Buy-in and PKM

So, I am in this training session for a while, and we are talking about two ways of looking at obtaining buy-in.  One mechanism helps people clearly state what their problem is, and then walks through a long and difficult path to correcting that problem and achieving better performance.  Some might call this a "minus-minus" buy-in: to remove the problem, you have to take drastic action.  This is also the traditional way TOC discusses the buy-in process.

The other buy-in process doesn't focus so much on the current reality.  It looks toward a vision of some great new future, and then walks people through the changes that are required to get there.  While there is work that must be done, the view of this process is primarily positive: we want the new objective and are willing to do anything to get it. 

The TOC community has realized how different these two buy-in mechanisms are.  And in Viable Vision projects has started using the plus buy-in process, rather than the minus-minus buy-in process to apparently good effect.

So, what is the personal knowledge management connection?  Eli Goldratt wrote about both types of buy-in in his book, It's Not Luck, published in 1994.  He then promptly forgot about the plus process in his work since then. 

How many things do I know that I have forgotten?  (Just like my earlier post on email triage - how much have I deleted that might be useful.)  The issue is the same: I barely recognize that I am forgetting something, much less do I know whether I am going to need it again.  PKM isn't only about making stuff available (technology), it is also about creating personal mechanisms to interact with the stuff I have and to recall it at appropriate times.  And, critically, there needs to be an element of interacting with other people who can help me make those connections and re-connect with the things I already know.

And then we take this into the organization.  People need to interact with one another, pose questions, challenge, think out loud, hear stories.  A content repository is going to help with this level of recall.

2 Comment(s)

jackvinson Author Profile Page said:

Update: Feedback from a colleague who was at the training says that the book (It's Not Luck) only suggested the existence of a different buy-in mechanism. It was not discussed in detail as the minus-minus process was discussed.

Time for me to read again.

» Models of behavioral change from Knowledge Jolt with Jack

Luke Niasmith has a nice pair of images, one from Robinson, and another that reverses the positive effect. They depect 7 Steps to Behavior Change. Read More

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