Dave Snowden has recently expanded his 3 Rules of Knowledge Management to 7 Principles of Knowledge Management
- Knowledge can only be volunteered, it cannot be conscripted.
- We only know what we know when we need to know it.
- In the context of real need few people will withhold their knowledge.
- Everything is fragmented.
- Tolerated failure imprints learning better than success.
- The way we know things is not the way we report we know things.
- We always know more than we can say, and we always say more than we can write down.
He has explained each one of them in more detail in his original posting on rendering knowledge
Great stuff! But the key one for me is:
Everything is fragmented. We evolved to handle unstructured fragmented fine granularity information objects, not highly structured documents. People will spend hours on the internet, or in casual conversation without any incentive or pressure. However creating and using structured documents requires considerably more effort and time. Our brains evolved to handle fragmented patterns not information.
The real world is complex, fragmented and inherently messy and that is not necessarily a bad thing! As Dave says, we have evolved to handle that. Documents? A document is where knowledge goes to die.
I think Bill French
said this originally in the form email is where knowledge goes to die.