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KM & Business Goals 2004/ 1 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. People-Centered KM Situation-Handling and Mental Models: Stories Drive People-Centered KM Master Class 2004 Karl M. Wiig Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Arlington, TX phone: (817) fax: (817) –– website:
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 2 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Master Class Rationale All deliberate actions are guided by models – models of situations and of how to handle them. To support performance, effective KM makes use of the best understanding of knowledge-related processes – such as the most relevant and reliable cognitive sciences results in the case of people. This master class focuses on the role that stories play in learning and in structuring the mental reference models used for handling situations – by people and organizations.
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 3 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Stories Provide Structure to Mental Models It is always difficult to integrate separate knowledge and information objects into coherent wholes By engaging in conceptual blending, stories tie together concepts, judgments and other objects into mental spaces that provide meaningful structure, organization, and relationships Stories cover many abstraction levels: How-To, Know-That, Know-Why, Patterns and Metaphors Stories complement theories and principles
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 4 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Example: The Manager Uses Incentives to Influence Employee Behavior to Achieve Enterprise Performance
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 5 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Mental Reference Models Are Behind All Actions!
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 6 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. How Does the Manager Learn the Relations between Employee Behavior and Enterprise Performance? From personal experiences mostly remembered as stories but also generalized as meaningful relations By learning about and remembering stories of how people behaviors have influenced performance Best Practice stories Experiences related by other practitioners By studying business theory By formulating within her own mind cohesive understanding of how and why various incentives work – by building mental reference models
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 7 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. How Does the Manager Learn to Influence Employees? By learning about and remembering stories of how people have reacted to incentives Best Practice stories Experiences related by other practitioners Stories of personal experiences with incentives By studying HR, psychology, and business theory By formulating within her own mind cohesive understanding of how and why various incentives work – by building mental reference models
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 8 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. How Can Knowledge Management Strengthen the Manager’s Knowledge? Examples of KM Approaches: Transfer employees to new roles Communities of Practice Use business simulations to build mental reference models for many different situations Apprenticing and Shadowing Examples of important knowledge: Judgment about which factors are important Understand market reactions to enterprise behaviors Understand people reactions to incentives Understand deployment of incentives
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 9 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Our Work Is Becoming More Complex
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 10 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Most Decisions Are Nonconscious and Result from Activating Mental Reference Models!
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 11 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Strategic Action Models People Imitate their Role Models!
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 12 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Mental Reference Models “Give me an example I can adapt to fit my problem!” People Imitate Prior Behaviors and Organizations Reenact Past Practices People making decisions, to the largest extent possible, rely on past experiences People and organizations adapt and execute reference models to imitate prior successes and avoid prior failures They build large libraries of reference behavior patterns
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 13 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Mental Reference Models Are Stories Stories, provide the basic structure and often the origin of mental reference models It Is Always Hard to Grasp the Whole Coherently Stories Are Unsurpassed for Effective Communication We Rely on Stories to Tackle New Problems Stories Help Us Learn Better Stories and Mental Simulations
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 14 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. From Sensemaking to Effective Actions
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 15 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Situations Are Mostly Dynamic Copyright © 2003 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc.
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 16 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Sensemaking Reference Models Situation Recognition reference models to: Analyze, verify and validate the incoming information that describes the situation Maintain situational awareness to ascertain that the situation is considered in its relevant context Create reliable understanding of the situation Communicate understanding to Decision- Making/Problem-Solving
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 17 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Decision-Making/Problem-Solving Reference Models This large library of reference models ranges from concrete action models, scripts, abstract schemata, to metaknowledge models and are used to: Assess if routine or novel approaches are pertinent for handling the situation Innovate, create and explore effective and desirable action-options to handle the situation Evaluate the potential implications of the created Action-Options relative to situation objectives and Implementation feasibility Communicate Action-Option to Implementation
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 18 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Implementation Reference Models Execution Method reference models are used to: Interpret and understand the Action-Option intents and how to implement it effectively Plan and manage the Implementation process Secure and manage required resources Improvise and innovate to adjust Implementation to actual conditions
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 19 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Monitoring Reference Models Governance Approach reference models to: Ascertain that Situation-Handling is performed to fulfill context and enterprise objectives best possible Help the process become the most effective possible in spite of limited information, limited knowledge, changing conditions, lacking motivation, and all other obstacles
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 20 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Effective Actions Are Needed at All Levels
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 21 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Missing Mental Reference Models Lead to: Focus on first-order and short-term results while disregarding long-term implications Delays and procrastination when people are uncertain about how to proceed Misunderstandings and frustrations when people do not share insights and perspectives Work errors and costly mistakes when people lack the requisite expertise Dissatisfied customers who are not understood well
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 22 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Remember: Most Scientific Knowledge Is Built from Observations of Real-Life Events that Initially May Be Represented by Stories Insights – including new perspectives that lead to further study and research – are typically noted or discovered when “something” happens. A story is established when “that” happens And it is the story that is remembered and told
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 23 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Stories are the normal and most effective way of providing the context, structure, real meaning, metaphors and overall understanding of complex topic areas – and their relations to other parts of the system in which they exist. Hence, stories – the portrayals of actors, the telling of conflicts and relationships, the illumination of objectives and drives, the identification of threats and opportunities, and all the other aspects of interesting situations – are interesting and difficult but ever so important!
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 24 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Thank You!
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 25 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Additional Slides
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 26 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Individual Actions Build Corporate Behavior and Performance Our customers must experience uniformly helpful and innovative behavior from all parts of our company. They must obtain competitive benefits from their relationships with us
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 27 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Small Actions Lead to Broad Behavior R&D-Marketing Engineering Manufacturing Delivery & Start-Up
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 28 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Knowledge & Information Are Different!
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 29 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Topic Knowledge and Metaknowledge
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 30 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Topic Knowledge at Five Conceptual Levels
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 31 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. We Possess Knowledge in Many Domains
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 32 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Metaknowledge Has Many Elements
KM & Business Goals 2004/ 33 Copyright © 2004 Knowledge Research Institute, Inc. Examples of Comprehensive Knowledge
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