I’m in the middle of a really fun research project that questions some of our basic assumptions about “managing” knowledge. The work is sponsored by Coemergence, a company based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
If the metaphors of nature were applied to the world of information technology—instead of the other way around, as typically happens—what might we see differently about how knowledge workers interact with their environments and how to design KM applications that would really help them accomplish the knowledge work they actually do?
This project is a rare opportunity to play with several extremely disparate threads of inquiry which, despite their seeming lack of relationships to each other, have nevertheless been reasonating in my head the last few years. They range from the importance of ambiguity in sense-making, the complex dynamics of Hawaiian rainforests, the quest for insight through conversation and reflection, and of course the sad record of KM applications to really help with knowledge work.
Part of the fun of the project is that I’ve been encouraged to blog some of my research publicly to encourage feedback from the community. The disparate posts related to the project will all be tagged with the category “Coemergence Project” in my new blog, Reflexions.
Meanwhile, a little bit about Coemergence and their primary software solution, ACIS®, in their own words (from their website):
"Put simply, knowledge originates in the minds of people, not machines. The key is to balance automation with the value of continuing human input and analysis —knowledge grows, patterns develop and are revealed, puzzles are solved, actions are taken. ACIS is a software solution for professionals who find, analyze or act on new business opportunities. ACIS gathers and weaves together human intelligence, internal expertise, industry data and external information to yield unprecedented clarity and insights into opportunities and threats in your business environment."