Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Model 3: data, information, knowledge, wisdom

One of the QI refrains is "increase the capability and capacity of employees". While this is a great concept, easy to declare and impossible not to support, for me it lacks any concrete applicability. What exactly is meant by this? There is another one of our data-information-knowledge-wisdom models which may help pin down what might be meant. Next time you hear somebody say the capacity/capability thing then whip this model out and ask them to explain their intentions and expectations along the data to wisdom curve.

 The challenge here is to produce learning experiences that enable someone to move up the curve. In my experience, much of healthcare improvement work is focused on developing data based skills - how to measure change. Some people get to the information stage where they learn to look for patterns, say by using SPC charts. Can they port this knowledge to other projects in a predictable way? Can they make intelligent choices? To what extent do the participants on a QI project become "wise"?

The above curve comes from Designing Knowledge Eco-Systems for Communities of Practice.  The web resources are excellent - especially if you are developing CoP's as part of your QI strategy.

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