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June 7, 2002

Have weblog, will learn

Have weblog, will learn.

Managing My Knowledge

As we conclude the final week of the final quarter of the final year, I've certainly learned quite a bit this year about knowledge management.  I've probably thought more about it than I've ever wanted to.  However, I'm still not sure I have a very good method for managing my own knowledge.  I've learned an immense amount in the past 12 months - far more than I expected to.  However, it will be clearly difficult to draw on my own knowledge base and to actually apply what I've learned.  Models, frameworks, concepts, etc. are all interesting to study but only useful if you can actually apply them. 

I for one am terrible at remembering who did what study, specific terminology, descriptions of models, etc.  I can apply it all in real-time as I am learning it, but it quickly leaves me.  Thus, I'm very conscientious about keeping course summaries that I can refer back to.  My hope is that I will remember that I once learned something about a given topic and that I'll know where to go to get it.  But even that may be a challenge.  If anyone has any good advice for holding on to what we've learned here, I'm listening.  It is amazing the toll that time takes on a memory.  In the end, the most enduring thing I think I will leave with is a refined ability to think, challenge, and critique - and a new found humility that there is still so much that I don't know.  School for me has been analagous to training for a mental marathon.  Training for a marathon, you continually push yourself far beyond your limits and find you can do even more.  Then when the race comes you fully exhaust yourself.  However, you only retain the physical condition if you keep on running.

I think my is in the best condition of my life - now I have the challenge of keeping it from atrophy; it can be a difficult challenge when you work in a task-oriented world, but I will certainly give it a try.

[Greg Harmeyer's KM Weblog]

Business schools now routinely require that their students have a PC. Perhaps they should also require that students start a weblog (if they haven't already done so) and provide some guidance and support about how to do both information management and knowledge management at a personal level.

My oldest son is now in middle school.>Alan Kay - formerly of Xerox PARC, recently of Disney Imagineering, now founder of Viewpoints Research Institute. Start with The Computer Revolution Hasn't Happened Yet and then check out Squeak and SqueakLand.

  • Roger Schank - Roger founded the Institute for the Learning Sciences at Northwestern and has since moved on to Carnegie-Mellon and is CEO of Socratic Arts. Start with the Story-Centered Curriculum.
  • Tim Gallwey - author of The Inner Game of Tennis and The Inner Game of Work among others. A brief overview of The Inner Game concept is>David Allen - author of Getting Things Done. Also check out his company's website and a good profile in Fast Company - Sensei for the Time Sensitive
  • George Leonard - check out Mastery
  • One theme across all of these thinkers is the learning is a personal phenomenon. There's lots of help you can get, but you have to do the work. None of them are particularly impressed with schools or classrooms as the best place to do that learning. That's why the real value of a place like HBS or Kellogg is the community of smart and motivated people they assemble.

    [McGee's Musings]