Because You Need to Know: Edwin K. Morris Pioneer Knowledge Services

I recently had the pleasure of being a guest on Edwin K. Morris podcast “Because You Need to Know”. Some of the highlights of our conversation included:

As it pertains to running my company A.J. Rhem & Associates (

I’ve been running my consulting company AJ Rhem Associates for 30 years. You can see that’s my passion. That’s my favorite job because I’m able to do what I love.  I mean, you do what you love…  The saying is you do what you love,  You never work a minute in your life!

I’m passionate about what I do… My firm is about technology, focused on, consulting, training, and research. The thing about it is that I love sharing, I love teaching, This company has been my love for the last 30+ years.

How do I measure success?

I mean I that’s my passion and you know success is measured differently. I think I’ve been pretty successful from a revenue perspective and in particularly from meeting different people working with different companies, learning, and evolving and growing into a thought leader in the industry. I spend a lot of time writing… fortunate to have written a couple of books and have contributed to the few others.

If I was going to do nothing else I would like to just write and do research. I really enjoy it. It’s my inquisitive nature… and push the envelope, discover new things, can I take these different aspects and to make it into something?

Talk to me about your process for innovation.

How do you get there? Because some people are really good at abstract thinking, but others are not… I’ve been very fortunate to understand and look at the big picture. See something and not just where it is today, but where it could be. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to take concepts and extrapolate and understand the connectedness of different concepts together. For innovation I would recommend this one particular book I’ve read it’s called the Medici Effect, by Frans Johansson. In this book Frans Johansson details the intersection of creativity and innovation.

So how do you apply that… How do you apply that free range thinking…? Or how do you and help somebody else get there?

Well you have to come to that table with an open mind. “your mind is like a parachute; It only works if it’s open. And so you come, with an open mind, but you talk to and learn from other people. We’re sharing ideas.

 You have to be very open to sharing…. That’s how you innovate. You innovate by sharing, sharing what you know, understanding and absorbing from other people what they know. Because everybody brings a certain set of experiences to the table… to table life to the table of innovation… their cultural richness. Your background, from cultural to educational to your experiences, everything. That who you are, bring it to the table talk and just start to share who you are and what you know! You get to know people from where they are and their experiences.

And so I always like to come to the table first as a listener. I can talk all day about the stuff I’m.

Passionate about right? You want to have practice having better listening skills actually listen and hear and get into what people are conveying.

So What Actually is AI… Artificial Intelligence

AI is a multidisciplinary science that includes areas such as natural language processing, expert systems, neural networks, machine learning, robotics, virtual reality… some of the coolest technologies ever. A bit of my background… My Masters is in computer science from DePaul University in Chicago with specialty in artificial intelligence…. Back in 1989! I was writing stuff in Prolog and Lisp Expert systems and neural Nets… I just thought that was crazy cool, right? I was developing expert systems and neural network technology working for different companies and all the way through to the late 90s.

Then I got involved in knowledge management because some of my colleagues knew that I was really focused on expert systems, and that’s about knowledge and codifying  knowledge.

Let me introduce you to something called knowledge management that was like, OK, this is more the people side…  the management side, as I’m codify and capturing how people are thinking the structure…  the rules… Now this is the people side. How do you manage that?

How do you actually determine what knowledge they capture? And so that kind of like OK, I can see the connection between knowledge management and AI.

AI and knowledge management you Fast forward. I’ve been involved in knowledge management since 1998-99, then kind of said look things are happening… Around 2012, 2013 from around that time, I would say machine learning with big data and processing speeds and processing capabilities now allows us to make insights from our collective data… So now we are transitioning from data to information to actually knowledge and insights.

To hear the entire conversation access Pioneer Knowledge Services podcast “Because You Need to Know: Featuring a Conversation with Tony Rhem”. I would encourage everyone to check out Pioneer Knowledge Services and make a generous donation to this 501c3 organization.

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