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Sensemaking using heuristics

Posted by  Mark Schenk —August 21, 2006
Filed in Culture

Sensemaking is described as how we make sense of the world so we can act meaningfully in it. One of the ways we make sense is to apply simple rules of thumb (heuristics) to common situations. I was re-reading The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul by Douglas Adams (of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy […]

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Positive deviance

Posted by  Mark Schenk —August 9, 2006
Filed in Insight

One of the concepts of Appreciative Inquiry is to identify the positive deviants in a system and to find out what it is they are doing that works. The Positive Deviance Initiative has put this approach to the test in development projects since 2002. The concept is to identify the things/people that are successful in […]

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Management can kill a community of practice

Posted by  Mark Schenk —July 30, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes, Collaboration

I was reminded earlier this week of an event in 2000 when I was working for SMS consulting that demonstrated the dramatic and adverse impact that inappropriate management can have on a community of practice. A small group of consultants interested in knowledge management had started meeting regularly and over several years the group had expanded […]

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Join Anecdote and make a difference

Posted by  Mark Schenk —July 21, 2006
Filed in News

Last week, I was sitting in a hotel room in Sydney with Shawn and Andrew following a workshop by Brenda Dervin: sense-maker extraordinaire. The workshop re-confirmed our conviction that sensemaking really does matter and that it is time to expand our little company … We would love to work with someone passionate about people; you love working […]

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A question of balance

Posted by  Mark Schenk —July 15, 2006
Filed in Collaboration

For centuries (until the 1950’s), scientists believed that the left side of our brains (the rational, analytical, logical side) was the crucial side; the side that made us human. All sorts of evidence was collected to support this view.  Our organisations are often reflections of this type of thinking: obviously we needed all sorts of […]

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The importance of dialogue

Posted by  Mark Schenk —July 10, 2006
Filed in Communication

Shawn’s series of posts on finding expertise has reminded me of one of my favourite quotes: an anthropologist’s description of an agricultural North American tribe from David Bohm’s book On Dialogue: From time to time, (the) tribe (gathered) in a circle.  They just talked and talked and talked, apparently to  no purpose.  They made no […]

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Perspectives on problem solving

Posted by  Mark Schenk —June 22, 2006
Filed in Communication

Individuals and organisations have many ways of tackling problems. A paper ‘Describing 16 Habits of Mind’ describes the following perceptual orientations that one can take when engaged in problem-solving: Ego-centric: perceiving the problem from our personal point of view. Allo-centric: perceiving the problem through another persons’ perspective through empathy, predicting how others are feeling and […]

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Getting management buy-in

Posted by  Mark Schenk —May 9, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes, Collaboration

The actKM list has a discussion underway to collect stories of how people have (either successfully or otherwise) tried to get management support for their KM activities. The story below is the one I submitted. An engineering firm I worked for had a number of management-initiated communities of practice that were languishing and I was […]

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New whitepaper – how to talk about knowledge management

Posted by  Mark Schenk —April 18, 2006
Filed in Collaboration

For years we have been listening to presentations, reading articles and working with organisations in the KM field and probably the only consistent theme is the lack of agreement as to what KM is.   The lack of a consistent way to talk about knowledge management effectively disempowers us from taking concerted action.  It makes competitors of those […]

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Tapping into the right brain through sensemaking

Posted by  Mark Schenk —April 10, 2006
Filed in Communication

In January, I described Communities of Practice as ‘the right brain of the organisation’, and Shawn recently posted about the role of sensemaking in creating new knowledge.  During the recent international symposium on meaning making in organisations held at the ANU, the group I was working with identified a list of additional approaches that take a sensemaking […]

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