“taking responsibility for our own work and learning”

“To a great extent PKM [personal knowledge management] is about shifting responsibility for learning and knowledge sharing from a company to individuals and this is the greatest challenge for both sides. Companies should recognise that their employees are not ‘human resources’, but investors who bring their expertise into a company. As any investors they want to participate in decision-making and can easily withdraw if their ‘return on investment’ is not compelling. Creativity, learning or desire to help others cannot be controlled, so knowledge workers need to be intrinsically motivated to deliver quality results. In this case ‘command and control’ management methods are not likely to work.

Taking responsibility for own work and learning is a challenge for knowledge workers as well. Taking these responsibilities requires attitude shift and initiative, as well as developing personal KM knowledge and skills. In a sense personal KM is very entrepreneurial, there are more rewards and more risks in taking responsibility for developing own expertise.” —Lilia Efimova (2004)

Lilia’s writing about personal knowledge management was my inspiration to create a framework for sensemaking in this digitally networked world. I was looking for a way to connect and build my knowledge networks. The personal knowledge mastery concept led me to test out and develop ways to inform my own practice. I saw my blog as a platform to make implicit knowledge (e.g. not codified or structured) more explicit, through the process of regularly writing out my thoughts and observations.

Lilia’s 2010 post on teams, communities, and networks inspired my many versions of the perpetual beta model.

The model has since been enhanced by insights from Valdis Krebs, Esko Kilpi, and many others in its various forms. The free sharing of information via web logs (blogs) has enabled faster knowledge-creation on a scale never seen before the web. We seek, make sense, and share at electric speed, as Marshall McLuhan foresaw several decades ago. We are also surrounded by an electric fog that often disorients us. We can stay afloat in this sea of information buoyed by our professional networks and guided by our communities of practice.

Today I facilitated some conversations on PKM in Eindhoven NL, working with Teal for Teal. I had the pleasure of discussing many aspects of PKM with Lilia Efimova who was able to join us. It was our first time together after 15 years of our own sensemaking through blogging. I am grateful for Lilia’s guidance and look forward to our continuing cooperation. The year 2019 has started well for further development and refinement of a sensemaking model that is badly needed in most organizations today.

Playing with the gears of change in Eindhoven with Lilia Efimova

2 Responses to ““taking responsibility for our own work and learning””

  1. Ian Maconald

    Great article! Do you see Collaboration and Cooperation as a “new” polarity? For so long they have been used almost as synonyms, but I have found that they are growing apart recently. Warm regards


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