Using our knowledge

Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” Margaret J. Wheatley.

All the information and knowledge in the world will not help us unless we take time to reflect upon what we have learned and also do something with it. When I discuss personal knowledge management [a term that really needs to be changed and I welcome suggestions] I emphasize reflection through doing. In my case, this happens most often on my blog. Blogs are powerful tools for reflection.

Blogs act as the glue between our interactions with others, whether they be projects, meetings or conferences
Blogs are ways of mapping our personal learning journey
Every blog is unique and, over time, gives a whole-person view
Blogs encourage dialogue and help us relate to a wider audience and be more professional
Blogs provide peer feedback
Blogs can also be emotional and playful, to show and share our humanity

Reflecting by writing is a start, but then we need to integrate new ways of thinking and doing into our lives. This is the tough part, of course. It’s difficult to change old habits, but I think that by posting our vision on our blogs we raise the stakes. We are telling the world what we stand for. We are setting higher expectations. And this is a good beginning: reflection, followed by making our thoughts explicit and public. As I mentioned in my last post, we’re often too busy to reflect. The discipline of writing is one way to begin our journey to wisdom. Then we need to act on our words.

5 Responses to “Using our knowledge”

  1. Atle Iversen

    Interesting – different people think differently 🙂

    I reflect by *thinking* – and for me, nothing beats a long, quiet walk outside with lots of fresh air to help my brain get going….

    When I get back home, I’ll always write down any nuggets of insight and wisdom I may have discovered.

    Most people are too busy “doing stuff” – you need “quiet-time” to be able to reflect and gain wisdom…well, at least this is how *my* brain works 🙂

    • Harold Jarche

      Too often, organizations, and those in charge, forget that all people are different and that they need time to reflect in their own ways. Just look at how conferences and work schedules are created.

  2. Amanda

    I was recently at an Art of Hosting retreat where every day from 4 to 5pm was silent hour (part of the practice of the lodge we were staying at). After each full day of learning and exploration I was grateful for that time of solitude and peace. I didn’t always use it for reflection time – but regardless it was so valuable.

    Interesting from a design perspective – having to wrap up and segue into a silent hour. Interesting how there are so few times like that in our day-to-day where both us and the world around us are silent. My brain and my being loved it far more than I could have imagined!

    As always, thanks for sharing your thoughts so they might spark thinking and doing in others…


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