Becoming personal knowledge managers

Nick Milton highlights an overview of knowledge management (KM) from Susan Camarena, CKO at the Federal Transit Authority, which includes:

How do we implement KM?

We already are doing it!

Everyone has their own KM program! Like:

  • Saving numbers of the “right” person to call on an old, wrinkled and well used piece of paper.
  • Reusing a memo that was approved as your template for the next memo to ensure it gets through.”
  • Getting a movie recommendation – you trust their opinion and ensure you don’t waste your time!

However, an ad-hoc approach is not efficient

You don’t learn from what I (and others) know!!!

This is the root of personal knowledge management (PKM). With digital information overload, an ad hoc method is definitely not efficient but neither is a standardized method for everyone in the organization. I’ve described my own framework as well as those of others. Setting filters is a good first step, as Five Forms of Filtering by Tim Kastelle explains.

Some of us are naive in our filtering, just going with what we think is best. Others rely on experts but that is more and more inadequate in our increasingly complex world of expertise. We need to develop networks of expertise and regularly check them for diversity and signal vs noise. Relying on a single set of algorithms can be dangerous so we need to establish heuristics that foster more critical thinking. The way we become better knowledge managers ourselves is through practice because information is not enough, we need to learn from experience. PKM is a process to capture  some of those experiences and learn through more structured sense-making and sharing.

The only knowledge that can be managed is our own.

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