Definition — “Knowledge management is the name of a concept in which an enterprise consciously and comprehensively gathers, organizes, shares, and analyzes its knowledge in terms of resources, documents, and people skills.”(SearchDomino.com, 2007)
I really didn’t know where to post this little scenario that was inspired by an article in the 2007 Kauffman Foundation Thoughtbook. Bill Strickland has received grants from the McArthur “Genius” program, three Grammys, and holds a seat on the NEA board. He is the CEO and President of Manchester Craftmen’s Guild and the Bidwell Training Center.
So I sat down with Joe. A teenager from the Central High School District sent over for career counseling. It was his first time at the center and he was nervous about his future.
I had a rolled up scroll in my hand and he became fascinated with it because of the bright blue and gold ribbon that kept it from unrolling. He couldn’t resit in asking “What is that scroll?” . I rolled it around a little on the desk between us and said “ This is your future, your plan….” Joe then leaned over to it and said “ OK, I want to see it. Can I open it?”.
Joe took the scroll with apprehension and started to take off the ribbon. “How do you know what my future is? There is no way. I mean we don’t even know each other” . He then unrolled it and looked very disappointed. “ There’s nothing here!”. He said in complete surprise. “ Does this mean I have no future? No life? I thought I was going to get a job or something. “
I told Joe that there is a future for him but, he still looked very sad. “ What do I do now? I’ve missed my classes and need to go back. I have this crazy clay pot I made for Mr. Dudmore. You know that guy who has the ceramics class.” Joe then showed me the small clay pot he had made. I let him know that he had done a great job and that Mr. Dudmore would be very happy with it.
OK Joe. Keep the scroll on the table and put the pot on it. He had replaced his disappointed look with doubt.”Why? Well OK. So what does this mean, now?” The pot is empty and the scroll is empty. “Yeah and so what?” Joe said . “Take a close look at them. The pot is a pot and the scroll is a scroll right?” I said. “What is the pot for?” Joe seemed a little more annoyed. “To put things in of course!” Joe moved the pot around a little like he was trying to figure out what else it could be used for. Then I asked him “ What do you use a scroll for” He replied “ To write stuff on I suppose.” He then rolled his eyes. “ Joe, think about this. A pot is a pot even if it is empty and a scroll is a scroll even if it is blank. You are like the pot…” Joe made a humphing sound. “ OK you say I’m a pot?” “Like a pot not a pot. And your looking for helpful words like a scroll without anything written on it.” “Now come on, this is sounding screwy” Joe mumbled with concern.
“Joe you came here to see what your future might hold. You came here for a plan. But, you have also come here ready to be filled with ‘wise words’ from a counselor that really doesn’t know you. You know I can’t see your real future. There’s no way I can even if I sit here and tell what schools to go to for more training, what classes to take or even who else to talk with. This is why the scroll is blank. I can guide you and your parents can help you. But, it’s up to you to write the script of your future, to make the right decisions or even mistakes that you learn from. But what is even more important is to fill yourself, like the pot, with learning, sharing, growing, and compassion about how you will use that script on that scroll to shape your life.”
“Well that’s it for now!” I said “That’s it? I’ve been here for only 15 minutes. I thought it was to be at least an hour”. Joe snapped back into reality “Isn’t there more to this stuff? I thought you would give me junk to read and apply for and all that other stuff.” “Well, I think that’s enough for today. Come back next week and then we can talk about the future you want.” I said. Joe got up looking kind of stunned and walked away talking to himself about pots and Mr. Dudmore.
This is what happens to some KM PhD students during seminars…
Knowledge Management what is it, why is it, can I use it on my kids?
This section will probably have a lot of drabble and such.