entangled expertise

I have never purported to be an an expert. I have some skills and some knowledge, but my greatest asset is my network.

“What the Internet Time Alliance group brought to the table in our engagement, in the person of Harold Jarche, was not only his extensive experience and network, but also the expertise of the rest of the Alliance and their networks as well. While we in our organization have networks of our own, the quality and extensiveness of the ITA network added a value that we would not have been able to tap alone, and led us to a superior solution that will better serve our customers.” — Corporate University Manager within Fortune 500 Health Insurance company

Hierarchies and experts have a symbiotic relationship. But individual expertise, in a single field, is gradually being replaced by collaborative expertise. The expertise in any given field developed as a result of the Enlightenment is insufficient to deal with the wicked challenges of the Entanglement. (more…)

learning in the complex domain

Personal knowledge mastery (PKM) can be a lens to examine how knowledge flows in organizations and human systems, especially from a perspective beyond formal training and education.

“A model of curation for the digital era that is being used in health and care is Harold Jarche’s ‘Personal Knowledge Mastery’ (PKM). This is about individuals making the best use of their networks and other sources of knowledge so that they can keep up to date with the most effective thinking in their area and practice new ways of doing things. Leaders who take responsibility for their own effectiveness through PKM create leverage and value for their organisations. The underpinning framework for curation within PKM is ‘seek, sense, share’. ‘Seeking’ is about finding things out and keeping up to date; pulling’ information, but also having it ‘pushed’ to us by trusted sources. ‘Sensing’ is about making sense and meaning of information, reflecting and putting into practice what we have learned and plugging information into our own mental models and turning it into knowledge. ‘Sharing’ is about connecting and collaborating; sharing complex knowledge with our own work teams, testing new ideas with our own networks and increasing connections through social networks.” —UK National Health Service White Paper: The new era of thinking and practice in change and transformation

In addition, PKM is much more than a model of curation.

“Seek > Sense > Share are three elements at the core of Harold Jarche’s Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM) Framework. With PKM, he shaped one of the most persuasive approaches to personal and professional development, combining natural ways of learning with an approach to sensemaking and contributing to a larger collective.” —GIZ.DE

Personal knowledge mastery is a framework that connects working and learning. Much of what professionals and most adults learn is from experience and interactions with other people, at work or outside of it. We learn from experiences and exposure to people and ideas. (more…)

all for nothing

My mother, at the age of 14, became one of the 2 million refugees during the evacuation of East Prussia in 1945. Her mother took her six children from Kolberg [Kolobrzeg] to Celle, outside Hanover in Western Germany. I am not sure exactly when my mother, Elli, fled as she did not talk much about it. I do know that some of the trip was by boat, which was part of Operation Hannibal, one of the largest naval operations in history. In 1947 the family was reunited with my grandfather who had been a prisoner of war in France.

My mother rarely talked about her experiences during the war, only saying that war is terrible. Elli married in 1955 and moved with my father and older brother to Canada where I was born. My father died in a car accident when I was five and my mother found out at the same time that she was pregnant with her fourth child. Her family strongly suggested that she return to Germany. Elli did not go back, and later remarried and had another child. (more…)

facebook is not a trusted space

The time has come. Facebook is in the news today and not as the tech media darling it likes to portray itself as.

“Former Facebook (FB.O) employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen will urge the U.S. Congress on Tuesday to regulate the social media giant, which she plans to liken to tobacco companies that for decades denied that smoking damaged health, according to prepared testimony seen by Reuters.” —Reuters 2021-10-04

In 2007, I asked if we need an alternative to Facebook — As we become more interconnected and use the Web for problem solving, finding love and sharing our sorrow, we should seriously consider public infrastructure as the backbone for social networking. Just as we have funded roads and airports, we need to provide safe and open platforms for online community forming. (more…)

aligning before learning

This week I took Alastair Somerville’s workshop on Network Thinking. The format is based on a podcast, followed by a discussion on Zoom, supported by a card designed by Alastair. I must say it was quite effective. A key actionable insight I gained from our session was the importance of Alignment — “Sharing a moment to align a sense of place, of time, and togetherness. Rooting learning in a shared, but still personal, sense of being”. This reflects many aspects of PKM as well as social learning. (more…)

the codification of knowledge

Nick Milton raises an interesting point about the terms implicit, explicit,and tacit knowledge. Do you know what each term means? It seems that many in the knowledge management discipline do not.

