KMbeing

Knowledge Mobilization (KMb): Multiple Contributions & Multi-Production Of New Knowledge

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Breaking Down Barriers For Community-University Knowledge

collaboration

Universities have traditionally been perceived as the primary sources for research knowledge.  Knowledge barriers have been broken down, and the idea of community-university partnerships is taking hold, as research knowledge is now more collaborative and community-engaging.

Knowledge Can Be Shared For Good Or Harm

harmful

How do we measure the action of sharing knowledge for social benefit?  Does the person who shares this knowledge have greater value than those who refuse to share knowledge for social benefit? Does the act of refusing to share knowledge for social benefit contribute to greater ignorance or harm? Knowledge can be shared for good or harm. Which makes the world a better place?

 

Knowledge Continues To Grow

BWO_038

Knowledge when shared for social benefit can stretch over boundaries and create new knowledge and new understanding. It never stays the same and continues to grow.

Change & Uncertainty For Gaining Knowledge

question mark

If we can recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles of gaining knowledge, we can face the future with the understanding that we do not know enough but can make a difference by being open to learning something new, taking chances, sharing our knowledge – and in due course create new knowledge to pass on to someone else.

Currently, I’m wondering about my future career direction in my life. I currently have a great job as Knowledge Exchange Events and Resources Planner with an amazing team in the Knowledge Exchange Unit at The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) – but it’s a contract position, funding is coming to an end, and so is my employment. I left a long career in hospitality (over 15 years), making a big jump and decision to take a chance, make a change and face some uncertainty to take a temporary job. I left the security of a guest service career, with the full knowledge that my new job was only a three-month contract. In so doing I enabled a new, but unknown future outside the hospitality industry.

I faced change and uncertainty, yet gained new knowledge. I’m contributing my own knowledge to the job at CAMH, while also meeting and working with some great professionals as we exchange further knowledge. And I am thankful to those who gave me that chance.

A few years ago, I couldn’t kick the feeling that the former 15 year career path I was on was just an extended detour for the path I should really be on. While still working as a flight attendant, I went back to school, graduated with a B.A. in Psychology – got on the Dean’s Honour Roll – did a lot of volunteer work, increased my skills, networked with a bunch of people in knowledge mobilization (KMb), started writing this KMbeing blog, was named among the top ten knowledge mobilization influencers in Canada in 2011 and 2012 – and changed the direction of my life and my resume.

For those of you who have been long-time readers of my KMbeing blog, you’ll remember when I made my first jump out of the hospitality pond to work at Kobo, learning valuable skills as an Executive Assistant, and the difficult challenges I encountered when I had to work supporting someone (think of Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada) who is no longer working for Kobo (too late for me).

Devil Wears Prada

I loved the job and the chance to support others in this environment – and I gained some incredible knowledge (perhaps the hard way). The personality of the person I was supporting wasn’t the big problem for me. I can deal with different personality types. The problem was that this person kept expecting me to do some personal, non-work related things that interfered with what I was expected to do in the job, and because of this person’s position in the company there was little recourse. I still have friends from Kobo who recognized the situation and supported the reason I decided to leave.  I was disappointed, but, had I not taken that chance, I would not have gained that valuable knowledge to deal differently with such a challenge in the future.

I was fortunate to land on my feet and find a job working for a great hotel as a guest service agent at The King Edward Hotelback in the hospitality industry. You have to pay the bills somehow – and hospitality is what I know, not necessarily what I wanted to do. I started getting that detour feeling again, and wondered if all of the effort I had put into moving out of hospitality had gone to waste.

Don’t get me wrong. The dedicated hotel staff and my ability to provide excellent customer service along with some sincerely caring, and hard working people (some who have since become friends) made me feel so much at home. With my love of history and writing, the King Edward Hotel was an ideal subject for another interesting blog that I started writing while working there, trying to get management to recognize some of my further skills. I tried to see about transitional opportunities within the hotel from hospitality to administration or communications; unfortunately, no opportunities presented themselves.

Then the CAMH temporary contract position came along, working back in an academic/research environment. More change and uncertainty, but I took the chance. And now more change and uncertainty, but an opportunity to gain more knowledge and contribute some of my own.

resume

So now, I’ve started sending out my resume again, and when I don’t receive an acknowledgement of it, I don’t take it personally. I don’t think there must be something wrong with me that will prevent someone from even wanting to interview me for a position. I don’t start second-guessing myself and my valuable skills, or wonder if I made a mistake to leave the security of hospitality and guest services behind. Fortunately, I also have a connection with an employment placement agency to ease some of the insecurity.

I know, it’s the deep feeling of confidence in me and the passion I feel about my choice in wanting to change my career path that assures me – I haven’t made a mistake. I recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles of gaining knowledge.

The paradox is that gaining knowledge takes time but gaining knowledge also happens in every second.

