Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

Knowledge Hypocrites: Take Two!

February 4th, 2012

Knowledge Hypocrites: Take Two!.

The link above points to a great post by KMBeing that deserves some re-blogging here. It looks at the issue of hypocrisy in espousing the values of taking knowledge and putting it into practice, without practicing it. It’s worth a read.

There are a lot of professions and practices where we say one thing and mean another. This is something that can apply to health promotion, design, evaluation and social justice work in any guise.

What do the words and ideas mean and what do they mean in practice?

These two concepts are part of reflective practice and also require good communication, the kind that that allows people to find out what the meaning of their words are in the eyes and ears of another. Good communication requires speaking clearly, listening clearly, and clarifying clearly and doing so honestly and openly.

One of the issues with many of knowledge practitioners is that the rhetoric of knowledge translation/mobilization is so seductive. It is so common-sensical and even trendy. But the idea of sharing what we know, building relationships, and working together in true collaboration is much harder when viewed in reality where people have different resources, power structures, perceptions, reflective capacities, skills, knowledge, and time.

Knowledge mobilization is about not just strategy or tactics, but building up a system that supports it all. David Phipps, who wrote the original article looking at these hypocrisies was referring to this by commenting on the fact that there are too few incentives to change the way things are done and so without a top-level strategy to support change and no incentive from the bottom, the system remains the same.

Designing and living a system that works requires living and designing practices that support our values and communication now.


Filed under: knowledge translation, public health, systems thinking Tagged: beliefs, health promotion, hypocrisy, knowledge mobilization, knowledge translation, reflective practice, values

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Categories: beliefs, health promotion, hypocrisy, knowledge mobilization, knowledge translation, public health, reflective practice, systems thinking, values

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