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Experts, verbinders.. waar gaat het om in de toekomst?

Op 10 maart werken we in een interactief webinar met Harold Jarche. Deze blog dient als opstap voor het onderwerp wat we dan met elkaar willen verkennen: welke waarde heeft kennis in de huidige kennismaatschappij? En vanuit welke rol of rollen kunnen we een goede bijdrage blijven leveren aan gezamenlijke kennisontwikkeling?

Vroeger was je expert door ‘hoog’ in de hiërarchie te zitten: manager, senior, CEO. Wat is vandaag de dag de waarde van expertise? Neem het voorbeeld van artsen die dagelijks worden geconfronteerd met patiënten die een ziekte hebben. Die gaan zelf op zoek naar informatie over deze ziekte, hebben ook toegang tot betrouwbare bronnen en nemen soms meer tijd zich te verdiepen dan de arts. Je zou kunnen zeggen dat patiënten co-managers worden van hun gezondheid.

De hiërarchie lijkt vervangen te worden door ‘hyperlinks’: de verbindingen die je hebt met anderen. Harold Jarche zegt hierover: ik heb een bepaalde hoeveelheid kennis en vaardigheden, maar mijn grootste toegevoegde waarde zit in mijn netwerk. Wordt individuele kennis niet langzaam aan vervangen door gezamenlijke kennis? Harold Jarche onderscheidt vier rollen die je kunt vervullen: de consumer, de connector, de catalyst en de expert. Hoe ga je vanuit deze rollen om met kennis en leren? Welke rollen worden in de toekomst alleen maar belangrijker om te kunnen vervullen? Een reactie hierop van Valdis Krebs:

Connectors often know the experts. In an analysis of expert networks in organizations we found that the people seeking for information often do not have access to, or do not know who to go to. That is where the “middle wo/man” comes in. With connections to both the newbies and the old wise ones. Without an active and open middle layer, an organization’s knowledge may never get to where it needs to be!

De rol van ‘knowledge catalyst’ lijkt ook steeds belangrijker te worden. Dit zijn mensen met een divers kennisnetwerk waaruit ze kunnen putten. Deze netwerken vormen filters. Catalysts delen hun kennis, voegen waarde toe middels processen als cureren en betekenis geven. Ze creëer en doen nieuwe dingen.

Velen van ons hebben zich inmiddels wel op het online pad begeven, maar hebben ook wel de neiging om passieve gebruikers van informatie te blijven. Je hebt een profiel op LinkedIn en volgt enkele groepen, maar je plaatst geen reacties. Terwijl onze uitdaging wellicht toch is om gezamenlijk betekenis te blijven geven aan wat er in de wereld gebeurt? Om zo collectief kennis te ontwikkelen. Maar hoe doe je dat? Het vergt meer tijd en energie om betekenis te geven aan waardevolle informatie die we vinden. Goed zoeken is een waardevolle vaardigheid, maar het is ook belangrijk dat we vervolgens iets met deze kennis doen. Verder doordenken? Combineren? Experimenteren? Hoe kunnen we waarde toevoegen? In het webinar op 10 maart zullen we vanuit deze rollen nader bekijken. Met het oog op leren, professionaliseren en kennisuitwisseling in een wereld van sociale technologie, dynamiek en snelle ontwikkelingen.

Vragen, reacties? Deel ze hieronder! Ook gebruiken we deze plek om ervaringen uit te wisselen omtrent de korte voorbereidende opdracht die je hebt ontvangen via de mail.

Comments

Anne
Reply

I’m really triggered by the reaction of Valdis Krebs about the middle layer and the role of connector. How do you achieve an active and open middle layer which is respected by the rest of the organization?

Rosan
Reply

Good question Anne, I really wrote down the same question! I was also wondering if you have good examples about collective knowledge development?

Besides my questions to Harold, also a summary about me as a connector and my opinion about good connectors.
The real connectors (online and offline) are building bridges between teams, issues, sales and a more internal department like credit and inspires people. In the context of going trough needed changes, connector are really important. I have a lot of respect for them and watches their behavior as good as possible.

The (online) connectors retweet content but makes sense in the same amount by ‘producing’ and sharing own content.

At this moment, I’m not an active connector but building up my personal network and try to connect with the exemplary connectors and can learn from them. But every journey start with a single step and i’ll never finish if I don’t start. I really see the added value so I made some small steps but need to make the transition from seeking to sense making and sharing and convincing my online and offline network.

