Thursday, July 20, 2017

Working Knowledge (Book 20 of 30)

Title: Working Knowledge: How Organizations Manage What They Know
Authors: Thomas H. Davenport and Laurence Prusak

Perhaps I should have put some organization into this book-a-day-challenge. I could have talked about them in chronological order.  Working Knowledge is, without a doubt, one of the early classics, published in 1998.

I have decided to pull out some quotes from it.  Here are a few quotes in the book that are not from the authors.
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.            ~ Benjamin Franklin
A man has no ears for that to which experience has given him no access. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche 
The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers. ~Sydney J. Harris.  
The great end of knowledge is not knowledge but action. ~Thomas Henry Huxley 
I went looking for the full quote for this last one:  "The great end of knowledge is not knowledge but action.  What men need is as much knowledge as they can organize for action; give them more and it may become injurious.  Some men are heavy and stupid from undigested learning."  ~ Thomas Henry Huxley

Below are some quotes from the authors themselves.  These are all little snippets, perfect for tweets even though the book was written pre-tweet era.  There were two sets that were on clear themes (conversations and technology) and I've tried to organize them together.
Think of information as data that makes a difference (p. 3)
Knowledge derives from minds at work (p. 5)
When firms hire experts, they're buying experience-based insights (p.8)
When knowledge stops evolving, it turns into opinion or dogma (p.10)
A knowledge advantage is a sustainable advantage (p. 17) -- I would say "A learning advantage is a sustainable advantage." 
Managers shouldn't underestimate the value of talk (p. 39)
In a knowledge-driven economy, talk is real work. (p. 90)
Firms need to shift their attention from documents to discussions (p. 106) 
Knowledge often walks out the door during downsizing (p.44)
A thriving knowledge market continually tests and refines organizational knowledge. (p. 50)
Employees who are willing and able to learn new things are vital to an adapting organization. (p. 65)
A good knowledge map goes beyond conventional departmental boundaries. (p. 73)
A good story is often the best way to convey meaningful knowledge. (p. 82)
Anecdote management can be the best way for a chief knowledge officer to justify knowledge work. (p. 116) 
Harmonize organizational knowledge but don't homogenize it. (p. 86) 
Knowledge that isn't absorbed hasn't really been transferred. (p. 101)
Managing knowledge should be everybody's business. (p. 108)
A little humility goes a long way when you're managing a knowledge project. (p. 113)
In decentralized organizations, it makes sense to assign CKO functions to a number of different managers (p. 121). 
The shortcomings of artificial intelligence should heighten our appreciation for human brainpower. (p. 126)
Don't expect software to solve your knowledge problem (p.26)
Technology alone won't make you a knowledge-creating company (p. 142).
Implementing knowledge management through new technology can be a risky proposition. (p. 166)
Take a hard look at the culture before launching a knowledge initiative. (p. 172). 
Try not to get mesmerized by the mantra of "access." (p. 176).

  • Re-read the section dealing with knowledge maps and capture relevant insights. 
  • Use relevant quotes as triggers for blog posts.
  • Integrate some of these quotes in relevant presentations/training materials.
  • Think about how to create "quotable/tweetable" text.

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