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K-Logs and continous education

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  • John Robb
    Dear K-Loggers, Ok, I stretched my mind a little into the future on this post. It deals with how I think K-Logs could be used to provide people with a
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 9, 2001
      Dear K-Loggers,

      Ok, I stretched my mind a little into the future on this post. It deals with how I think K-Logs could be used to provide people with a continuous learning process after they leave school.

      As background, I posted a link recently to an article by Peter Drucker that talked about how we are moving to a highly competitive knowledge society. Education, in order to better serve the needs of this society, must adapt. How? It must help people create and maintain a continuous learning cycle. Knowledge goes stale over time and knowledge workers, in order to continue to be productive at their jobs, need to constantly improve their domain expertise.

      This is something K-Logs can help with. Most people, when they leave school, take nothing with them besides what is between their ears and a few text books that are quickly put out of date. Our current system forces people to go back to a classroom setting to rejuvenate their knowledge set. Most people can't afford this. Particularly given Drucker's predictions of the level of market competition there will be.

      If students were required to build and maintain a K-Log during their years of residence at school, they would leave with: 1) a strong habit of continuous analysis and writing, 2) subscriptions to data streams (articles, documents, and other relevant data -- both free and for fee $$), 3) living connections to teachers and students they met, and 4) a chronicle of their learning process at school.

      From the schools perspective, K-Logs could improve the economics of the relationship. It could charge its students for RSS subscriptions to the Weblogs of teachers at the school (a continuous stream of insight provided by teachers that are constantly reading and analyzing the newest information available in the field of study) and other data streams. It would also create a new channel for relationships with alumni that would provide a backchannel for insight on how knowledge they are learning in school is being applied in the real world. Finally, it puts a whole new spin on what it means by going to a school -- in this new world you just don't attend, rather you "join" the schools knowledge sharing community.

      From the students perspective, he/she could claim not only having attended a good school but also that they are continuously connected to that school's knowledge stream/system. Would that be a benefit in a job interview? You bet. I always want to hire people that are always at the top of their game. Also, a well maintained K-Log would provide potential job seekers with a living, breathing resume about what they have learned. In a job interview, people often ask about the details of specific things people have learned or done. It would be much more valuable to read about the experience in a K-Log (you can use categories to limit access to K-Log data).

      Here is a final thought: When I worked at Forrester (I was the senior Internet analyst at Forrester between 95-97), I sat next to George Colony the CEO. One day he turned to me and said a very smart thing that will soon apply to most companies: "My company is full of very intelligent people that I spent a lot of time, effort, and money pulling together. Everything they think about while they work here is valuable. The thoughts that aren't captured and put to use by the company is like grain dropping to floor from a mill stone. My job as CEO is to find ways to scoop up that grain and put it back onto the mill stone so it can be made into flour and sold." K-Logs automate this process. The skills needed to make K-Logs successful long-term need to be started in school.

      Here is the links to Drucker's articles:

      http://www.economist.com/surveys/displaystory.cfm?story_id=770819

      Here is my post on it in the K-Logs list:

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/klogs/message/47

      Sincerely,

      John Robb

      http://jrobb.userland.com





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Derek
      John (and others), I also read Drucker s article and it and your posting echo many of the arguments that I ve heard for some time from my colleagues in the
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 9, 2001
        John (and others),

        I also read Drucker's article and it and your posting echo many of
        the arguments that I've heard for some time from my colleagues in the
        news industry. Investigative reporters, who hold their own
        conferences and have their own problems and obstacles, have a serious
        need for knowledge management. The rest of the newsroom does as well,
        but the need is acute for those who spend months on projects.

        They need the ability to sift through and make sense of thousands of
        pages of documents or massive computer databases. They need to
        capture and retain the text of dozens of interviews. And yet most
        newsrooms have little capacity to do this and even less understanding
        of how it could be done. Most reporters have their own filing
        systems, their own way of deciding what information to keep and
        share, etc. As a colleague of mine, George Landau, frequently put
        it: "We have no way to capture the shared intelligence of the
        newsroom."

        Admittedly, journalism isn't a particularly large or well-financed
        sector, but it does need this. I've been trying to press that case to
        my employers and I know others have, too.

        Derek Willis
        www.thescoop.org
      • Bill Kearney
        I m troubled by the idea of linking education to payment schemes. How about using better educational techniques to improve the relationships instead of trying
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 9, 2001
          I'm troubled by the idea of linking education to payment schemes.
          How about using better educational techniques to improve the
          relationships instead of trying to make a buck off it?

          Here's another concept, people are *never* going to use k-logs in 99%
          of the current corporate environments. Yep, that's NEVER.

          Why? Trail of evidence, that's why.

