Saturday, February 6, 2016

The ZEN of knowledge management

Another thought blog by Visual Mapper

The ZEN of knowledge management

Nope; I'm not going all spiritual or esoteric on you (well just a little).

ZEN: that mindfulness state we experience when we've found ourselves to be in the zone of personal, academic and business productivity. That zone of pure focus, accelerated thought processing and a kind of connection with or realization of something. That something is often reported to be either deep within ourselves or something outwith our regular consciousness that is influencing us in a way we simply can't put words to.

The Neuroscience folk will say nope; you're simply experiencing new synaptic connections being made in your brain and you're just feeling or emotionalizing a surge of connectivity that you simply can't express other than what you value and believe.

Okay: I go with a mix of the two, as I, probably like you, have been indoctrinated with religiosity and or spirituality from childhood, and yes we are or become, to an extent, what we have been led to believe.

But the Zen of Knowledge Management: what is it? Well like me I believe the knowledge manager may agree with me that the Zen of anything is a mix of the two stated above.

Of course the word Zen is borrowed from eastern religion, a system I personally don't tune into, but for the sake of a definition that almost everyone may relate to, Zen is most certainly a state of mindfulness while performing a task and that task being extremely productive while in other circumstances you may be less productive without Zen.

How do we get to that place of Zen? For me it's very subjective, and my methods may not be your methods, but there is a common Mindset associated with entering into that Zen state. Mindset is in my experience the result of tried and tested processes accomplished by performing procedures that support the task/s at hand. Process is what we do and procedure is how we do what we do.

But in environments, regardless of system, many you may have the opportunity to ask “what is your job here” they'll proceed to tell you how they do their job. Nope it's not semantics, I believe we are conditioned into (just like spirituality and religion) to misunderstand the difference between procedure and process.

Is the Zen of Knowledge Management accomplished by using specific tools? As I stated above, it's very subjective and your methods like mine may not be appropriate or even acceptable to your friends, colleagues, suppliers, clients or employers.

Here's what I've found: The herding instinct of humans comes into play regarding tools, methodologies and mindsets. I've come across many knowledge handlers, workers and thought leaders who use tools that I just can't get my very small brain around. And this is what makes and distinguishes the subjectivity of knowledge management and the resulting Zen experienced.

Here's a short list of tools and methodologies that seems to take some into a Zen like state where the creation, management and exchange (sharing) of data, information and knowledge seems to be of importance.

  • Bullet points (Yup, some say this is it)
  • Infographics (Becoming more popular)
  • Graphical charting (Flow-charts, Gantt & charting in general)
  • Concept mapping (Synaptic mapping for sure)
  • Mind mapping (A huge arena)
  • Knowledge mapping (An expansion on Mind mapping)
  • Cloud computing (May become the core function of human connectivity)
  • Social media/ social software models (Transparency being the accepted norm)
  • Personal database models (May be the encrypted secure and safe preference)


The Zen of Knowledge management is certainly not dependent upon any specific tools, but the tools and methodologies we are exposed to can and often does assist in reaching a mindset that becomes your subjective tool-box for personal, academic and business Zen productivity.

But in any case; I have found my particular approach to knowledge management Zen to be very similar to others who have reached their own experiential Zen.

As usual I blab on and go off on way too many directions, but the focus of reaching your knowledge management zen must be important to you; maybe enough to share what yours is.

What is yours? I'd love to know.

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