PKM and small business

There is one group that probably has the most need for professional development but has the least time – owners of small businesses. My parents owned a small business. They worked seven days a week. They never took any training courses. I am sure that if they were working today, they still would not take any formal instruction, but they might be active searchers on Google or YouTube. They might use Facebook or a website to stay in touch with their customers.

Several years ago I tracked small business blogs with some interesting examples such as a sign company, a coffee roaster, and a metal fabricator.  Some have gone out of business and others have stopped blogging but there a few that continue. One was highly successful. A lot can be learned from all of these. I wonder if many small business owners have looked at what others have done with blogging over the past decade. It’s not about SEO (search engine optimization) it’s about staying connected to customers, suppliers and communities, and continuously learning. (more…)

Good Friday Finds

Which Comes First: Engaged Employees or Customer Success? via @OscarBerg


Friday’s Finds #216

You want to have tools to help employees get work done. Those tools are no longer the HR systems of performance management and compensation. — those don’t help to get your work done. What we’re seeing is heavy adoption of work management tools, task management, collaboration, file-sharing and so forth. People need tools to connect, to share knowledge, to build community and culture and, ultimately, to get their work done, which is about serving customers.

@AndrewJacobsLDOne Man’s Magic …

If you have a washing line, do you need to continually update your tumble dryer?
Does not having a tumble dryer put you at a disadvantage?
Is this a problem that learning technology suppliers have – how to sell us a more efficient tumble dryer?
Does knowing which clothes dry best in which circumstances make THAT much of a difference?


Organizing Talent

The opposite of ‘routine’ is ‘original’

Labour is routine. Talent is original. Even advanced technical Labour can be in essence routine. As Labour, once you learn how to do something, you are able to repeat it. Labour is the capitalist dream for human effort, because it can be quantified, controlled, and replaced. Labour is viewing humans as resources. What is becoming blindingly obvious is that Labour is increasingly getting automated which is disrupting how most people have worked for the past century, by doing a job.

On the other hand, original work has high task variety and requires continuous learning, as well as significant tacit knowledge that cannot easily be codified. Talent that does original work is difficult to replace. This means that Talent is much more difficult to push around. (more…)

Ten Years, Ten Thoughts

In compiling my ebook, Seeking perpetual beta: a guidebook for the network era, I tried to cover all the posts that resonated with readers, clients, and colleagues over a decade. Here are some highlights, representing one thought per year.

  1. Taking control of our learning is a challenge for individuals used to working inside hierarchies that demand conformity and compliance.
  2. The mainstream application of knowledge management and learning management over the past few decades was mostly wrong; we over-managed information, knowledge and learning because it was easy to do.
  3. The basic structure of the job presumes common skills and the mechanistic view that workers can be replaced without disruption. (more…)

Knowledge sharing paradox revisited

The knowledge sharing paradox is that enterprise social tools can constrain what they are supposed to enhance. People will freely share their knowledge if they remain in control of it because knowledge is a very personal thing. Knowledge workers care about what they need to get work done, but do they care about the organizational knowledge base?

So my conclusion this time around was that the centralized stuff we spent so much time and money maintaining was simply not very useful to most practitioners. The practitioners I talked to about PPI [personal productivity improvement] said they would love to participate in PPI coaching, provided it was focused on the content on their own desktops and hard drives, and not the stuff in the central repositories. – Dave Pollard (2005) (more…)

Seeking perpetual Beta


After 10 years of blogging here, I have compiled my best posts into an ebook. It’s called Seeking perpetual Beta: a guidebook for the network era. Instead of digging through over 2,500 posts on this site, now you can read a cohesive narrative that covers learning, working, and managing in the emerging network era. This ebook is the result of a decade of seeking, sense-making, and sharing knowledge on the Web.

Scroll down to read the introduction and table of contents.

The ebook can be purchased for $25 (13% HST incl for Canadian purchasers)

Upon making your purchase, you will receive an email within 24 hours (usually much quicker) to the address you provide PayPal. It will contain 2 PDF’s (total 1 MB) formatted for smartphone and tablet. The latter is suitable for printing. (more…)

Medicine, Mistakes and the Reptilian Brain

Pasteur said that discovery favoured the prepared mind. A diagnosis, also a discovery, must favour the prepared mind. Yet medical schools have been inattentive to preparing the mind to meet the patient, inattentive to errors, inattentive to attention, inattentive to inattention, and inattentive to the study of the self which is to be inattentive to the minefield within. – JMM

medicine mistakes reptilian brainDr. John Mary Meagher has over 40 years experience as an emergency physician. In Medicine, Mistakes and the Reptilian Brain, he combines lessons from health care, aviation, and some of the greatest thinkers in history to examine why mistakes are made and how to develop methods to overcome the reptile within all of us. While focused on physicians, there are many lessons that anyone can take from this book.

Dr. Meagher identifies three core tendencies that increase errors in medical practice:

  1. Apathy
  2. Haste
  3. Egoism (more…)