Sense-making and sharing

The Seek > Sense > Share framework is a very simple model with many layers, which you discover as you develop personal knowledge mastery.

A simple explanation is to look at PKM as four quadrants of sharing and sense-making, based on a foundation of continuous seeking of new knowledge and diverse people.

seek sense share

If you only seek new information and knowledge for yourself, without spending time to make it personal, you will not advance your own growth (bottom left). If you keep your knowledge to yourself, you will not be viewed as a contributor to any knowledge networks, and will miss out on learning with and from others, especially professional colleagues (bottom right). However, if you share indiscriminately, you will be creating too much noise, and others will ignore you (top left). The journey to personal knowledge mastery is finding the right balance between seeking, sense-making, and sharing (top right). There are many possible practices in this quadrant, but each person must find his or her own way.

I have found that the most difficult part of PKM is finding an appropriate sense-making routine that people can stick with over time. For me it’s blogging. An advantage of a personal blog is ownership. Personal control helps to keep you motivated in developing sense-making routines. In addition, people who have individual sense-making routines can transfer these to their communities of practices, or their workplaces.

Of course sharing has its challenges as well. An important aspect of PKM is knowing when and with whom to share. Showing discernment in knowledge sharing helps to build trust. Becoming a trusted node in your communities and networks, with a good signal to noise ratio, ensures that your voice will be heard. Like sense-making, sharing takes practice to develop as a skill. It can further be developed into curation, or sharing with intent, and can be even more useful for organizational learning. Good curators of knowledge are becoming essential in knowledge networks.


6 Responses to “Sense-making and sharing”

  1. Sharon FultonBevers

    How do you persuade people, who are time poor, that this makes sense? What do you see as they payoffs for this both long and short term?


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