Six Eyes of Seeing Knowledge

At the actKM monthly meeting in Canberra in May, I gave a presentation titled Eyeing the Knowledge Management Seas: Exploring the Surface and Delving its Depths. 

It was a lot of fun creating the slides for the event.  I used a heavy dose of alliteration and simile (thanks Brett) to understand the eyes of KM.  In particular, I explored the hidden assumption that intellectual knowledge is the only lens for creating and sharing knowledge. Other eyes for seeing and sense-making have the potential to uncover new knowledge. The very brief overview of these six eyes of knowledge are:

Intellect – arguably the most important eye.  The basis of our logic, rationality and learning.  Uses science as the metanarrative.  Leads to Information and Intelligence (and knowledge of course). 

Instinct – knowledge gained from our initial response to sensory input without cognitive thinking processes.  Able to form quick conclusions in a “blink” (Malcolm Gladwell reference).  Knowledge here leads to Immediciacy of Response but can lead to incorrect generalisations and stereotyping.

Imagination – knowledge gained from our dreams, aspirations and visions.  From this knowledge we gain Intention and Inspiration. 

Intuition – knowledge gained from emotional rather than intellectual understanding based on our relationships with others.  From this knowledge we gain Integrity and Interconnectivity.  It includes the notion of morphic resonance (Sheldrake), microvita (Sarkar) and emotional intelligence (Goleman).

Insight – knowledge gained from our creative processes using theta waves.  Happens best in the shower (or in Archimedes’ case, the bath).  Happens when we are not thinking about things.  Knowledge here gives us Improvisation happening In-Time. 

There is a sixth eye but this is hidden (sort of like your third eye).   It is that of:

Ignorance – this is our hidden knowledge – what we don’t see.  By focusing only on what we know, we miss the areas that we don’t know.  KM is as much about managing our ignorance as it is about managing our knowledge.  See Patrick’s article for more or Sohail Inayatullah’s piece. From our ignorance, we gain Inquiry leading to Interventions.

So there they are, the six eyes of knowledge. Not intellect alone, but also Instinct, Imagination, Intuition, Insight and Ignorance. 

And that is enough alliteration for one evening!

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5 Responses to Six Eyes of Seeing Knowledge

  1. […] Knowledge is not just an intangible asset (objectivist view) or something that is solely intellectual.  It has many other aspects (see here) and knowledge managers should explore the world through the ontology of different perspectives rather than as simply different objects. […]

  2. […] my 6 eyes of knowledge, I wonder whether this is intuition or insight.  It certainly has presentiment, whether that be […]

  3. […] off to the local cinema to catch the latest Jessica Alba film – The Eye.  Given my interest in eyes, and the fair beauty of the main character, I thought it seemed a good film to watch.  It ended up […]

  4. […] I particularly like this point about the neuroscience view of insight – one of the important 6 i’s of seeing knowledge. The key with insight is that it occurs after a period of calm often when we are doing something […]

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