Which of these three most closely matches your understanding of the term “Explicit Knowledge”

A. Knowledge which has been explained in some way (spoken or recorded)

B. Knowledge which has been recorded (eg in documents, files etc)

C. Knowledge which can be explained, but may or may not have been either spoken or recorded.

About 40 people answered the poll, and the results were as follows.

A- 23%

B – 53%

C – 23%

So the participants were evenly split between those who thought that explicit knowledge was synonymous with recorded knowledge, and those who thought that it wasn’t. And among those who thought it wasn’t, there was an even split between exactly where the line lies between tacit and explicit.

Imagine this was another discipline. Imagine if doctors could not agree whether coma and death were the same thing, and those who thought they were different, could not agree on the line between death and coma lies. It would be dangerous chaos. —The problem with “tacit/explicit”


the energy to refute

On the last Friday of each month I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

“One day historians will view ant-vaxxers the same way they viewed climate deniers and those who drowned women because they were witches.”@DavidPrice

“When the virus is circulating in a vaccinated population, variants that are more rapidly transmitting are selected for — those are vaccine evading variants. By vaccinating without shutting down transmission we are promoting vaccine evading variants.”@YaneerBarYam

“Maybe the problem is that we shouldn’t be looking to politicians for leadership. There’s nothing saying anyone we elect at virtually any position have any abilities to succeed in times of this. We need to develop a civic self-efficacy where we join together with those around us.”@ClayForsberg (more…)

convening the right people

I have often said that a critical role for people in leadership positions today is helping make the network smarter. In a recent blog post, the author discusses another critical aspect of leadership — convening the right people — and uses the example of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“Leadership in a collective or networked world is defined by those who have vision to convene the necessary group (Dixon, 2009) and those who spend resources wisely for the right things. Merkel was brilliant in setting up shop in Berlin. In the future, that means Germany will be internationally known for epidemiology. She will also inspire a new generation of German scientists and doctors based on this hub. Of course, she didn’t just fall into leading in science, she has her PhD in quantum chemistry (The Atlantic, 2020). Merkel is technically competent, knows how interact with others, and can conceptualize a future that is better than present for tracking pandemics (Jacques, 1986). That is leadership.” —Hilda831


filtering out the crap

“ninety percent of everything is crap”Sturgeon’s Revelation

“Twitter is often derided as a forum for gossip and nonsense, which it also is. But I find more serious discussion of critical issues, more sources shared and claims checked here than in most of the mainstream media.”George Monbiot

While 90% of what is shared on Twitter may be crap, a critical eye and good information filters will reveal the 10% that is great. Good personal knowledge mastery practices will lead to filter success. (more…)

a labour of love

I have mentioned over the years that you have to own your data and that many online platforms are set up for crowd-milking. One of the latest platforms for writers to make-it-rich is Substack, where the top writers may earn six figures. Substack lets writers set up paid subscriptions and takes 10 percent. However, the platform also paid high profile writers in advance to get them to use the platform, and in turn could say how much money writers were making. Annalee Newitz described this scam, ironically, on Substack [as an aside, I think that Newitz is a great writer].

Simon Owens recently discussed the gritty reality of Substack’s middle class. He has turned down full-time writing and editorial jobs and is completely focused on producing content, both free and paid. His observations include:

“you really have to minimize time spent on anything other than content creation”
“You need some sort of financial cushion.” — “I think it’s safe to say that you’ll want to have a minimum of one year’s salary in the bank before even considering making the plunge.”
“While I was constantly experimenting with small tweaks during this time, there was simply no way to collect quantitative data on whether they were actually effective.”
“I do think it’s very much possible for the average person to join this middle class, but it’s important that everyone understands the punishing economics at play.”