Tuesday, April 19, 2005
"It’s not just what you know, but who you know."
Building successful learning communities is really about enhancing and leveraging what people know, do, and create. So effective learning is as much about people finding and helping other people who can assist them in their own pursuits than it is about just finding and using information
Know-who is a companion to "know-what" and know-how. Using a musical metaphor, it’s a harmonic or contrapuntal line that parallels the other more dominant themes that tend to be more audible. I am using this concept in both of the two companies with which I am involved: In DesignWorlds for Learning
I’ve come up with "Seven Knows" as basic skills:
Know-who (social networking skills, locating the key people and communities where competencies, knowledge and practice reside&endash;and who can add the greatest value to one’s learning and work)
Know-what/ Know-not (facts, information, concepts; how to customize and filter out information, distinguish junk and glitz from real substance, ignore unwanted and unneeded information and interactions)
Know-how (creative skills, social practices, tacit knowing-as-doing, experience)
Know "What-if...?" (simulation, modeling, alternative futures projection)
Know-where (where to seek and find the best information and resources one needs in different learning and work situations)
Know-when (process and project management skills, both self-management and collaborative group processes)
Know/Care-why (reflection and organizational knowing about one’s participation and roles in different communities; being ecological and socially proactive in caring for one’s world and environment).
There are several typical functions that people play in providing value to each other in virtual or online communities:
- Locating or pointing people to good resources
- Brokering (e.g., helping two parties come up with a collaborative project that truly meets the needs of both parties)
- Matchmaking (seeing how resources, knowledge and core competencies of different people and communities can help leverage one another--and referring people to other people who can add value or gain from their interactions together)
- Schmoozing or "kibbitzing" (the kind of informal chatting that goes on around coffee pots, water coolers, in restaurants, bars and coffee houses).
- Related: Who really matters.