The field of Knowledge Management was founded on the idea of getting the right information to the right people at the right time. But with technical information doubling every 2 years and predicted to double every 72 hours by the end of 2010, many professionals are flooded rather than helped by information.

The Self-Service Library
Over the last decade the field of Knowledge Management has emerged to help organizations improve their staff’s access to knowledge by building libraries, taxonomies, search and other tools. At the same, professional’s direct computer access led many organizations to let their administrative assistants go. As a result, scientists, engineers and other technical professionals, began to manage their own access to knowledge repository, add documents and meta-data themselves and search them as they would their own personal files. Self-service knowledge libraries, with sophisticated tools became the norm.

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The Tragedy of the Knowledge Commons
At the same time, three changes have made finding relevant information more difficult:

  • The digital infrastructure vastly increased the amount of information professional staff could access.
  • Computerization made it possible to make many drafts of documents, increasing the complexity of the information and links to other documents created branching trees of relevance that staff could easily get lost in.
  • Increased connectivity increased the number of people on teams, often expanding them to global scope with virtual connection.

As a result, rather than getting "the right information at the right time," many professionals spend much more time finding and filing documents, tracking down the right versions, and managing connections. Like the "tragedy of the commons" in the 18th century, individuals are managing what was once managed by people with specific responsibility.

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Linking Knowledge and Decision-Making
There is a completely different way to organize knowledge. Rather than storing it, knowledge can be organized around key decisions. This is a completely different approach to managing knowledge. Using principles from cognitive science, we help you organize information into decision-making frameworks that fit the decision-makers point of view without forcing decision-makers into step by step processes that rob their ability to take short cuts and exercise judgment.

 

 
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