PKM Pt.2

Personal Knowledge Management: The must have skill for the 21st century professional (Part 2)
In the previous post I explained the importance of personal knowledge management (PKM) for the 21st century professional. In this post I will discuss some best practices that you can use to create your own approach to PKM.
There are four phases of knowledge creation that you need to be aware of in establishing your PKM strategy. The phases presented here are based on the work of Ikujiro Nonaka and comprise what is known as the knowledge spiral. The spiral elaborates on the manner in which we gain deeper understanding through our interaction with the world around us.
The phases of the knowledge spiral are:
  1. socialization      (who should I talk to?)
  2. externalization   (what should I document?)
  3. combination       (what should I read?)
  4. internalization     (what should I track?)
For more on this model see Nonaka’s Knowledge Creating Company.
PKM Framework

The socialization phase acknowledges that we learn through our interactions with “knowledgeable others”. Seeking out and engaging in discussion with people provide us with new insights, a practice central to intellectual growth.

Action Steps in This Phase
  • Identify your goals, interests and the people that share them.
  • Identify people that are experts in the fields you seek to learn more about.
  • Identify the social media channels that you can use to create relationships with people.
  • Identify the gathering places and events that you can attend to socialize with people you would like to learn from.
  • Create a weekly schedule that you will use to engage in dialog with the people you have identified.
This phase involves the documentation of new ideas and thoughts. Externalizing our ideas makes it possible to review and share insights with others in a non-time bound and structured way. The importance of reflective writing in the learning process has been the topic of numerous studies.
Action Steps in This Phase
  • Setup up a daily journaling schedule.
  • Make it a habit. Even a half hour a day dedicated to journaling will have a positive impact.
Combining information from different sources is central to innovating new approaches and strategies. This practice advances human understanding and deepens our body of knowledge.
Action Steps in This Phase
  • Organize your information by establishing a taxonomy or subject categories to use when filing away collected information.
  • Use tools like Evernote or OneNote to organize your documents and collected data.
  • Bookmark gathered web resources using tools like Digg and Delicious.
  • Use organizational tools that are supported by an application and a website. The provides you tremendous access to your information. Remember the power of knowledge is not just in its acquisition but in its ability to be retrieved.
  • Use article aggregators like Feedler or Google reader to stay abreast of new information in your areas of interest.
  • Use online dashboards like Netvibes to centrally locate all of your web tools and resources to one location.
This phase acknowledges the fact that knowledge acquisition changes our behavior. As we deepen our understanding we continuously internalize new lessons which in turn change our behavior and thus forms an ongoing spiral.
Action Steps in This Phase
  • Keep track of your progress by setting goals and establishing performance benchmarks.
  • Use behavior tracking tools like Habit List and The Habit Factor to provide a visual indicator of your progress.
  • Check your progress daily to ensure you are on track.
These are just a few recommendations that you can use to form your personal knowledge management strategy.
Did I miss something?
I would love to hear about the PKM techniques that you currently use.

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