Network Key Skill - More than Knowledge-able  

I watched a great video lecture by Michael Wesch - Kansas State University who most people know from the various YouTube videos including Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us.

At the very end of the video Wesch ends with the thought that students needed to go from:




At first, I thought - that’s great. A really good turn of phrase that captures the essence of the what this transition is all about. However, after thinking about it for a while, I realized that it may be a little misleading.

I agree that what’s in your head is far less important given the ubiquity of information look-up. Your ability to do something with that information is far more important.

However, when I think about key skills gaps that exist and the biggest changes in knowledge work, it’s more about People, Expertise Finding, Networking, Collaboration, Virtual Teams, etc. If you look at the poll results on work skills opportunities - the top areas of need are (in order as of July 1, 2008):

  • Find - Includes Search, Evaluate, Narrow / Adjust 5% (13 votes)

So, while information is much more readily accessible and that changes some aspects of knowledge work, the bigger change is the ready access to more people and more of what they know. The key question is often “Who?” and not “What?” - yet most knowledge workers are not familiar with asking this question and finding ways to leverage collective wisdom.

So, while enabling people to become more Knowledge-able - I think the greater opportunities is to make them Network-able, Collaborate-Able, etc. And most people who think about Knowledge-able - don’t think Who - they think what.