          Imagine this, an underling in the company posts an item to the k-log
          that's "ahead" of his boss's schedule. The other readers of the k-
          log see the underling's approach and LIKE it. This, unfortunately,
          undermine's the boss's perception of timeline and control. Guess who
          get's fired? Not the boss. Yes, the boss is stupid in this
          situation.

          Now, take it to the other extreme. The underling posts an item to
          the k-log. The boss sees this but notes, from the meta-data, that it
          was posted "after" the time it was due. In fact, it's posted when
          the boss perceives the underling should have been doing other work.
          Again, the underling hits the street...

          This was proved to me when I developed a prototype of a handheld
          application for sales. To summarize the management saw the meta-data
          collected during the sales events as a way to literally measure an
          average time to sale number. Thusly, they expected to be able to
          reverse that number back against the sales force as a means to weed
          out the sales people that weren't selling "fast enough"

          I was, of course, horrified. I tried to explain to them a concept I
          call "quantum data". There's some data (meta) that if you LOOK at it
          you will alter it. They didn't grok the concept. The project tanked
          and, eventually, so did the company.

          The employees are surrounded by situations that demonstrate to them
          that management is going to wield infomation as a weapon. They're
          not going to help load the gun.

          Yes, this is stupid. But overcoming this is a less-than-trivial
          exercise.

          -Bill Kearney
        • Brian Carnell
          ... This was also my thought. Every corporation I ve worked in viewed the management bureacracy as an information filtering system. If it didn t come from the
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 9, 2001
            At 10:18 PM 11/9/2001 +0000, Bill Kearney wrote:

            >Imagine this, an underling in the company posts an item to the k-log
            >that's "ahead" of his boss's schedule. The other readers of the k-
            >log see the underling's approach and LIKE it. This, unfortunately,
            >undermine's the boss's perception of timeline and control. Guess who
            >get's fired? Not the boss. Yes, the boss is stupid in this
            >situation.

            This was also my thought. Every corporation I've worked in viewed the
            management bureacracy as an information filtering system. If it didn't come
            from the manager, it wasn't important.

            At one job I worked at, for example, the manager was extremely incompetent
            even though the job was very high tech. Had we had an open ability to post
            information in a k-log, there would have been enormous institutional
            pressures brought to bear (i.e., the manager would have been fired or found
            a way to fire the underlings -- probably the latter).

            To give an example, I have seen this sort of thing get shot down quickly
            and employees reprimanded not because the information was accurate and
            useful, but because it didn't fit the spin that the manager wanted to put
            out there.
          • Dody Gunawinata
            As always, there will be organization that get it, managers that get it, bosses that get it. Bunch loads of others don t. If sharing knowledge through K-Logs
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 10, 2001
              As always, there will be organization that get it, managers that get it, bosses that get it. Bunch loads of others don't.

              If sharing knowledge through K-Logs *will indeed* positively influence other factors that affect the bottom line, the natural selection of the marketplace will take its course. The ones that get it will survive and thrive, the ones that don't, fail (doesn't apply in monopolistic market).

              It will take more than a couple cool webtools to make this 'knowledge sharing thiny' to work. The people and the culture in the organization will need to *want* it.

              So no worries. Expect pushbacks :)

              dody g.


              This was also my thought. Every corporation I've worked in viewed the
              management bureacracy as an information filtering system. If it didn't come
              from the manager, it wasn't important.

              At one job I worked at, for example, the manager was extremely incompetent
              even though the job was very high tech. Had we had an open ability to post
              information in a k-log, there would have been enormous institutional
              pressures brought to bear (i.e., the manager would have been fired or found
              a way to fire the underlings -- probably the latter).

              To give an example, I have seen this sort of thing get shot down quickly
              and employees reprimanded not because the information was accurate and
              useful, but because it didn't fit the spin that the manager wanted to put
              out there.



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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Larry Irons
              ... ... their years of residence at school, they would leave with: 1) a strong habit of continuous analysis and writing, 2) subscriptions to data
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 10, 2001
                --- In klogs@y..., "John Robb" <jrobb@u...> wrote:
                > Dear K-Loggers,
                <snip>>
                > If students were required to build and maintain a K-Log during
                their years of residence at school, they would leave with: 1) a
                strong habit of continuous analysis and writing, 2) subscriptions to
                data streams (articles, documents, and other relevant data -- both
                free and for fee $$), 3) living connections to teachers and students
                they met, and 4) a chronicle of their learning process at school.
                >
                John,

                Have you ever required students to keep a diary? I used to teach
                social psychology and a diary was a required component (this was back
                in the early 1980s). The diary routinely created more moaning than
                even term papers. Daily introspection to a public record is something
                that many people have difficulty with. The same technique has been
                used by psychiatrists for years in treatment programs.

