From knowledge worker to knowledge creator.

Time passes. Marked by the night of times at a constant and relentless pace, humanity has learned to measure it and it is now one of the references that make it possible to program activities and live our professional and personal lives more or less effectively.

From a scientific point of view, it is a fundamental physical quantity, defined as the distance between events calculated in four-dimensional space-time coordinates. No, don't worry, I don't want to give you a physics lesson... also because I would be the last person able to do so. However, I would like to reflect on some ideas with you starting from time and its impact on us.

I will use a simpler definition: time is the perception and representation of the succession of events around us. As a perception, it is relative, because it is influenced by multiple factors that can vary. That's why we can go from boredom to stress, from time that doesn't pass to time that isn't enough. Because the events around us are not always identical (in number, form, substance) and because our cognitive abilities are not always the same.

So, the reflection I wanted to share with you is the following: the last 50 years have seen an exponential and vertiginous increase in the amount of information around us. Of course, some of the information remains unknown to us, but many others become one of those events that our temporal perception must take care of. This makes our perception of time much more complex today than that of the generations who worked 50 years ago.

More information, increasingly complex relationships between them. Think that the logical principles on which databases are based database have changed drastically in the last 40 years to better manage the increased complexity of information. The first database experiments in the 1960s, then from the 1970s the birth of relational databases and their growth from simple tables evolved into tools on which to build real applications. Then in the 1980s, the affirmation of the Structured Query Language (SQL) which allowed databases to be queried quickly and effectively and therefore enabled their extraordinary commercial success. In the 1990s, this success was reinforced by the birth of the Internet, which however led relational databases to evolve towards new client-server configurations. database e che dunque ne consentì lo straordinario successo commerciale. Negli anni 90 tale successo fu rafforzato dalla nascita di Internet che fece però evolvere i database relazionali verso nuove configurazioni client server.

The 2000s saw an increase in information to be managed in databases and increasingly often one server was no longer enough. In this sense, it was necessary to put together distributed databases on multiple servers and SQL was not well suited to this configuration. The era of NoSQL databases began and then came the time of DistributedSQL.

The last 20 years, we remember them better, right? The era of social networks, user-generated content, likes, comments, and shares. Billions of interactions. The advent of network databases that allow us to more freely relate data and derive potentially infinite aggregations from them. The algorithms that have been talked about so much in recent years work on these principles: extremely complex predictive models that combine different information from multiple sources to try to predict what we would like to read, see, buy.

The last three years, with its tragedies and upheavals, have only made this situation even more evident.

Now let's stop for a moment because otherwise we lose the sense of this reflection. The overabundance of information overwhelms us daily, surpassing our cognitive abilities with its complexity. This results in a compressed, congested, sometimes claustrophobic perception of time.

Let's take another step forward in our reflection. If databases have evolved in recent decades, if algorithms have been trained to adapt to our tastes, why shouldn't we modify the way we approach information, organize it, and share it?

I'm not saying that nothing has been done on these issues, but they have been disjointed elements: some new applications, some new features added to traditional programs, training courses on skills useful for managing such innovations.

So far, a comprehensive approach has been missing, the awareness of being in a completely different cognitive context that requires processes and methodologies that work in a coordinated manner on multiple levels.

My work as a trainer and consultant has helped me to focus on this reflection, drawing inspiration from different business contexts, embedding it in different organizational models, and verifying it in multiple professions. I don't have the presumption of having found the solution, but I think I have identified some trajectories by following which we can identify an approach that I like to define as sustainable.

First of all, a real awareness of being Life Long Learners is needed: whether we like it or not, we will never stop learning. This involves the ability to set short, medium, and long-term goals in a coherent way with the personal and professional context we live in. In this sense, methodologies such as OKR and Agile can help us: we must get used to translating learning objectives into concrete, achievable, and measurable programs; at the same time, we must approach such programs through learning cycles. All without fanaticism or ideology: everyone must find the right pace.

The second trajectory is that of an evolution in knowledge management that makes us able to filter, select, organize, and make information truly useful. In this, of course, what has been described in the previous lines can help us: if I have a clear learning path, if I have defined well why I am learning, then it should be clearer which information is important for me, for my profession, for my organization. Even the framework within which we organize such information should be tailored based on the context in which we conduct our professional and personal lives.

The third phase of this evolved approach is related to the methods through which we share such information: there are obviously technological aspects (platforms, applications, tools) and new soft and hard skills to develop (communicating and collaborating remotely, video production, podcasting, streaming, data visualization, etc.). In a way, I like to think that it is time to transform from knowledge workers to knowledge creators. No, no dancing. Just the lucidity of picking up ideas, techniques, and approaches from the world of content creators and putting them at the service of the professional context we live in, in an evolution that emphasizes the sharing of corporate knowledge as a moment of further creation and improvement of such knowledge.

These are trajectories, phases that influence each other. Companies that can facilitate such approaches, adapting them to their characteristics and organizational models, will certainly have an edge and will be able to decipher the complexity of our times by making a sustainable approach to work possible.

Now I stop, because in the rush to tell you about the complexity of our information age, I don't want to have added too many elements. Instead, I hope to have offered you a starting point for reflection and to have given you a new perspective on the sense of overwhelm that we often experience in our daily lives.



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