The inundation of information that I'm faced with in a single day through sources such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email....etc....etc....etc. finds me thinking about two key things more than anything...Information Overload and people - and how it is possible to remain focused on knowledge-based productivity and the productivity of tomorrow.
Basex posits that Information Overload has contributed to the current worldwide economic crisis, and it is easy to see the correlation...with so much information available - and much of it in monotone importance - it's difficult to make a decision that you know will work.
I was reading a brief at Rhea Theme related to KM Initiatives and Practices this morning that had me thinking about less (mental) clutter, and more substance as it relates to the knowledgeworker. The article essential pulls a few points from Karl Wiig's 2004 book, People-Focused Knowledge Management, How Effective Decision Making Leads to Corporate Success.
The key points in the particular post were:
Conduct Town Meetings and Knowledge Cafes - Town meetings being assemblies of many like-minded individuals (or employees) who gather to be briefed and then discuss, and Knowledge Cafes referring to gatherings where a topic is discussed by small groups, and then the groups are shuffled as the topic continues to be discussed. Again this type of activity gets the individual thinking and creating on a topic and less distracted.
Build and Operate Expert Networks - I think each knowledgeworker intrinsically does this to some extent, but by planning and developing one's expert network...and organizationally encouraging and even setting up a means to do this, puts people in touch with the expert knowledge that they need to increase effectiveness.
Capture and Transfer Expert Know-How - this deals with the idea of capturing and communicating know-how to other employees/peers to help develop them, whether this be by shadowing, video capture, discussion or training, and can bring along less experienced workers quickly.
Capture and Transfer Expert Concepts to other Practitioners - this is similar to the previous idea, except instead of focusing on how to perform work, this is directed toward why the work is done in a certain way under different circumstances, and adds context and depth of understanding to the process, which will help with understanding priorities and differences in a variety of situations.
Capture and Transfer Expertise from Departing Personnel - a particularly daunting task given the current economy and the reason for the departing of staff....and by the way, while the current economy will keep many baby-boomers in the job market longer to either build back the nest egg or to compensate for potentially future rising inflation, that knowledge will be leaving the workforce in ever increasing numbers (some might argue that in some sectors that is not a bad thing). But capturing the knowledge from departing personnel, evaluating it, and then introducing vital components to existing staff is still a key element of a Knowledge Management initiative.
is, was and perhaps always will be some analysis paralysis. And the
only surefire way that I know of to move an economy or a business is to
produce and move products and services, and by keeping a focus on the
priorities and effective measures, help to clear away a part of the
overload that can bog down effective thinking and production.