Knowledge mapping is sensemaking

Shawn Callahan at Anecdote says Knowledge mapping is sensemaking

Knowledge mapping should primarily be a sensemaking exercise where people are prompted to discover and consider their knowledge assets, discuss them, argue about them, decide which things or processes are important, and most importantly guide them to a point in order to take some action. Before starting mapping ensure the intention are clear because the map created will depend on its purpose. Some maps are social network charts, some are yellow-pages, while others are simply a matrix showing knowledge assets and their relationship to business processes. In many cases multiple maps are needed and every case it’s important to repeat knowledge mapping on a regular basis. Just like cartographic maps there is never a single map for every purpose. The world is too rich and varied, to include everything, if that was possible, would result in a noisy and confusing picture.

A student in the Center for Learning and Organizational Change has asked two of us to put together a simple workshop on this topic, so it is convenient to see this topic arise.  Our basic approach follows what Shawn suggests here and in his full article: remind people that there is always a larger purpose behind this kind of activity.  Then talk about the general activities one can employ to create a knowledge map.  And wrap up the session with the discussion of how to use the map(s) to help design interventions that change the topography of the map.  Of course, this all gets wrapped up in cases that we have or that the students bring from their experience.

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