I really don’t know enough about a potential employer’s situation to allow myself to be negative or depressed after I’ve sent my resume off.  I don’t know if an internal candidate was chosen before all others, or if someone with more specific experience or education was chosen.  I don’t know if there was a lot of discussion about me, or if others thought I should be interviewed, or if, ultimately, the boss wanted someone else for reasons that have nothing to do with my own skills and experience. And besides, it’s a great, big world out there with plenty of other people with valued skills and knowledge. I just need to continue to have confidence and show my passion, continue to put it out there, and when given a chance – be thankful when that chance finally happens.

crystal ball

I don’t believe in crystal balls to see into the future. I don’t know what lies ahead in a few weeks or months from now (perhaps I’ll write about it in a future blog to let you know) – but I do know there will be more change and uncertainty. I also know that had I not jumped into taking this temporary job – and changed my career path – I would not have had this chance to gain more knowledge that will make it possible for me to accept another longer-lasting position that’s much more suited to me and for me in the future.

We must recognize that we always face change and uncertainty and that our knowledge should never be scripted, for our knowledge scripts are always altered everyday. If we can relax and let life take its course, we can get much more out of life and living, and we can be optimistic enough to know that we can gain knowledge from change and uncertainty if we take a chance. As Dale Carnegie once said…

Take a chance! All life is a chance. The person who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.

Knowledge Before It’s Too Late

before it's too late

One of the greatest challenges for most of us is our hesitation to share knowledge with others – before it’s too late.

In my lifetime, I’ve seen many people come in and out of my life, and there have been some incredible occasions where I’ve been able to learn so much from others by sharing knowledge. Many of these people I’ll probably never see again and never get the chance to tell them how much the knowledge they shared with me has helped me in developing my own knowledge, and to share this knowledge even further with others.

There are other people I still see regularly, and I try not to miss opportunities to share knowledge. We all have unique life experiences and we all have knowledge to share. I also try not to miss opportunities to tell others how grateful I am that they have shared their life experiences of knowledge with me. If it means a lot to me to hear this from others, then I hope it means a lot to others to hear it from me.

One of my major problems early in my life was that I spent much of my time thinking that others weren’t really interested in the knowledge I had to share with them. I use to think that my knowledge was useless, stupid, and not good enough. In short, I use to think that any knowledge I had to share couldn’t possibly make a difference in making the world a better place. As a boy and a young man, I shied away from sharing my knowledge because I was sure that it just didn’t matter.  As a young adult, that thought was so deeply ingrained in me, I could hear a voice saying “you’re stupid” in my head, guiding my actions and guarding my interactions with others. I use to have a hard time fighting my way past it – and sometimes I still do. But I’ve learned some valuable lessons when I’ve been brave enough to open up and share my knowledge with others. And from sharing my own knowledge, others have shared their knowledge with me from their own life experiences, and we have created new knowledge together.

It’s really unfortunate that we don’t spend more time sharing our knowledge with others.  While I’m sure there are some people who feel as awkward as I use to feel, as long we are sincere and tell others we value what they have to say, no matter how “limited” they may think their own knowledge is, most people will appreciate the opportunity to share their own knowledge from their own life experiences. As these are the moments when we can learn to make the world a better place.

Sharing knowledge with others with this intention in mind people can help us all to contribute in a very real and very positive way to the world in which we live, for the more people there are in the world who feel their knowledge is valued, the more people there will be in the world who are able to share their knowledge with others – before it’s too late!

Essential Components Of Knowledge

essential components

What do you consider to be essential components of knowledge for social benefit to make the world a better place?

Is It Worth It To Share Knowledge?

worth it

Is it worth it to share knowledge for social benefit if it doesn’t make the world a better place?

With One Piece Of Knowledge

change the world

If you could change the world to make it a better place with one piece of knowledge you’ve learned in your life – what would it be?

Your Unique Knowledge Fingerprint

Finger print tree

A person’s knowledge may be called ignorant, useless, mocked and devalued, but our knowledge – stemming from all of our personal life experiences – is always knowledge, and is always our own knowledge.

Others can say all the negative things they want about you and your knowledge, but the only way that it will affect you is if you allow their words to affect you.  Again, your knowledge is your own knowledge, all the good, bad and ugly of the experiences that make up all of your knowledge in your lifetime. Just as your fingerprint is unique to you – so too is your knowledge to share with others.

Your knowledge – any of it at anytime in your life experience – can always teach others something, whether you think it’s “limited” or not.  

But knowledge on its own, without turning it into action is limited. It’s like having hands and fingers (and fingerprints) without ever using them.

It’s how we share our knowledge; combine our knowledge to make the world a better place that creates the most value.

Some people are so insecure that they try to hurt others by knocking even the slightest amount of knowledge that a person may have, to take away their dignity or self-esteem.  But if we believe a cruel, insecure person’s view that our knowledge is useless, if we let them take away our dignity, what does that say about how we see our own knowledge, about how we see ourselves?

People have acquired knowledge in war, in prison, in concentration camps, in abuse, in difficult social situations, in loss, in love, in friendship, in ignorance, in education, in failure and in success – why shouldn’t we value any of the knowledge we have where we are, right here and right now? 

But again, knowledge on its own, without turning it into action is limited.

A person’s knowledge always has some value. Sharing our knowledge for social benefit creates greater value, and is always worth it. When we share our knowledge with this understanding and intention – we can use our own knowledge to make the world a better place.

Sharing Your Knowledge To Reconnect

reconnect

When you feel alone and disconnected from the world, take the first small step to share your knowledge to make the world a better place to reconnect.