We’ve looked at two topics during the last three days of Harold Jarche's Personal Knowledge Mastery course: narrating one's work and the "seek, sense, share" framework. Here are my related thoughts:
Narrating one's work: Narration here refers to writing about what you do while reflecting on the experience. That means you identify challenges, glean insights, etc. It's a two-part process that doesn't come naturally to me.
First, I rarely consciously step back from my work to think about what I do, how I do it, and why I do it. I tend to take for granted, and even trivialize, what I know and do. I short-circuit self-reflection that stokes curiosity and with it a desire for self-improvement.
Second, such narration is written. I can draw on more than 20 years of personal journaling, so it's a muscle I've developed and used on personal matters. My challenge: cultivate a regular writing practice on professional issues that can make narration insightful, rewarding, and enjoyable.
"Seek, sense, share" framework: After clarifying what to learn, one must identify and gather related information, hone in on what's most relevant and interesting; interpret/analyze/"add value" to it; and share it with others.
As I noted in my post about the first day of this course, I find the initial task (seeking) extremely challenging. Instead, I find it easy to let my mind wander in varied, different directions (e.g., European history, language learning) to the detriment of real insight into topics that matter most in my work every day. So, I'm taking it one small step at a time, by focusing on one work-related subject at a time. I've made great progress in focusing my efforts on Twitter so they're more in line with what I'm working on. I've also resumed using Feedly and Google alerts to collect a consistent stream of information on relevant topics.
I'm struggling with the "sharing" component, as it requires "knowing when, with whom, and how, to share." Indeed, these are acquired skills that run counter to the “share often about anything” mindset that dominates social media. I'm mulling over Harold’s guidance on this matter: to identify what people need and want, first and foremost. Then, share it via a blog post, as it can be sought out at one’s convenience (or shared when appropriate). That approach fits how I’ve attempted to use my blog over the past decade. That said, I hope that time and effort in cultivating a PKM mindset will translate into more consistent posts on important issues.
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