Let us go through an exercise of constructing a mental model. To ensure that we follow the wisdom of Gregory Bateson (see previous blog post by clicking here: Q16), we will proceed in this manner: start with data from personal experiences -> discern pattern from the data -> construct mental model including concepts. This scientific methodology is called “grounded theory” because you don’t start at “Cloud 9” but you instead start from the “ground” of experience in the real world.
From your own experiences, what are the ingredients of effective group action? (the question comes from the definition of “knowledge”; click here to see blog post F5)
Get a paper and pencil and please add to my list below:
- physical energy
access to needed information
support from outside
trust on one another
cash and incentives
(Please add to the list from your experiences.)
Next, let us cluster them together. Do you agree with this grouping? Are the members in each group similar enough to warrant the grouping? Do the groups make sense to you?
Then, we place labels on the clusters or groups:
- In F5 we learned that “knowledge” is capacity for effective action (I had written on this in the Overview chapter of a KM book published by the Asian Productivity Organization; click HERE).
- We saw that “know-what” (=knowledge) is not enough; it must be combined with “willing-to” (=motivation); I reported this in a KM conference last year at Kuala Lumpur (click HERE).
- In F1 we saw that the expanded KM framework overlaps with the intellectual capital framework (Click here to download paper to be published by EADI/IKM).
- We learned that intellectual capital has three (mostly intangible) components: human, structural and stakeholder capital, but we also saw that “stakeholder capital” and “customer capital” are too narrow, and must be broadened to “relationship capital” that also includes relationships within the organization (reported in our Singapore paper and also in my Overview chapter of the APO book).
A mental model is double-edged: a good one enables you to see the world better, but a bad one is like a blindfold or blinder that allows you to see only a distorted slice of the world.