Working with Knowledge Energies – presentation to actKM Canberra October 2006

My wife, Lyn, has always wondered what I get up to at KM conferences.  So I decided to not only invite her along to one, but to present with me.  Below is what we plan to have a conversation about at the actKM 2006 conference in Canberra.   

Early in the 20th Century, Albert Einstein rocked the scientific world with his E=mc2 equation linking energy, matter and speed in his special theory of relativity.  The equation shook the paradigm of Newtonian concepts of space and time towards a view that matter is not just something that is static but is alive with energy.  Later in the 20th century, knowledge management theorists and practitioners commented that knowledge also appears to have energetic properties; that it can be considered not just as an object or stock but as something that is dynamic and that flows.  Could we consider successful knowledge management then as the maximization of energy within communities, providing healthy opportunities for collaboration, creativity and sense-making?  How do we explore these energetic properties of knowledge? 

Pathways for knowledge energies in organisations can be likened to the energy pathways in us as individuals.  Each of us has many physical systems such as our circulatory, nervous, lymphatic and digestive systems.  But we also have meridians that channel energy.  While once discredited, acupuncture is now viewed as an acceptable means of releasing energy blockages in these channels, freeing the body to heal itself.  Likewise, organizations have physical systems that can be portrayed as organisational charts, process flows and communication maps such as SNA.  But just as with individuals, there are also hidden energy channels in organisations that can become blocked or disrupted in a way that impedes the flow of knowledge energy.   

This presentation will explore the generation of positive knowledge energy and the dissipation of negative knowledge energy in the workplace.  We will marry (excuse the double entendre) Western views of knowledge energies as flows and relationships with Eastern views of knowledge energies that incorporate yin/yang Feng Shui principles and subtle dimensions.  Our presentation will explore the hidden world where serendipity meets synchronicity, where chance meets coincidence and where sense-making meets deeper meaning and understanding. 

About the Presenters 

Luke Naismith has recently joined the Victorian Government’s Department of Justice as a Corporate Strategy Manager.  He has previously been in senior positions in the Australian Public Service in the areas of information economy public policy, knowledge and information management and technology implementations.  Luke completed his Masters of Strategic Foresight last year and has been a long-standing member of the Standards Australia Knowledge Management Committee.   

Lyn Naismith is the owner of the Kiva Wellbeing Centre, a place where clients can come to relax, unwind and reconnect with their inner strength.  She is a Qi Gong Kinesiology Practitioner, Reiki Master, Massage Therapist and Tien Ti (Space Clearing) Master.  Lyn specialises in identifying and releasing the emotional and physical blockages to health and wellbeing to assist her clients to restore and balance their energy.  She also has degrees in Psychology and Social Work.


3 Responses to Working with Knowledge Energies – presentation to actKM Canberra October 2006

  1. Mr. Naismith,

    I can’t express the positive surprise when we discovered your conference topic on Knowledge Energies. I invite you to take a look at our site and hopefully start a dialog. We position Collaboration, communication and coordination as the energies of knowledge.

    We look forward to your response.


    Thierry Hubert & Frederic Deriot

  2. Thanks Thierry for that comment

    And likewise, I am most surprised that there is an organisation out there called Knowledge Energies! It’s a great name for a company and I wish you well.

    Having a quick look at your site, you are taking the advancing knowledge through collaborative technology in organisations angle for business improvement. Providing solutions that offer the potential to improve communication and information management.
    This is incredibly valuable but in the presentation with my wife, we will be taking a different tack and focusing on the energy dimension – in particularly using the metaphor of knowledge flowing through an organisation as akin to the Asian notion of chi (qi) flowing through people (such as along energy meridians that acupuncture therapists use) and through organisations (incorporating like feng shui or the positive and negative implications on energy flows from internal dynamics).
    There are so many ways that you can take the notion of knowledge as energy. I know that Rob Cross has used this metaphor in some of his work on Social Network Analysis to good effect. Our view, as is your view, is just one other take on this subject.

  3. […] A few people have asked how the talk went at the 2006 actKM conference last week in Canberra.  […]

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