This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Visibility as a critical management skill

The summary of the AOK: Conversations with Dave Pollard is now available. Carol Butler has done another excellent job of summarizing two weeks of wide-ranging conversation.

While reading over it, I particularly connected with the idea of visibility and the opportunity for communication tools, like blogs, to create more visibility of how people think.

Brian Sarrazin argued for offering visibility into action. "There is no better way to "know" someone (within the context) than to see them make decisions and take action based on those decisions." He says, "I think we should seek ways to efficiently enable such visibility."

For Dave Pollard, this is a huge argument in favor of PKM. Perhaps then, there is a third reason people don't use knowledge in central repositories: In the absence of knowing its author well, we don't trust it. Maybe this is why knowledge (usually top-down, highly filtered knowledge) that has the weight of authority behind it is used in central repositories, where more peer-to-peer unfiltered knowledge is usually not. Could a blog or other personal content repository be used to engender trust?

In the Dale Carnegie class with which I am assisting, we just covered the topic of "how to state your opinion" and "how to disagree agreeably." In stating our opinions and ideas, the Carnegie program encourages us to use examples from our lives as the lead-off, rather than blurting out the opinion and potentially alienating the audience. The goal is to bring the listener into our world, to help the listener understand our context. They call this the funnel: here is an example, this is how it has shaped me, and this is my opinion on the topic -- in that order.

While you may not sway people to your opinion, they will at least understand how you got there.

Back to blogs and visibility. These give people the opportunity to develop a narrative of how they think and what influences them over time. Readers of this type of blog will learn more about the person, and I suspect will understand how their ideas and opinions developed over time. The result for the writer and readers will be more common understanding and higher trust levels.

Future of consulting

The good is the enemy of the best