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Two memories immediatley come to my mind. One of a company I worked for back in high school. They had purchased a computer back in the punch key and data tape days. They immediatly put it to work generating report after report. They then filed those reports. 12 years later they hired a document shredding service to dispose of the old reports to make room for more recent ones. The worst part... No one ever looked at the reports. The other is my college fraternity. They modify bylaws, create rules and inevetably repeat the same cycle every four years as older wise members leave taking the lessons learned with them. One is an example of useless knowledge aquisition and the other of knowledge lost. Your post makes a very valid point. What are we to gain? The potential is knowledge not lost but passed forward. The danger is a trivial obsession with the process of capturing it. The answer lies in the middle. Most of the meetings I attend are, in fact, useless. They involve rhetoric and never create anything. Knowledge management is a great tool but individuals must be able to apply the gained knowledge. I do not claim to have any answer for I am currently struggling with the issue myself. I do know one thing though. I can learn more on the Internet in one week than I could in a semester at college. I can also find information much quicker than I could at the best library. I also know that I have been able to correspond with people who are experts on such matters. This was not possible before the Internet. I am also able to grab thier OPML list and sift through filtered information. My point is simple. It is a tool just like a meeting. How it is applied matters most. I hope it washes that way for every one else as well.
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