Sunday, November 15, 2009

Guy goes to Africa

I learned today that my friend and colleage, Guy St Clair is in Nairobi on a knowledge strategizing mission. I must admit, I was a tad envious when I heard the news. I have been a little out of the knowledge loop since my foray into medical education (I know, one would not think medical education would be out of the knowledge loop, but in my experience, strangely, it was) and am anxious to return with renewed vigor and fresh insight. Guy has begun a blog on his adventure, that you can find here: Guy's Thoughts - Sharing my Journey
I am looking forward to following his take on the African experience and also to how the knowledge effort progresses. He inspires me to do more with what I know of this space as I think about where to go next in my career. Over a week ago, I lost my job and have a little time to reflect on where I really need to be making a difference these days. Not that this reflection can take long, mortgage due and all. Nor should it though. I've been thinking about where I really fit for a really long time. The answer has always been there, but not always obvious to me. Where I fit, is the very place there is usually no spot for; ie, in the space between. I love to bridge gaps, reach across disciplines, discover the assumptions that underpin the stories we well ourselves. I suspect for most of us who try to make our place sorting out the knowledge flows that circulate around problem solving and strategy development, there is no clear place to rest our hats in most organizations. Variously, we are placed under strategy, innovation, organizational design, information sciences, libraries, informatics, or even HR. But no matter which part of the organization we work from, we always end up doing the same thing; try to establish the real problem(s) to be solved, determine the necessary understandings to be made, and then set about connecting all the key players that need to know, understand, and eventually do, what needs to be done. It's a fascinating process and I love every bit of it. While knowledge management may have become unfashionable as a term, the concept is needed more that ever as the volume of data increases and the need to translate to usable knowledge becomes more critical. Maybe we need to come up with a new term, one without the baggage that KM drags around. Whatever its name, wherever I end up fitting in an organization, I look forward to helping this field evolve, adapt and continue to make a difference. Now, I just need to find a place to do it....
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