Understanding 'The New Knowledge Management' LO30393

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 07/22/03

Replying to LO30373 --

Dear Organlearners,

Chris Macrae <wcbn007@easynet.co.uk> wrote:

>I realise there's something I have forgotten to ask about KM
>which is also linked to conversation below. Where does any
>particular organisational system get its context, unique purpose.
>I assume that any organisation needs to make its context
>transparent. For example, research shows that all who do
>knowledge work face a doubling of information passing across
>them every 2.5 years so they will drown in this unless their selectivity
>is very well tuned and that can only come as far as I can see from
>pursposefully transparent context.

Greetings dear Chris,

I appreciate your concern for knowledge workers who will drown in the
flood of information should they not be selective about what information
applies to them. But i fear that selection will not prevent such drowning.
A flood is too destructive to try and divert some of it into a manageable

Can we do anything to prevent this drowning? I think so. Above all, we
need to distinguish carefully between knowledge and information. I know
that the term KM (Knowledge Management) has become a panacea the past
decade. To see just how impressive its use is, fellow learners may have a
look at the site: < http://www.kmnetwork.com/ >

I firmly believe that a person can avoid drowning in the flood of
information existing outside that person with the knowledge which dwells
inside that person. However, managing such information became known as KM,
a very unfortunate name to me. It should rather have been called
Information Management -- a major branch of informatics. There is for me
only one way how knowledge itself can be managed and that is by the act of

To prevent this drowning is another reason why our organisations need to
emerge into learning organisations -- "knowing organisations" in other
words. Leaders alone cannot steer their organisations though this flood
any more. Furthermore, it is vanity to hope riding the flood with IT
(Information Technology).

Authentic learning has to happen creatively. Sureness ("identity-context")
is one of the 7Es (seven essentialities of creativity). Thus i have much
respect for your sentence "Where does any particular organisational system
get its context, unique purpose", but perhaps in a way different from you.
You require transparency, but how can such transparency be acquired other
than through authentic learning based on creativity?

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@postino.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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