                Larry
              • Doug Kaye
                Bill, I disagree that ...people are *never* going to use k-logs in 99% of the current corporate environments [because of] trail of evidence. It doesn t keept
                Message 7 of 8 , Nov 11, 2001
                  Bill,

                  I disagree that "...people are *never* going to use k-logs in 99% of the
                  current corporate environments [because of] trail of evidence."

                  It doesn't keept similar numbers of people from using email, and email
                  would, it appears, suffer the same weaknesses you described for k-logs.

                  ...doug

                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: Bill Kearney [mailto:wkearney99@...]
                  > Sent: Friday, November 09, 2001 2:18 PM
                  > To: klogs@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: [K-Logs] Re: K-Logs and continous education
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Here's another concept, people are *never* going to use k-logs in 99%
                  > of the current corporate environments. Yep, that's NEVER.
                  >
                  > Why? Trail of evidence, that's why.
                  >
                  > Imagine this, an underling in the company posts an item to the k-log
                  > that's "ahead" of his boss's schedule. The other readers of the k-
                  > log see the underling's approach and LIKE it. This, unfortunately,
                  > undermine's the boss's perception of timeline and control. Guess who
                  > get's fired? Not the boss. Yes, the boss is stupid in this
                  > situation.
                  >
                  > Now, take it to the other extreme. The underling posts an item to
                  > the k-log. The boss sees this but notes, from the meta-data, that it
                  > was posted "after" the time it was due. In fact, it's posted when
                  > the boss perceives the underling should have been doing other work.
                  > Again, the underling hits the street...
                  >
                • Phil Wolff
                  From: Bill Kearney Re: K-Logs and continuous education people are *never* going to use k-logs in 99% of the current corporate environments. Yep, that s
                  Message 8 of 8 , Nov 12, 2001
                    <snip>
                    From: Bill Kearney Re: K-Logs and continuous education

                    people are *never* going to use k-logs in 99% of the current corporate
                    environments. Yep, that's NEVER. Why? Trail of evidence, that's why.
                    </snip>

                    Traditionally, supervisors and managers play an information filter role,
                    among others.

                    K-logs only amplify the importance of this role. Assuming everyone klogs
                    (and we can have a good thread or two on adoption rates and on
                    prerequisites to adoption and sustained use), the volume and disorder of
                    information increases. Unlike databased, well-structured data, the
                    narrative form of klogs requires human editorial skill to summarize,
                    prioritize, and refer-in-context.

                    For those into technography (http://www.coworking.com), the role of
                    meeting scribe (typically an editorially neutral role) may demonstrate
                    some key leadership skills; klogging literacy, ability and will to
                    listen well, and mediation/moderation skills. (Do you think we can
                    explore klogs as technographic tools since so much time is spent in
                    meetings?)

                    Tools don't solve peopleware problems. The distrust, innumeracy,
                    obfuscation and incompetence in your scenario are neither universal nor
                    mandatory. These are deep issues best addressed directly, forcefully,
                    and with skill. I can't imagine klogging under these conditions.

                    So what conditions are needed for klogging to succeed? What should be in
                    an HR manager's guide to klogging? In a line-manager's guide? In a CIO's
                    guide? What are the rules of the road for a klogger at your company?





                    Philip Wolff
                    evanwolf group
                    http://dijest.com
                    pwolff@...
                    510-444-8234


                    Imagine this, an underling in the company posts an item to the k-log
                    that's "ahead" of his boss's schedule. The other readers of the k-
                    log see the underling's approach and LIKE it. This, unfortunately,
                    undermine's the boss's perception of timeline and control. Guess who
                    get's fired? Not the boss. Yes, the boss is stupid in this
                    situation.

                    Now, take it to the other extreme. The underling posts an item to
                    the k-log. The boss sees this but notes, from the meta-data, that it
                    was posted "after" the time it was due. In fact, it's posted when
                    the boss perceives the underling should have been doing other work.
                    Again, the underling hits the street...

                    This was proved to me when I developed a prototype of a handheld
                    application for sales. To summarize the management saw the meta-data
                    collected during the sales events as a way to literally measure an
                    average time to sale number. Thusly, they expected to be able to
                    reverse that number back against the sales force as a means to weed
                    out the sales people that weren't selling "fast enough"

                    I was, of course, horrified. I tried to explain to them a concept I
                    call "quantum data". There's some data (meta) that if you LOOK at it
                    you will alter it. They didn't grok the concept. The project tanked
                    and, eventually, so did the company.

                    The employees are surrounded by situations that demonstrate to them
                    that management is going to wield information as a weapon. They're
                    not going to help load the gun.

                    Yes, this is stupid. But overcoming this is a less-than-trivial
                    exercise.

                    -Bill Kearney
                     
                     
                     
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