“the number one critical skill set”

“Imagine you’re trying to fix a problem, dealing with a crisis, or even just replying to someone, responding to a query, thinking about a possible solution. Most people deal with the issue at hand. That’s great already!

But if your KM meta reflex kicks in, all of a sudden you see another arc:

Hold on a minute! Is this a one-off? Or something likely to happen again? What can I do here and now that will not only help in the moment, but save time for me, and possibly others, in the future?

THAT is the meta reflex that gives you an edge. And it’s personal knowledge mastery at work. It is to knowledge management what meditation is to life. It’s the open secret that helps you avoid the hole in the road. Repeatedly.” —Ewen Le Borgne

Imagine spending less time looking for files and reference documents. How would a diverse international community of fellow professionals help you with your current work or to find new work? What would you do with a network you could call on to get trusted advice? What if everyone you worked with had a similar network? Innovation is not so much about having new ideas as it is about making connections. The more connections you have, the greater the chances for new ideas. More and more of our work is focused on generating ideas, rather than producing replicable results. Machines produce stuff, people produce ideas.

“Visualize the workflow of a physical job: produce, produce, produce, produce, produce, produce, produce, produce, produce.

Now visualize the workflow of a creative knowledge worker: nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, flash of brilliance, nothing, nothing, nothing.” —Jay Cross (1944-2015)

Personal knowledge mastery is what you can do between flashes of brilliance. This discipline prepares the mind and increases the chance of serendipity. PKM is about connecting to ideas and people. It takes effort but over time it reduces cognitive load by offloading it to your networks. A diverse and deep network can help you make better decisions.

“Chance favors the connected mind.” —Steven B. Johnson

PKM starts with seeking and making connections. Do you have a community where you can get trusted advice? If not, you need to find or start one. Our networks and communities are our social safety nets in the network era. Companies come and go but human relationships can last.

Even as seasoned professionals we have to keep making sense of emerging complexities. Only our human networks can help us with this. To get from our networks we have to first give. Sharing our knowledge and adding value to information help us make our networks smarter. A smart network gives back much more.

Learn more about PKM

“The more I am out there chatting to clients, the more I realise that your PKM approach is the number one critical skill set.  Any way I look at it, all roads seem to end there.  It is the foundation.  That’s why I thought this is where they need to start – and not just the employees – everyone including the managers.” —Helen Blunden

Developing mastery means moving from a focus on explicit (codified) knowledge to implicit (non-codified) knowledge through connected learning. Mastery uses more principles than rules, and models instead of procedures.

3 Responses to ““the number one critical skill set””

  1. Harold Jarche

    Good point about pattern intelligence, Britt. One cannot see patterns if there are not enough dots to connect, so we have to get them from our networks.


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