Knowledge Creation and IT

Such widely discussed subject, but here’s my angle on it.

Most people realizes that IT is not enough for knowledge
. The story I use when talking about their relationship
is that IT is extension of electricity.

Just by having electricity at your home means??nothing, unless
you have tools that will convert the electricity into energy
source for appliances such as refregirator, television, personal
computer.  Even those by themselves mean nothing if there were
no milk to refregirate, Discovery channel to watch, computer to
be hooked up with blog.  Massive data collected via IT by
themselves means nothing if they are not sorted in appropirate
way for them to become information. And information such as my
thoughts and experiences on internet must be shared and discussed
before they become knowledge. And they are “slow” kind of
knowledge at best. “Dynamic” kind of knowledge comes when I get
together with interesting people, that is, sharing our thoughts
on creating cool and productive places to work, and this
discussion taking place in physical “ba”, like Cacita in Roppongi.
In physical “ba”, our senses are fully utilized, that is to say
picking up visual cues like a smile on a face, along with smell
of lemongrass in the air, taste of creme brulee, touch of people
gathered together. When we are together, something happens,
like all of sudden, we come up with an idea of regularly visiting
workplace created by each other, so that we could learn from each
other to do better jobs.

“Slow” knowledge is important, and it is enjoyable, like I am
enjoying participating in blog network. But “Dynamic” kind of
knowledge is important, so neccessary for us all.

Am I going to translate all this into Japanese??? Although I
want to share this thought with my friends, that’s daunting…

4 thoughts on “Knowledge Creation and IT”

  1. It is said that “killer” applications are necessary to get such devices popular as fridges and PCs. I agree on this if being popular means being used by many people, and I really do like being at “ba” with people.

    But after I read this blog entry, a couple of ideas hit upon me: (1) meaning of “being popular” may have been changing. (2) we may need to squeeze something out of things that haven’t had any good application.

    (1) It is said that life of mass production – mass consumption ended, which implies me that it is not so necessary to become “popluar” in the future as it’s been.

    (2) maybe this is called innovation, not creation.

    My English really sucks and I should have started writing this in Japanese…. cuz Suda-san apparently reads japanese as well….


  2. Thank you very much for your interesting comment. No, I don’t think your English sucks. I understand what you are saying. I know at least one person who reads my blog can’t read Japanese, so your comment in English is very, very helpful.

    My thoughts about your comment (2), that era of mass consumption ended, I think that era of mass production of same style ended (for instance, car used to only come in black, or office chair selection was limited), but mass consumption still exsists. We use more paper than ever because we casually print anything with slightest of excuse. Our rate of buying new gadget has increased phenominally over the years. Cars too. We scrap. Recycle only parts of products.

    As for your (3), maybe, although very rarely, it could be innovation, but most of the time, it would be discovering words to be able to express the thought we already had, or incremental improvement on something which is not innovation.

    Your comments propel me for deeper dive!


  3. Do you mean ?? or ?? or ?? or ?? or … ? From context, it seems that “ba” implies a place, whether physical or virtual, where people may gather and share thoughts, feelings and experiences? Like a chatroom or a forum, but a kind of intimate Japanese version? A tearoom without ceremony?

    This is very interesting. Like so many Japanese forms (anime, especially), I have to let this teabag soak in my cup to get all the flavor out! 😉

    Maybe ?? is a kind of living poetry.


  4. Ikujiro Nonaka sure did elevate the status of some of Japanese words like “ba” ?? and “kata”??.????Many western scholars and business people ponder the meaning of these words associating them with knowledge management. For someone like you with deep understanding of Japanese culture and language, it can be simple and obvious. There you go with another enigmatic comment! Every time I read you comment, I read your comment at least three times before I think I get your meaning, and I think about it for a moment more. I feel like the Grass Hopper in an old 70’s TV show, Kung Fu.


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