Saturday, November 03, 2007

Knowledge Management – the known and the unknown

Sunday 28th October 2007

I seem to get many of my new learnings, new insights, and most ‘aha’s’ in airports and especially during flights. I guess this may be something to do with having time on my hands, for reading and contemplating, and also, maybe, it has something to do with breaking with routine and literally, and metaphorically, pointing in a new direction at a greater height (broader perspective).

Today I find myself in Toulouse Airport, South of France, awaiting the morning flight to London. From there I will be connecting to fly this evening to Singapore, to attend KM Asia and KM Singapore 2007.

It’s a sunny morning in Blagnac Airport, Toulouse, the home of Airbus Industries and the exciting new A380 aircraft (the largest airliner in the world).

This morning I reflected on the ‘known’ and the ‘unknown’.

It may be said that Knowledge Management provides more of a certainty of the ‘known’ by better sharing, to as many people as possible and appropriate, what is ‘known’.

It may also be said that an aspect of Wisdom may be the application of the best knowledge.

But also, I have learned about the creative mind and that, in detachment from the known, we can enjoy the ‘Wisdom of Uncertainty’.

The big difference here is that we can become detached from time and place and the known past. Total attachment can be a major limitation to our creativity. Attachment has even been called a ‘prison of past conditioning’.

However, if we are willing to step into the ‘unknown’ it will take us into the field of all possibilities, known and unknown. Quantum Physics also talks about the field of infinite possibilities.

So we need to remember to both surrender ourselves to the creative mind, to the unknown, and also to attach ourselves to that which is known, as appropriate.

Therefore, to the degree that we can detach ourselves from the known, we can be more creative in our thoughts and actions in each new moment.

This may be a worthy ideal for an individual but I wonder, for knowledge driven organisations, to what degree knowledge leaders and managers are prepared to allow the wisdom of uncertainty whilst striving for measurable performance and certainty?

Ron Young

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