Alex Tarbok on Marginal revolution wrote “Improving But Not Learning by Doing” looking at a paper “Causal understanding is not necessary for the improvement of culturally evolving technology” — which has interesting things to say to those interested in knowledge management. In short it demonstrates that the complex problems we have today need to be approached multi-dimension approach, in short system thinking is required to do true knowledge management.
Throughout the six stages we need to be evaluating for complexities and interfaces. It is very easy to think in a silo and then create bigger problems done the line.
The DIKW pyramid is a great resource to keep in mind here.
- Data comprises facts, observations, or perceptions
- Information is a subset of data, only including those data that possess context, relevance, and purpose
- Knowledge is Information with direction, i.e., leads to appropriate actions
- Wisdom is the understanding of the why
I know that in many knowledge management models wisdom is often discounted, but that is to our detriment. Quality is often all about the why, whether a regulatory commitment, or a deep understanding of history, or as is relevant here , the relationship between parts of a complex system (or the interrelationship between systems).