Knowledge Starts with the Individual

Knowledge Starts With The Individual
I think knowledge starts with the individual. The effectiveness of an organization in using information and achieving business objectives is a reflection of how well their people are empowered to manage the data around them. In my view this is not just a matter of providing technological resources but a matter of helping people develop certain skill sets such as information literacy and personal knowledge management. These two skill areas focus on a person’s ability to find,manage and use information in an effective way. Acquiring knowledge is a task that is both subjective and objective.
The subjective aspect encompasses our emotions, thoughts and assumptions. It guides our ability to make sense of the world we live in. Our ability to derive knowledge from our experiences is determined by these faculties. The objective aspect is defined by the outside world we engage in daily. Lived experience provides the materials for knowledge acquisition. I think it is a mistake to assume that experience equals wisdom. External experience is not the deciding factor in the attainment of knowledge. A person’s ability to make sense of what they see,live and experience is the deciding factor. Embracing experience, distilling it to its essential elements, observing its patterns and placing a value on those observations is necessary for learning to occur. I believe that by helping people master their subjective resources you help them master their objective ones.
Did I miss something? What are your thoughts on how  people can more effectively acquire knowledge?



2 thoughts on “Knowledge Starts with the Individual

  1. There´s an organizational culture that surrounds the individual. If the organization´s mindset does not promote knowledge creation and sharing, the knowledge paradigm will always prime (“i will not share my knowledge as it makes me more valuable”). you have touched an important point regarding an individual´s competencies regarding knowledge transfer and creation, and this is extremely important but above all, we must establish clear mechanisms, tools, technologies and other activities that promote collaboration and recognizes an individual´s efforts (incentives, performance management, professional development, etc). As a kick off question I would ask; are there formal Communities of Practice in Place? How is Knowledge being shared? does culture asessment take into consideration knowledge aspects?. are knowledge sharing and creation part of performance management?

  2. Great post Jose. You astutely mentioned that culture is an important part of knowledge sharing. I agree the best km programs are dead in the water without a supportive environment in which to thrive.

    I think the km professional is not without recourse. The early stages of a km program can start at the grassroots level through the introduction of tools and practices that address basic worker productivity issues and pain points. Making people’s lives easier in a real way is instrumental in creating buy-in. This lays the early foundation for a culture shift to occur.

    I think the initial interest of early adopters must be quickly backed by a structured full scale km framework. Executive support and policy guidelines are crucial in order to sustain the effort.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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