Sunday, September 29, 2013

About knowledge

The other day I was asked to comment on "knowledge" as a competency. My immediate reaction: No, without parameters it's not a competency. In other words: knowledge of what? And, to what degree (depth, breadth, etc)?

My reaction was somewhat vindicated by this posting from Laurence Prusak who writes the Knowledge Notebook column for NASA's ASK online magazine. In a column entitled "The Greeks had many words for it", we learn that the Greeks did indeed have seven words for knowledge, whereas in English we have only one.

Ergo, Prusak tells us:

Unlike our shared understanding of almost any other term used in organizations—technology, systems, information, data, markets, processes—we seem to lack a common idea of what knowledge is. This makes working with knowledge quite problematic
Thus the idea of knowledge competency -- which implies an ability to manage knowledge (knowledge management being somehow an organizational competency ... another thing I don't buy without parameters) -- just doesn't compute! Of course, wikipedia begs to differ, having as they do an article on just about everything (click here to save everything?) and thus on knowledge management.

Now, I'm all for being knowledgeable... who wouldn't be? But, some parameters required!

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