The offending section (that ticked off the consultant)

I posted about how I managed to tick off a consultant when I included a short section on a kind of what-is-knowledge …

Well, here is the offending writing … (keep in mind that this is only one page in a collection of learner materials for a classroom workshop) …

What Is Knowledge?

“Knowledge is a very difficult thing to define, but without some sense of the difference between information and knowledge, you run the risk of confusing the two and developing a confused approach to Knowledge Transfer that falls prey to hazards …

We have an intuitive sense that knowledge is broader, deeper, and richer than data or information. Knowledge is information plus something – meaning, action, organization, patterns of behavior or whatever …

Knowledge is information plus contexts of a variety of types.”

Reamy, T (2001, August 9). Knowledge Maps, An intellectual infrastructure for KM. InsideKnowledge, 5, Retrieved August 5, 2007.




We have a document that is a procedure statement. It contains pieces of information like, “When you finish Step X, the next step is Y.”

There are a number of additional contexts through which this information becomes knowledge:
* Historical: We used to do Y before X, but it led to all sorts of problems.
* Applicability: This procedure only applies to customers with deposits totaling more than $100,000.
* Personal: An associate has never read this procedure document before; therefore, does not know the sequence of steps.
* Value: Following this procedure is important because if you do not, the company will be liable for up to $10 million in fines.
* Relatedness: This procedure is similar to procedure P in the enterprise; but it differs in the following ways: L, M and N.

And then I included notes in the facilitator guide to guide the learners through some examples …

The entire point being that unless you delve into some of the contexts that make up a body of knowledge, then all you’re doing is collecting out-of-date, irrelevant and incomplete information. And that is a sure way to fail at Knowledge Transfer.


About Rory

I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
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