Sibrenne Wagenaar
Reply

Hello Anne and Rosan, thanks for your responses! I’m wondering how you see yourself in this quadrant Anne? Good to read that you have some exemplary connectors in your environment Rosan. What is something you see them do? I try to fulfill that role in the best way possible. The challenge is, I think, to make it more like a habitus. A style of working and living. But that starts with explicit actions and a clear idea of how you can live this role. Might be nice to exchange concrete actions you can undertake to fulfill a connectors role. Looking forward to Thursday evening!

Kay
Reply

Hi all, when I read the comment from Valdis Krebs and some of the the other posts it seems the roles of Harold Jarche are taken to be actual persons. Whereas I understand the roles as ways everyone can act. Sometimes I act as a connector, sometimes as a catalyst, sometimes as a consumer and sometimes as an expert. The confusion might be due to the fact that the role names are also used to depict a specific person (“he is a real expert”). I think all roles are relevant and important, but dependent on the context sometime the emphasis shifts. Everyone has preferences for one or more of the roles but I think it is important that we can play different roles. When I started with a small company everyone knew from everyone his/her expertise (and character), acting as an expert with very little of the other roles worked well. When switching to a larger (international) organization I really had to work on the other roles and if you widen your scope even more the other roles need to be strengthened again. But still you don’t have to be equally good in all the roles. I will always be more of a quietly working expert and catalyst than of a working out loud connector 😉

Joitske Hulsebosch
Reply

When I think about offline networks it helps to have a balance in role. If everybody is a connector it doesn’t work. So my question is what balance in roles do you need in an online network?

Anette
Reply

In het kader van collectieve kennisontwikkeling denk ik dat de rol ven verbinder en catalyst steeds belangrijker wordt. Om in de woorden van Joseph Kessels te spreken: kennis zit niet tussen de oren, maar kennis zit tussen de neuzen. Voor mijzelf ligt de uitdaging in de ontwikkeling van een passieve consument van informatie naar een actieve catalyst, zowel offline als online. Daarmee zou ik meer meerwaarde toevoegen binnen en buiten de organisatie door op die manier een bijdrage te leveren aan kennisontwikkeling. Dat zie ik ook als de rol van de middlelayer zoals Valdis Krebs beschrijft. Eyeopener en uitdaging!

Annet
Reply

I agree with Kay that we do own all of the roles mentioned. You can choose for a role (or maybe its’ not a choice, but a more unconscious habit). For example, I try to be a catalyst for subjects within my expertise and core business (like learning and coaching): I try to put something extra on a subject I’ve heard about (by writing a blog, contributing to a discussion on LinkedIn or by retweeting something including a professional note). But at the same time, I’m a consumer on subjects new to me or out of my competence area, but relevant to me (like copyright). That goes for all the roles in my opinion.
@Joitske, I think online and offline are the same when you speak of balance. In my netword I try to seek for people who work as expert on my area, as well as catalysts (who discuss the contribution of the experts) and connectors (to find new experts). We do need all of them. Although I think you get the most form the experts and de catalysts, zo they have to be larger in number.
By the way: for my business are the consumers relevant, for they will maybe follow me. It’s goed to follow back to see what problems they face.

Kay
Reply

Yes, without consumers there is no need for experts, catalysts and connectors 😉

Rosan van Roosmalen
Reply

@ Sibrenne;

The good connectors exchange knowledge with stakeholders and customers, keep in touch with different departments and potential partners and highlights the advantages for the ‘others’ to give them more motivations and translate it to their goals. It’s like speaking in the others’ language and make them part of it.

For myself: maintaining a selective and critical seeking process, translating my results to the language of the stakeholders and share the right content with the stakeholders which matters so you’re building up something or to prepare some desired changes.

Marjanne Peters
Reply

Thinking about the roles, I can see my self act differently offline vs online. In the offline world I tend to act like an expert, connector and catalyst. In the online world I see myself more as a consumer, expert and connector. One of my personal goals is to develop into a catalyst in the online world.
As a freelance coach-trainer and expert in e-coaching, I’m occasionally an official member of a projectteam. My clients, teams or individuals from large companies, see me more or less acting in all roles. But in the online world I think people don’t see me, I’m a unknown fly somewhere in the cloud ;-). I like to transform to a attractive butterfly and feel that I need to be inspired through the knowledge and experience of Harold, Joitske, Sibrenne and all the students of this cohort. I’m looking forward to the webinar!

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