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I first encountered the term "knowledge management" in a 1989 edition of Ziff-Davis' PC Computing magazine in an article called "Rethinking the office" by Duncan B. Sutherland, Jr. Duncan is/was a designer and futurist, and from the moment I encountered that term in 1989, the game was on. Full-text of the article is unavilable--I have the hard copy buried somewhere in my files. Duncan intorduced the term "officing" in the article which he used for a more holistic design ethos necessary for enabling knowledge work. Alas officing never caught on. You can also dig up this wonder monograph that Duncan edited while working for Matsushita
Tanks Bill for this very provocative. I think it points to a number of issues as we move into the future in terms of the need for a new kind of literacy and awareness of how to design and optimize our interactions in social reality and networked space. At this point, as individuals, we're constrained to a brute force mode of rolling through all the different streams we encounter, each imposing its own cognitive requirements, refresh models, and with varying layers of active or passive involvement. In the near future we're going to need to break these streams up into constituents, then re-form them, applying the appropriate semantic glue in order to maintain their coherence. This is the big challenge for adoption, as I see it, of a really semantically-aware information universe.
Bill-thanks for the synthesis. I regret not making it to the show, and Dave Snowden is nothing, if not provocative. I do wonder, though, with all the thought-work done to extend the idea of resilient organizations whether any public company will, in fact, be able to achieve it, given the unceasing demands of the capital markets to produce return, set against a background of increasingly unsustainable assumptions about the primacy of consumption. There's a fundamental disruption that I think companies are starting to face that their only option with regard to management structures is to try to put a human face on increasingly exploitative modes and measures. I came across a notion recently that may provide an adequate pivot point -- the "B Corp". I have not stake in this, but B Corporations are an avenue to instantiate balance and true stakeholder capitalism. Because from what I'm observing, attempts at reforming companies within the current paradigm of shareholder-driven capitalism are lipstick on a pig, at best.
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Nov 20, 2010