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3 Types of Knowledge

KMb (Knowledge Mobilization)

I recently read and enjoyed The Blog of Steve Schwartz: No One Knows What the F*** They’re Doing (or “The 3 Types of Knowledge”).  Schwartz humorously states there are 3 types of knowledge, “There’s the shit you know, the shit you know you don’t know, and the shit you don’t know you don’t know.” He even illustrates the categories using a simple pie chart:

Although this uncomplicated approach to knowledge may seem slightly vulgar or crude, it does bring up the importance of knowledge mobilization in helping to widen the first category. Schwartz rightly points out that there is a “disconnect” between the proported goal of education and experience and the actual goal of education and experience. Scwartz makes the bold statement that…

“Everyone is as Clueless as You, If Not More”

…and he’s right.  Which is why the more we share our knowledge and collaborate using social media and social collaboration the more connected we become in knowledge – as well as in society.  For a further interesting read see The Relationship Economy.Sharing knowledge is the key element in breaking down not only intellectual barriers, but social barriers as well. There will always be stuff in the last two categories, but that doesn’t mean these divisions are static and unchangeable.

The flip-side of this equation is that once you take the step to learn more about the stuff “you know you don’t know”, you might just learn something about the stuff “you don’t know you don’t know”.

By putting available knowledge “into active service” – letting others know what you know, being open to the stuff that others know, and learning the stuff that others know – we might just be able to make our own knowledge  section of the pie much bigger.

On Twitter, I recently retweeted @Machobudda who points out…

“Not every bit of it (knowledge) is even of INTEREST to everyone”

and he’s right.  But even if you’re not interested at least you still have the knowledge.  It may be knowledge that’s different from yours, knowledge that you don’t necessarily agree with – but it’s still knowledge.

So keep scanning the web, keep sharing stories verbally or literarily, keep listening to what others have to say (locally and globally) in blogs or in journal logs – and keep sharing your knowledge. And then you’ll be taking a bigger piece of the pie!

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