An exploration of knowledge ecology practices

Started by Jack Spivak.

Facilitation Related Knowledge Practices: (facilitate orientation, communication, relationship, tone)

  • model and participate in behaviors which create and sustain a high-feedback environment
  • collective and individual support of all a groups members
  • appreciatively accepting diversity in individual styles
  • fills in gaps when/where needed in order to sustain itself and for the good of the whole.
  • Sharing: deep dialog
  • Creating: inquiry, reflection, synthesis
  • group exercises and cultural change agents to alter current midsets, expose workers to the new norms and discover new visions (collaborative concept maps, distinctions, root cause analysis)
  • fostering trust, relationships and a learning environment
  • encourage members to connect via 'people finders', expressions of personal learning desires, constructing personal profiles and compiling a list of their competencies, interests and desires
  • providing and encouraging deep, appreciative, generous listening
  • asking and encouraging quality questions
  • Reciprocity: following up on engagement & commitments
  • Support offer and seek to work with "Emotional Intellegence"


Information and Data Related Knowledge Practices:

  • Mining: text and numbers, rules, heuristics
  • apply inference enabled extraction to activities, events, relationships, converstions, documents, stories, numbers seeking to extract patterns, concepts and speech acts, sort, search,
  • categorize, display and link. Inference may include: search, abstraction, clustering, pattern recogition, indexing and visual display...
  • accommodate/handle/display/manipulate different knowledge and data types (text or numbers, documents, problems, activities, events)...
  • push, profile, anneal, annotate or publish.
  • Storing: corporate memory,
  • Acquiring: searching, elicitation
  • Ways to handle different knowledge representations (rules, cases, patterns, heuristics, graphs)...
  • reflective tasks (METAPRACTICE) such as:

competence assessment
reasoning under limited time
problem relaxation (solving a closely related but simpler problem if the original
problem is unsolvable)
combining multiple object-systems.


Cognitive and classification practices

  • construct and move between knowledge at diferent levels...
  • measuring alignment, innovation, commitment and consensus
  • Structuring: linking, classification, indexing, patterns, best practices
  • Mapping: boundary objects, flows, sources & dynamics
  • Learning: individual & group (this may not be a practice...may be an emergent property. the practices that support learning might qualify better here. Jack Spivak)
  • making meaning, annealing information and developing key distinctions
  • Identifying stakeholder capital: customers, suppliers, partners, employees, owners
  • Collecting and categorizing best practices (METAPRACTICE)
  • Collecting and categorizing lessons learned (METAPRACTICE)
  • Collecting and categorizing heuristics: tips, tricks rules of thumb, intuition (METAPRACTICE)
  • Collecting,categorizing, and maintaining FAQ (METAPRACTICE)
  • Expressing and documenting decision rationale (METAPRACTICE)
  • Collecting and categorizing patterns (METAPRACTICE)


Communal knowledge practices

  • Community search and facilitation of knowledge creation
  • Joint delivery of news items and market intelligence, assisting awareness
  • Informal sharing of leads, tips & tricks (access to personal networks)
  • Support and internal help for learning knowledge practices
  • Distance mentoring & continuous learning
  • Sharing resources (books, conference proceedings, research reports)
  • Knowledge games, i.e. f2f exercises for constructing categories, surfacing tacit knowledge
  • community methods to identify knowledge related opportunities, annealing, changing mindsets, critical thinking
  • make, maintain, measure, document, share and (leverage?), nuture strong and productive relationships using communication, facilitation & computing networks.
  • actively experiment in individual and group knowledge level strategies
  • knowledge hybridization (taking concepts from group to group aka translating)
  • assisting folks to stay at the leading edge.
  • actively seek out and target thought leaders, we challenge ourselves to learn by inviting them into the community and asking quality questions
  • continually push the boundaries and experiment with social computing on both the social and the technology fronts
  • practice what we preach!, share our information, our personal networks, pool our knowledge, support, experiment and learn together.
  • sharing internet bookmark lists (organizational structure as well as content)
  • knowledge expeditions.
  • forming and participating in Communities of Practice
  • forming and participating in Community of Practice about Communities of Practice (METAPRACTICE)
  • Identifying and cultivating autopoietic (self creating behaviors) (METAPRACTICE)
  • ongoing planning and envisioning from perspective of discovery rather than simply enabling the known. (METAPRACTICE)
  • fluid, flexible movement from concept to conversation to action and back again.


Committment to Practices

We commit to practices which will forward our intentions and create the culture and environment where they will flourish in all institutions and communities of which we are a part. These practices will generate an environment of trust, respect for individuals and diversity, responsibility, creativity, risk taking and mutual support. In particular, our behaviour and action and regular practices will encourage the continuous development of knowledge at all levels - individual, community, institution and social - and call for continual challenge of what we are for what we can become.

It is important that we be able to state our practices and standards in this respect and be willing to demonstrate how we are supporting, by our actions, the environment that we commit to. It is important that we are free to challenge and be challenged in this regard. The fundamental test is not if we have the "right" practices but that we have explicit ones that we are practicing and open to question about.

We commit to Knowledge Ecology Practices which encourage listening, dialogue, participation, openness, inquiry, reflection, sharing and increasing knowledge for ourselves, those around us and the whole corporation or community. We commit to these practices in the context of realization of the synergy between personal growth and expression and organizational productivity. We recognize an ecological orientation when working with knowledge that has a focus on learning, innovation and relationships.

(from a Source Document on Knowledge Ecology - The KE Workgroup)


Discussion below:

Jack there is a distinction between practice and inference that you need to make here. Inference is automated reasoning, practice is socially negotiated interventions and intentioned activities. You can build a practice around inference e.g. where we swap search tool tips and test the tools. DCG 04/15

Thanks Denham, I agree. Applying inference is a practice, though, if it is done intentionally either as it is needed or initiated and left to run automatically --Jack Spivak 04/15

Some of the knowledge practices I have been touting now look like meta-meta-practices, e.g. working, understanding and appreciating the role, significance, available technology and interventions around feedback in knowledge creation, finding, maintaining, communicating or knowledge sharing (which seems to creep into everything) The KMC and others make the high level distinction between natural and artificial sytems and practices and talk of looking at knowledge through the learning level lense. I wonder where these fit? DCG 04/27


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