity as important enough to address with any seriousness and generally did not recognize it as a corporate issue. They had no formal group to support even the basics of knowledge management or individual information use. What support they did provide to individual users was very fragmented by technology type. Little training was offered to users, and what was offered was product-specific. These organizations made little use of emerging technologies for personal information and knowledge, or even discouraged their use.

P.125 Describing results from a questionnaire, many respondents felt in control of their information flow…better than average. They felt they were more effective at personal information management than others…this not only speaks to self-confidence but also to the invisibility of how we manage our own information environments. We simply don’t know how other people do it…. What would they change? The most common responses were “nothing” and “I don’t know.” This suggests most individuals have not thought very much about this issue and that they have probably underinvested in their own personal information environment. 41% said they receive little or no help from their organization in managing personal information flow…. Most organizations have a long way to go before they have fully dealt with this set of issues. Individuals may feel they are doing all they can and since they aren’t getting much help from their organization, in the absence of any direction or contrary evidence, they may feel they are doing fine.

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Entry filed under: KM, thinking for a living.

Food from the Singularity Notes from Presenting Data and Information

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