Monday, October 10, 2011
In most of the training courses I run, I ask the question "where does knowledge come from?"
Always, every time, I get the answer "Experience - Knowledge comes from Experience". Never does anyone answer "Knowledge comes from Information".
If you don't believe me, try it yourself. Ask people "where does knowledge come from"? and see what they say.
So why do we persevere with the Data/Information/Knowledge pyramid? It's misleading, and it does not represent what people think.
If you believe in this pyramid, then your KM approach will be an extension of information management. You will look at organising and aggregating information so that you can turn it into knowledge.
If instead you believe that knowledge comes from experience, and shared knowledge comes from shared experience, then your KM approach will be based on review and transfer of experience, connection of people, and conversation.
So we could in fact come up with a different pyramid, shown here, where experience leads to knowledge, which leads to decisions, and which leads to action.
The great thing about this version of the pyramid, is that action leads back to experience. And if we can share the experience from many actions, we can build shared knowledge which others can use to make correct decisions.
So the pyramids stack, as shown below.
Our previous approach, of treating Knowledge Management as an extension of information management, now becomes an approach of sharing experience in order to make better decisions, and take better actions.
Guess which of these works better?