December 4, 2014
- Building Automation
by Ken Sinclair
“Creating your Collaboration” started with my puzzling with the process of how industry knowledge gets passed on. AHRExpo is the annual event where we present our free education sessions to the industry. This is our 16th year of presenting these sessions and hosting the third annual Connection Community Collaboratory meeting. Online Collaboration is how today's education occurs.
Education is not an affair of "telling and being told" but an active process; I am a poor presenter but a good connector of concepts and resources for the active process. As a connector of concepts and resources I need to be questioned by those seeking knowledge to be of use. My value is not the knowledge that I can share, but the knowledge I can connect folks to so they can self-teach themselves their way. I am but a catalyst in the process of learning.
I am still struggling with the best way to transfer the industry dumps of information to incoming practitioners of our industry. We came to call this "The Dinosaur Dump" when we dropped 20 to 30 years of industry experience on some poor incoming practitioners who did not even ask one question…..smile.
Our Contributing Editor Therese Sullivan shares her wisdom here; learning via "Sage of the Stage" — a popular style that dates at least from Plato and Aristotle — may be over. What's a knowledge base, but a glorified FAQ. Collaboration platform is a synonym. That is how I see this: someplace where someone who wants to learn will go when the moment is right to find just that something that will fulfill the learning/collaborating need at hand.
I am arriving at the conclusion that everyone in our industry needs to develop their own interactive Ask questions, get them documented online for their purposes, and decide which and how to share them with the world using their own collaboration platforms.
Please read my review, "Dinosaur Dump Evolves to Ask Auto, Then to 'Creating your Collaboration,'” and share your comments with Ask Auto.
The collaboration platforms need not be complicated. If you are not concerned about death by email, it could be as simple as creating a common Ask email address for all to share thoughts and interact on searchable email. Of course several companies have in-house Wikipedia or other collaboration tools such as some lightweight platforms that pull knowledge base apps (Dropbox) together with messaging.