What have we learned so far about personal knowledge mastery?
Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM): A set of processes, individually constructed, to help each of us make sense of our world and work more effectively.
PKM workshops have helped people develop their own process of seeking, sense-making, and sharing. Participants are asked to relate activities to their own professional development. Exercises such as network mapping are combined with the narration of work, network weaving, and how these can enable better knowledge connections. Many tools are discussed as participants try new ones or share their personal practices. Examples and anecdotes are provided during the workshop, but the real value is in sharing between participants. I try to guide the process with a gentle hand and provide more resources as the need is presented.
PKM connects what is learned in networks, communities of practice, and work teams.
Participant comments on adopting a PKM process
- “I have to start with myself, and model the skills everyone will need as an individual.”
- “I think I’ve been resting on my SEEKing laurels for a bit too long. I need to start asking for / seeking inputs from a wider array of people.”
- “I am familiar with a number of the tools that are being discussed here. My problem is that I set them up and then don’t use them.”
- “the skill of developing PKM may also be about knowing how to pace yourself: when to switch on and when to zone out”
- “There is a risk of getting stuck in seeking and not going further into sensing and acting on information. “
- “I have worked in many roles in many industries and was not conscious that with each new engagement I was breaking connections to make new ones.”
- “Personal Knowledge Management is not linear. As I learn, I share. As I share, I hear and see new things from others, and as a result I learn … and share…”
- “I feel as if PKM allows me to be a bit more open and creative with my ideas, thoughts and writing; to explore and learn new things. It’s opened up a whole new world and it’s just made me eager to know more. It’s also made me realise that our learning will never stop – and we should get comfortable with that idea.”
- “So for my development it’s refining the filters – it’s becoming smarter about seeking. It’s cleaning out my crap filters so the right information can come through so I don’t feel overwhelmed with information.”
- “My PKM plan would embrace the following:
To improve and refine my ”seek’ filters
To spend more time on my ”sensing” to ensure better understanding of what I consume.
To share higher quality curated content; to maintain and improve my blogging; where possible, to isolate any frictionless sharing.”
Advice to start with PKM
“Many people appear to think [knowledge management] comes in one system/process and are not fully understanding of their personal responsibility for structuring their incoming and outgoing knowledge.”
Share insights that can help others with Critical/Non-Routine events [as opposed to routine knowledge]
- a lesson learned is more than just a lesson captured in a database [it has to change behaviour]
- “I’ve observed the change in behaviour only taking place close to the learning, or only in the person who had the first hand experience – the learning wasn’t shared and incorporated elsewhere.”
- “Everyday, the same mistakes are made by others and every day the admin person solves them. It doesn’t take too much imagination to work out what these people have become as a result.”
- “If you follow more than X active people in blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. it is simply not possible to divert that entire river of stuff into your drinking glass.”
- Other comments
- On promotion of PKM: “I don’t promote [PKM or use of social media for learning] with clients, as they believe they are busy with meetings and email and IM, and they believe they don’t have time to explore other options.”
- On tools: there are (too) many options, which can be confusing & often these do not interoperate.
- On trust: “email provides a good audit trail about who said what and when. Something that is no doubt very important where there is mistrust.”
- “Look for patterns, messages, meaning and share with some critical analysis and confidence that my network will add the value, comment and additional knowledge that I am seeking. Write about it – if only to clarify my own thinking initially.”
Pitching PKM to others
- Staying connected is my work, not an add-on.
- If my network is robust, the information will come back to me, if I miss it the first time round.
- Add value: annotate, summarize, make connections to other sources.
- Caution: keep in mind that there are still other sources to learn from, not just what’s on the web, within the realm of social media or indeed in your ‘preferred’ network.
- Importantly, beyond the simple bits and bytes, PKM is about making connections between artifacts and the people who create them or influence them.
- There is no higher validation of your idea than others sharing it.
PKM is continuously seeking, filtering, sense-making by creating, and then discerning with whom and when to share.