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Michael Jones

Interesting observations and analysis of the sociograph. I've found in my research that sociographs are quite handy to relay to the organization what the informal network looks like in practice. Members of the Cornell FSAE team were quick to pick up on these structures and relations.

I found the note about formal budget allotments for KM being the opposite of actual learning practice quite interesting - I always strongly suspected this to be the case but didn't have a source to back it up.

I would argue it's partially a return on investment issue - informal learning is cheaper (but more complicated) to facilitate, whereby proper formal learning requires a lot more investment to pay off.

This isn't to say it's not useful or necessarily inefficient - for some learning problems, it's probably the most efficient solution and worth the money.

But many problems - specifically those for which tacit knowledge transfer is essential to derive a proper resolution - are probably better and more efficiently dealt with by stitching together a series of informal learning mechanisms.

Again, something I was able to learn from car team. We never had the luxury of having enough money or human capital to sink into formal systems anyway, so informal learning mechanisms became that much more important, and it's what I'd spend most of my time on.

Unfortunately, formal systems and models make people feel more comfortable. Much of my dissertation research doesn't cover a lot of the qualitative informal learning solutions I helped advance, because my committee felt the need for numbers.

So, I met their needs but continued to do the right thing on the side anyway. :-)

Thanks for dropping by my slice of the blogosphere and leaving some insightful comments. I'll be sure to drop by here more often now that I have you in my RSS reader.

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