Will this move never end?
Lessons (hopefully) learned: I mistakenly thought of this as moving our household, only to realize in the middle that we were actually moving two functioning businesses AND our household. So here we are, Yvonne and I, closing in on two weeks after "the move" began, still winding our way among boxes, unpacking on a need-to-know basis. We search through boxes, again and again, when we need to know where something is!
We had no choice but to get our offices into minimally functional shape first. Now we're facing that most primitive knowledge management question, Where is that book? Or disk? Or printout? Beautifully labeled boxes like "Tom's Office - Books" or "Yvonne's Desk - Files" have proven, shall we say, inadequate?
Quick thought: This "moving experience" has been a useful reminder that there's more to KM than electronic tools for finding digital content. Making knowledge workers more effective, as many have been describing personal knowledge management lately (listed in prior post) must include addressing their physical work spaces and arrangement of their physical knowledge artifacts. Take a look at:
Right Brain, Left Brain: The Home Offices of Design and Information Professionals, by Mary Colette Wallace, Searcher Magazine (October 2002),
and The Myth of the Paperless Office by Abigail Sellen and Richard Harper (MIT Press 2002).
The Sellen and Harper book, in my opinion, should be read - and re-read - by anyone attempting to understand how knowledge workers actually do their work and the limits of technology in the near term to provide comprehensive "solutions" to the problems of individual and collaborative knowledge work. They provide a wealth of tacts, statistics, and case studies to support their thesis that we are a long way from doing without paper, because paper documents perform certain knowledge work support tasks better than any digital technology yet devised. You may disagree with some of their methods or conclusions. But you ought to take their research and thinking into account before advocating "paperless" work environments.