Personal Knowledge Management

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —November 26, 2005
Filed in Communication

IStock_000001026517SmallIn an update on Personal Knowledge Management, Dave Pollard states the case for refocusing KM efforts away from the storing stuff in a central repository and onto ‘connecting to the right people just-in-time, canvassing them to gain their knowledge and advice in the context of a particular business problem or pursuit, synthesizing that knowledge and applying it to the issue at hand.’

I has a similar idea at the beginning of this year and I wrote a short paper on how to use blogging and RSS feeds inside a corporation to create these new context-rich connections. Actually Dave’s post is the first time I’ve really understood what people mean by Personal Knowledge Management—that bottom up approach which is all about improved personal productivity.

Dave illustrates his post with a series of anecdotes which really helps us understand the issues he faced inside the professional service firm. It sounded like he conducted a series of one-on one interviews and I was interested to read that,

When I went to conduct the second round of interviews, it became clear that some of the interviewees had given me the answers they thought I wanted to hear because they didn’t know the real answers.

This is not uncommon. For example when asking people what they’ve learned in a project there are often long pauses, some ums and ahs, shrugging of shoulders and a desultory, ‘nothing much.’ Then as they share their stories of the events that occurred during the project it dawns what they’ve actually learned. It is important to understand that their learning occurred at the time of the recollection not during the project. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Dave conducted anecdote circles instead of interviews.


About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:

Comments Off on Personal Knowledge Management