My travels to the East continually reveal new knowledge insights to me. Whenever I am asked to speak in a country I have not visited before, I try to learn as much as I can beforehand about their culture and major religious beliefs, so that I can be more meaningful in my presentations about knowledge management, and so that I can be more open in my own learning.
Being a yoga teacher, over 25 years ago, I instantly took to the culture and religious beliefs of India in my five trips there over the past two years. I already knew that the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita etc are the basis of Hinduism, and are the oldest recorded books of knowledge. I have had some truly fascinating discussions with my Indian friends and we have reconsidered this 'timeless wisdom'in an age of global knowledge. In fact, in the last few years, I have enjoyed many more discussions with Asian friends also looking at the perspective of knowledge for Muslims, Buddhists and Christians too, across Singapore, Malaysia,Indonesia, Phillipines and Fiji. I have also had discussions with Koreans, Chinese and Vietnamese about knowledge and Confusianism and the Tao.
What fascinates me about the East and Middle East is the very very high value that all religions and beliefs place on knowledge. There is divine revealed knowledge and the acquisition of daily knowledge of living a good successful life.
And in all of this, most importantly, there is no doubt at all about the value of knowledge.
This is why I am of the opinion that the Eastern perspective to knowledge management will develop much faster, and reveal much richer insights into global knowledge management than those of the West.
Don't get me wrong. I am still a great advocate and, hopefully, a good ambassador for the discipline of knowledge management, as developed in the West.
I do not wish to simplify, but for making the point that I am simply amazed at the major contributions that have come from the USA, especially, at least the openness, and the new enabling knowledge technologies we all enjoy across the internet. And I am indebted to our friends in Scandinavia and across Europe who are still, in my opinion, thought leaders in intellectual capital management, processes and reporting, but I am now really looking forward to the fresh developments and practices that will, undoubtedly, come from the Eastern perspective.
I have no doubt that, at this point in time, the East have a major advantage with knowledge management.
I take great comfort that absolute knowledge is the common unifier across diverse beliefs.