This website covers 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.

Knowledge in clothing

Patti Anklam points us to an interesting article by Bijoy Goswami of Aviri: Picking up Your KM Coat (Feb 2003), which uses an interesting Chinese metaphor for what has been going on with KM.

There's an old Chinese saying: pick up your coat from the collar. Indeed, bad things happen when you pick it up from the sleeve - the coat hangs clumsily, the rest of it dangling on the floor. Holding it from the collar produces an entirely different effect - the coat hangs nicely and behaves quite well! You can sling it on your shoulder and walk down the street singing a happy tune.

Essentially, once you understand what you have and start at the right end, you have things under much better control. Starting with the sleeve -- a database of some sort -- leaves you with one sleeve in the dirt and the body all mis-shaped.

And what is the collar?

People are the collar of the KM coat. There is a consistent framework to understand people, capturing not only the "types" of individuals in a firm, but also the "forces" that bind these individuals together and guide their actions in a knowledge network. This person-centric approach empowers the leader of a knowledge initiative to avoid the common pitfalls, develop a self-sustaining strategy for knowledge exchange, make smart technology choices, and ultimately succeed where so many others have not.

The forces that bind people together. Looks like we are asking for something even more than strategy in the typical sense. Find the drive for the group -- find the collar of their coat. I'll bet each coat is different.

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Improving productivity - Roell