Damn, it was first said 2,500 years ago

December 12, 2006

I will, as promised, consider the impact of natural numbers on virtual and physcial communities, but not immediately. Life got very busy this week and I want to think it through and take account of comments here on the blog and also in the originating list serve first. I also want to pick up on Robert Paterson’s comment and question to my earlier blog A return to manege rather than menage in a future post. Not to mention Dave Pollards challenge (why oh why was I singled out for this)

In the meantime I had a fascinating day at KMAP 2006 in Hong Kong. The conference organisers stacked all the keynotes together on one day and made us all listen to each other; an excellent thing as no one, including my good self could fly in and out and we had to learn something rather than just preach. Now I have always been proud of my adaption of Polayni’s We always know more than we can say to read

We always know more than we can say, and we will always say more than we can write down

Its one of my three rules of KM and has stood the test of time. However today I heard the following from a fascinating presentation by Prof Zhongtuo Wang of Dalian University of Technology in China.

Writing could not fully describe what the people want to say; speech could not express what people want to think.

That quote is 2,500 years old in the Chinese tradition and I now have to share all credit with a greater source of wisdom than my own. Prof Wang, Leif Edvinsson (who we may have persuaded to blog now he knows he can do it with pictures) and I all argued for knowledge management practice to arise from and be authentic to asian culture, not copying recipes created and devised for a western engineering environment. Given that one of the basic insights in KM came from that culture, then it is well placed to create a different and appropriate approach to KM.

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